The Australian Early Childhood Educators’ Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey

The challenge

The Early Childhood Educator and Carer sector (ECEC) is facing a crisis, reflected in high attrition, challenges with retention, and a shortfall of ECECs to meet demand.

Project overview

This project aims to identify and analyse the work environments and working conditions of employees in the ECEC sector. The research will establish robust evidence about the relationship between employees’ work, health and wellbeing, and local and system level outcomes, such as the quality of ECEC centres and the sustainability of the workforce.

The research team aims to:

  • Analyse the relationships between ECEC work environments, employee wellbeing, system outcomes, and flow-on impact on child developmental outcomes during childcare and the transition into primary school.
  • Analyse the impact of federal and state policies on the ECEC workforce.
  • Provide interactive, digital representations of the data and a written report to raise awareness about the key issues facing the profession.
  • Provide compelling, accessible evidence that informs policy and promotes the interests of ECEC workers and children.

The survey

The research survey will help us to build a systematic picture of early childhood educators’ occupational health, safety and wellbeing.

What will participants be asked to do?

Participation involves completing a confidential on-line survey. The kinds of questions we ask cover areas such as  working conditions in detail, quality of life information, service of employment, work satisfaction, workplace discrimination, medication use, frequency of alcohol consumption and other personal information such as diet and exercise. Participation in this project is entirely voluntary.

How much time does the survey take?

The survey takes about 30 minutes to complete. Participants will need to complete the survey in one sitting.

Who is undertaking the project?

This project is being conducted by REDI in partnership with the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland.

Start the survey


This project is being fully funded by REDI at Deakin University and the University of Queensland.

Project team

Dr Marcus Horwood (Deakin University)

Professor Karen Thorpe (University of Queensland)

Dr Mark Rahimi (Deakin University)

Associate Professor Sally Staton (University of Queensland)

Dr Laetitia Coles (University of Queensland)

Dr Ben Arnold (Deakin University)

Professor Phil Riley (Deakin University).



The survey will be open between April and June 2024. The team expects to release a public report of findings prior to the end of 2024.


early childhood education, Early Childhood Education and Care, occupational health and wellbeing