Brain science training on offer for early childhood educators
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Brain science training on offer for ECEC through Thriving Queensland Kids partnership

Brain science training on offer for ECEC through Thriving Queensland Kids partnership

by Freya Lucas

September 07, 2023

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals will join peers from a variety of professions in benefiting from training in brain science in an Australia-first initiative between the University of Queensland (UQ) and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) through the Thriving Queensland Kids Partnership (TQKP).


Thriving Kids Brain Builders is a neuroscience translation initiative being developed with UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) for people working across the health, education, social and community services, justice and housing sectors.


Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace welcomed the initiative saying her Government is committed to giving every child the best start in life, regardless of their circumstances.

“The Thriving Kids Brain Builders initiative will get the latest neuroscience research straight into early educators’ hands and help them manage challenging behaviours, create positive experiences, and flag where early intervention and support might be needed,” she said.


QBI Laureate Fellow Professor Karen Thorpe explained that the initiative aims to help build a stronger and more equitable ECEC workforce, saying the experiences and environments young children encounter have a profound impact on their brain development. She said that the partnership will bridge the gap between research and practical application, ensuring all children have access to the support they need to develop and flourish.


One of the initial outputs of the Thriving Kids Brain Builders initiative is a free course, Understanding Brain Development’, developed by QBI and Emerging Minds.


“People working with children and young people have told us that they need access to the latest science and what it means for their practice – for teaching and caring across all the services and programs used by children, young people and their families,” explained TQKP Convenor and QBI Industry Fellow Michael Hogan.

“There is growing concern about levels of school readiness and achievement, about the emotional, mental and behavioural issues that children and families experience, and about the rates of stress and attrition in our teaching, caring and justice workforces.”

The course is a series of modules on the foundational concepts of neuroscience, understanding neuroplasticity, the impact of stress and trauma on brain development and the vital role of executive functioning in supporting children’s wellbeing.

UQ has signed a three-year $1.835 million agreement with ARACY for QBI to be the key implementation partner.

TQKP and the Thriving Kids Brain Builders initiative are supported by the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Hand Heart Pocket, The Bryan Foundation, The John Villiers Trust and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.

For more details, see the Thriving Kids Queensland Brain Builders Initiative website.

To access the free Understanding Brain Development course, please see here

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