Dr Katharina Ereky-Stevens

Dr. Katharina Ereky-Stevens is part of the Families, Effective Learning and Literacy (FELL) research group.

Her main research interests are the quality of early childhood education and care (ECEC), child–caregiver interactions and relationships, and associations between ECEC quality and children’s development.

Katharina completed her undergraduate degree in Education and Psychology in her home country, Austria (University of Vienna). She then took part in a post-graduate training course in psychodynamic family support and parent counselling, which included training in child assessment, infant observation (following the Tavistock approach). She first joined our Department as a DPhil student in FELL and earned her doctorate from the Department of Education in 2005; she carried out her DPhil in co-operation with the longitudinal UK study ‘Families, Children and Childcare’. In her doctoral thesis she related video ratings of mother–baby interaction to children’s scores on measures of theory-of-mind and emotion understanding.

Since completing her doctorate, Katharina worked as a part-time lecturer and post-doctoral researcher on several research projects in FELL and at the Department of Education and Human Development in Vienna. She supervises Bachelor’s and Master’s students in our Department and in Vienna, particularly focusing on ECEC quality and young children’s relationships and interactions with caregivers and peers.


She has worked on a number of research projects on early childhood education, including the Families, Children and Childcare project (FCCC), the Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE) project, and a Viennese Transition to Childcare project (WIKI). She was involved in writing a number of research reviews, including a recent Sutton Trust review of the research on quality of ECEC for children under three, and implications for policy and practice. She has published in international and national journals. She currently works on the EU project CARE (Curriculum and Quality Analysis and Impact Review of European ECEC).

Book chapters

  • Mathers, SJ, Ereky-Stevens, K, Dalli, C, Barbour, N (2017) “Quality of Early Childhood Education and Care for Children under Three: Sound Foundations”, In: L Miller, C Cameron (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Early Childhood Policy. SAGE.

  • Datler, W, Funder, A, Hover-Reisner, N, Fürstaller, M, Ereky-Stevens, K (2012) “Eingewöhnung von Krippenkindern: Forschungsmethoden zu Verhalten, Interaktion und Beziehung [Infants‘ and toddlers‘ adaptation to day care: Research tools to assess behaviour, interaction, and relationships]”, In: S Viernickel, D Edelmann, H Hoffmann, A König (eds.) Krippenforschung. Methoden,Konzepte, Beispiele.. München: Ernst Reinhardt Verlag. 59-73

  • Ereky-Stevens, K, Datler, W, Fürstaller, M (2011) “Der Übergang in die außerfamiliäre Betreuung: Der Beitrag der Kleinkinder zum Verlauf von Eingewöhnungsprozessen”, In: R Kißgen, N Heinen (eds.) Familiäre Belastungen in früher Kindheit: Früherkennung, Verlauf, Begleitung, Intervention.. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta. 205-228

  • Datler, W, Trunkenpolz, K, Ereky-Stevens, K (2010) “Vater, Mutter, Kind. Infant Observation als eine ethnographische Methode zur Erforschung von dyadischen und triadischen Beziehungserfahrungen im ersten Lebensjahr”, In: GE Schäfer, R Staege (eds.) Frühkindliche Lernprozesse verstehen. Ethnographische und phänomenologische Beiträge zur Bildungsforschung.. Weinheim und München: Beltz Juventa Verlag. 157-180

  • Datler, W, Steinhardt, K, Ereky-Stevens, K (2002) “Vater geht zur Arbeit ... Über triadische Beziehungserfahrungen und die Ausbildung triadischer Repräsentanzen im ersten Lebensjahr.”, In: K Steihardt, W Datler, J Gstach (eds.) Die Bedeutung des Vaters in der frühen Kindheit.. Gießen: Psychosozial-Verlag. 122-141

  • Ereky-Stevens, K (2001) “Präödipale Triangulierung. Zur psychoanalytischen Diskussion um die Frage des Entstehens der frühen familiären Dreiecksbeziehung.”, In: W Datler, A Eggert-Schmid Noerr, L Winterhager-Schmid (eds.) Das selbständige Kind (Jahrbuch für Psychoanalytische Pädagogik 12). Gießen: Psychosozial-Verlag. 151-177

  • Datler, W, Ereky-Stevens, K, Strobel, K (2001) “Alleine unter Fremden. Zur Bedeutung des Trennungserlebens von Kleinkindern in Kinderkrippen.”, In: W Datler, A Eggert-Schmid Noerr, L Winterhager-Schmid (eds.) Das selbständige Kind (Jahrbuch für Psychoanalytische Pädagogik 12). Gießen: Psychosozial-Verlag. 53-77

  • Ereky-Stevens, K, Richtarz, J (2000) “Über aktuelle Publikationen zu verschiedenen Fragestellungen Psychoanalytischer Pädagogik.”, In: C Büttner, H Krebs, L und Winterhager-Schmid (eds.) Gestalten der Familie - Beziehungen im Wandel. Gießen: Psychosozial-Verlag.

Journal articles

  • Ereky-Stevens, K, Funder, A, Katschnig, T, Malmberg, L-E, Datler, W (2018) “Relationship building between toddlers and new caregivers in out-of-home childcare: Attachment security and caregiver sensitivity”, EARLY CHILDHOOD RESEARCH QUARTERLY. 42 270-279.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2017.10.007

  • Mathers, S, Sylva, K, Eisenstadt, N, Soukakou, E, Ereky-Stevens, K (2014) “Supporting early learning for children under three: Research and practice”, Journal of Children's Services. 9(2) 177-187.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1108/JCS-02-2014-0008

  • Stein, A, Malmberg, LE, Leach, P, Barnes, J, Sylva, K, Davies, B, Ereky-Stevens, K, Godlieb, J, Hague, L, Jennings, D, Nichols, M, Ram, B, Triner, A, Walker, J (2013) “The influence of different forms of early childcare on children's emotional and behavioural development at school entry”, Child: Care, Health and Development. 39(5) 676-687.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.2012.01421.x

  • Datler, W, Ereky-Stevens, K, Hover-Reisner, N, Malmberg, L-E (2012) “Toddlers' transition to out-of-home day care: settling into a new care environment.”, Infant behavior & development. 35(3) 439-451.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2012.02.007

  • Sylva, K, Stein, A, Leach, P, Barnes, J, Malmberg, L-E, FCCC-team (2011) “Effects of early child-care on cognition, language, and task-related behaviours at 18 months: an English study.”, The British journal of developmental psychology. 29(Pt 1) 18-45.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1348/026151010x533229

  • Flouri, E, Ereky-Stevens, K (2008) “Urban neighbourhood quality and school leaving age: Gender differences and some hypotheses”, OXFORD REVIEW OF EDUCATION. 34(2) 203-216.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/03054980701614960

  • Ereky-Stevens, K (2008) “Associations between Mothers' Sensitivity to Their Infants' Internal States and Children's Later Understanding of Mind and Emotion”, INFANT AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT. 17(5) 527-543.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1002/icd.572

  • Sylva, K, Scott, S, Totsika, V, Ereky-Stevens, K, Crook, C (2008) “Training parents to help their children read: a randomized control trial.”, The British journal of educational psychology. 78(Pt 3) 435-455.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1348/000709907x255718

  • Sylva, K, Taggart, B, Siraj‐Blatchford, I, Totsika, V, Ereky‐Stevens, K, Gilden, R, Bell, D (2007) “Curricular quality and day‐to‐day learning activities in pre‐school”, International Journal of Early Years Education. 15(1) 49-65.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/09669760601106968

  • Sylva, K, Stein, A, Leach, P, Barnes, J, Malmberg, L-E, FCCC-Team (2007) “Family and child factors related to the use of non-maternal infant care: An English study”, EARLY CHILDHOOD RESEARCH QUARTERLY. 22(1) 118-136.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2006.11.003

  • Malmberg, L-E, Stein, A, West, A, Lewis, S, Barnes, J, Leach, P, Sylva, K, FCCC (2007) “Parent-infant interaction: a growth model approach.”, Infant behavior & development. 30(4) 615-630.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2007.03.007


  • Sylva, K, Pastori, G, Lerkkanen, MK, Slot, P, Ereky-Stevens, K (2016) Integrative report on a culture-sensitive quality & curriculum framework. CARE Curriculum Quality Analysis and Impact Review of European ECEC, WP2, D2.4.. Brussels:

  • Resa, E, Ereky-Stevens, K, Wieduwilt, N, Penderi, E, Anders, Y, Petrogiannis, K, Melhuish, E (2016) Overview of quality monitoring systems and results of moderator analysis. CARE Curriculum Quality Analysis and Impact Review of European ECEC, WP4, D4.3.. Brussles:

  • Melhuish, EC, Ereky-Stevens, K, Petrogiannis, K, Ariescu, A, Penderi, E, Rentzou, K, Tawell, A, Slot, P, Broekhuizen, M, Leserman, P (2015) A review of research on the effects of early childhood education and care (ECEC) on child development. CARE Curriculum quality analysis and impact review of European ECEC, WP4, D4.1.. Brussles:

  • Sylva, K, Ereky-Stevens, K, Aricescu, AM (2014) Overview of European ECEC curricula and curriculum template. CARE Curriculum quality analysis and impact review of European ECEC, WP2, D2.1.. Brussles:

  • Mathers, S, Eisenstadt, N, Sylva, K, Soukakou, E, Ereky-Stevens, K (2014) Sound Foundations: A review of the research evidence on quality for early childhood education and care for children under three. Implications for policy and practice.. London:


  • Department staff


  • Postdoctoral researcher

Research groups

  • Families, Effective Learning and Literacy (FELL)

01865 274043

Publications, books and other work