Katharina is a research member of the Child Development and Learning research group and the Rees centre. Her main areas of research are the quality of early childhood education and care (ECEC), and parent support. She has a particular interest in support for disadvantaged families and their young children, firstly in the context of ECEC, and secondly in the context of families.
Katharina has expertise child development and wellbeing in the early years, including age zero to three. Her work focuses on practice as well as policy. She has worked on a number of national and international research projects. She has experience in in quantitative and qualitative research methods, and in leading and co-leading research. In addition to her research, she has served as an expert on an OECD thematic ECEC-system review. She is a member of the Departmental Research Ethics Committee (DREC).
In May 2022, Katharina was awarded the Sylva-Chan Junior Research Fellowship. The fellowship has been named in honour of Professor Kathy Sylva OBE, whose work at Oxford since the 1980s has been a major contribution to the study of early childhood education and care, and has helped to inform policy and practice in the UK and beyond. Under her research fellowship, and mentored by Professor Iram Siraj, Katharina focuses on expanding ECEC research within the department.
In addition to her fellowship, Katharina has a postdoc research position at the Rees centre, where she currently works on the research project ‘Data and Voice to Improve Children’s Lives’, led by Leon Feinstein and funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The project is an innovative collaboration between local authorities and universities to transform how information about and from children and families is gathered, interpreted, and used in child and family social policy at both local and national level.
Her work on previous research projects focused on ECEC access, -quality, and -curriculum, the impact of early childhood education and care on child wellbeing and development, parent support in the early years, and early language interventions. For her DPhil, Katharina investigated associations between mother-infant interactions and children’s developing Theory of Mind and emotion understanding. Katharina’s DPhil research was supervised by Professor Kathy Sylva and carried out in collaboration with the Families, Children and Child Care study.
PREVIOUS RESEARCH PROJECTS
Katharina worked as a research officer on the following research projects:
- Building an Inclusive and Equitable ECE for Refugee Children: Framework for Action (funded by the British Academy)
- Improving Early Years Practice through Professional Support by Speech and Language Therapists: A Feasibility Study (funded by the Sutton Trust)
- Inclusive Education and Social Support to Tackle Inequalities in Society (ISOTIS; funded by the European Commission)
- Curriculum Quality Analysis and Impact Review of European Early Childhood Education and Care (CARE; funded by the European Commission)
- Sound Foundations: What do we know about quality for under-threes and what are the implications for policy? (funded by the Sutton Trust)
- Toddlers’ Transition to Child Care/Wiener Kinderkrippenstudie (funded by the Autrian Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung)
- Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE; funded by the Department for Education)
- Families, Children and Child Care (FCCC; funded by The Tedworth Charitable Trust and the Glass-House Trust)