Katharina is a research member of the Child Development and Learning research group and the Rees Centre. Katharina has expertise in child development and wellbeing in the early years, including zero to three. Her main areas of research are the quality of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) and parent support. She has a particular interest in supporting the development of children facing disadvantage, and has done research with families in poverty, children with refugee backgrounds, and culturally and linguistically diverse families.
Katharina’s work focuses on practice as well as policy. She has worked on a number of national and international research projects and has collaborated with partners in countries across Europe and in Malaysia. She has experience in in quantitative and qualitative research designs and methods (including RCT-, longitudinal-, case study-, survey-, and ethnographic research). Her work on previous projects addressed research questions related to ECEC access, quality-, and -curriculum, and the impact of ECEC environments and adult-child interactions on children’s movement play in ECEC as a context for advancing early self-regulation skills.
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 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.
Katharina is currently starting two research studies (both as the PI) – a small study on children’s movement play in ECEC as a context for advancing early self-regulation skills, and a study developing an assessment tool to measure self-efficacy and skill in early years practitioners, with a focus on language and communication support in early years classrooms and settings. She supervises DPhil and Masters students in the Child Development and Learning research group.