Professor Margaret Sims

Professor, Early Childhood Education - School of Education; Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education

Margaret Sims

Phone: +61 2 6773 3823



Margaret is a member of the Early Childhood Education team within the School of Education.

Please have a look at my latest (non-traditional) research output.
Margaret's grandparent research film!


BA, MA, PhD, Dip Ed, Dip Mgmt

Research Interests

Young children and families
Parenting Community-based services for young children and families
Child care and other forms of alternative care for children
Difference and diversity
Social justice
Community work
Families from CaLD backgrounds
Indigenous issues
Disability Children's participation

Recent Research Grants

2013: Bilingualism in the bush: reconceptualising 'speech community' in immigrant family language maintenance in regional Australia. E Ellis and M Sims, ARC Discovery $278,000 2014 – 2016.

2013: Expert report on quality assurance and monitoring practices for ECEC services in Australia. With S Grieschaber, J Sumsion & G Mulhearn. Deutsches Jugendinstitut e. V. Munich.€7000. 2013 – 2014.

2012: Pilot: Online relationship-based intervention for parents and extended family members - testing the methodology. M Sims,  J McFarlane and H Phan. UNE Seeding grant. $15,000.

2011: Application of the National Professional Standards for Teachers to teachers in Early Childhood. Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority and Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. J Pegg, M Sims and B Mowbray. $20,000

2011: Evaluation of North West Aboriginal SAAP Project. Tamworth Family Support Service. With M Maple and D Bennell. $116,120 over 3 years

2011: Mental Health and wellbeing of childcare workers. Research Collaboration Grant, University of Melbourne with Davis E, Williamson L, Lamontagne T, Harrison L, Sims M, Waters E (University Applicants) Hazell T, Stafford K (Partners) 2011-2012, $19,615.20

2010: Evaluation of Indigenous Night Patrols. Attorney General’s Department AGD-0510. With T Cooper, P Henry, S Bahn, M Sims, E Barclay & J Scott. $336,000 over 2 years.

2010: Design and Delivery of a Professional Development Program in Educational Leadership for Early Childhood Professionals. With Semann & Slattery, & Forrest, R. Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. $300,000 over 3 years.

2010: An exploratory cluster trial of a sustainable capacity building intervention to promote positive mental health in family day care. with Davis E, Waters E, Herrman H, Harrison L, Sims M, Cook K, Mackinnon A, Marshall B, Mihalopoulos.  ARC Linkage LP100100131 2010-2012, $157,014

2009: Children’s Services Central: $29,956 Research into Practice – key issues in Children’s Services. With Anthony Semann

2009: ECU Collaborative Grant. $29,007. Settling into foster care: implications for long term outcomes. With Lauren Breen.

2008: E&A T&L Grant: Meeting the needs of our market: the employability of Bachelor of Social Science graduates. $4371.

2008: ARACY, $14,977. To produce a paper on Successful inclusion of CaLD families. With Anna Targowska, Andrew Guilfoyle, Judy Kulisa and Susan Teather

2008: Department of Sport and Recreation; $30,000. Participation in organised sport and recreation by people from CaLD backgrounds. With Trudi Cooper (CI), Peter Hancock, Andrew Guilfoyle, Anna Targowska and Sue Bahn.2008: National School’s Chaplaincy Association $50,000. Evaluation of the Chaplaincy in Schools Programme. With Phillip Hughes


Margaret's publications


Australasian Early Childhood Association (editor 2009-2014 Australasian Journal of Early Childhood)
Australian Early Intervention Association
European Early Childhood Education Research Association
Australian Institute of Family Studies
Family Support America
NIFTeY: National Investment for the Early Years
TASH - The Association for the Severely Handicapped - USA
Adjunct Edith Cowan University

Consultancy Interests

Early childhood
Community-based service delivery
Young children
Indigenous and CaLD Children and families
Child care and various forms of non-parental care
Parenting Children's participation
Difference and diversity

External Profiles

Further Information

President UNE Branch NTEU 2015

Fortnightly Parent Column in the Armidale Express started 14 August 2014

Education column in the Armidale Express started September 2015

Elected staff representative on UNE Council. From September 2010, 3 terms

Editor Australasian Journal of Early Childhood 2009-2014. Co-editor Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 2005 – 2008, Acting Editor 2008,

Assessor ARC Discovery and ARC Linkage grant applications

Ambassador for National Families Week 2012, 2013, 2014.

National Ambassador for the 1:4 Make it Law campaign – the campaign in NSW to change the legislation which currently mandates a 1:5 adult:child ratio for infants in child care.

Consultant for Film Australia in the Documentary series Life at One. I provided expert assistance with the cortisol testing, analysis and interpretation of results and was the key commentator on this for the second episode which was screened on ABC on October 19th, 2006, at 8.30pm. Life at One was nominated for a Logie in the Most Outstanding Documentary category in 2007. Life at Three was screened on ABC in 2009 and Life at Seven was screened in 2014.

Chairperson of the Multihandicapped Task Force.  A National Joint Agency Taskforce designed to make recommendations as to Service Delivery to Persons with Multiple Disabilities in the Community. Resulting in report as follows: Robertson A (1986) Living in the Community. A report from the Multihandicapped Task Force. Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind. New Zealand.Member of Tamaki Branch Implementation Team. To plan implementation of radical new management structure throughout the IHC nationally. 1990-1991.


Member of Advisory Committee, Armidale HIPPY Programme, 2015 ongoing
Member of Research Ethics Committee, Wanslea Family Services, June 2015 ongoing
Steering Committee member, ARNEC (Asia-Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood) 2015 – 2016
Elected Staff Member on UNE Council. 2010, 2012, 2014.
Publications Committee, Centre for Community Child Health, Melbourne, 2009.
Member of the West Australian Ministerial Advisory Committee for Child Care, 2007 – 2008.
Board of Management Wanslea Family Services 2007 - 2008
Board of Management Resource Unit for Children with Special Needs 2002-2006
Overseas Qualifications Committee, Department for Community Development WA, 2005 - 2006