• 166 Citations
  • 8 h-Index

Research output per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Personal profile

Laura is a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at Charles Sturt University in the School of Education. Prior to commencing in an academic role, she worked as an early childhood educator for ten years. She has also held roles in family support at a community health service, and as a consultant for Early Childhood Australia (ECA). At ECA, Laura supported early childhood educators to implement the Be You initiative, which is the national initiative to support mental health in schools and early learning services.

Laura is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and was awarded an Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching citation for sustained excellence in scholarship in early childhood education that enhances student learning by connecting research, families and communities. Laura is a member of the editorial board for the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood (AJEC).

Research Interests

The overaching theme of Laura's research is supporting the mental health and well being of children, families and educators in the early childhood education context. Laura's research focuses on supporting quality relationships amongst children families and educators, in order to provide the best outcomes for children. Laura's research recognises the importance of a whole of service approach to supporting mental health and well being and she is particularly interested in the role of leadership in creating mentally healthy early learning communities. Laura's research has also explored the role of nature and nature pedagogy in supporting children's well-being. She has recently co-authored a chapter in the first international handbook of children and nature. 

Professional Information

Laura is a member of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) and Early Childhood Australia (ECA)

Education/Academic qualification

Human Development and Family Relationships, PhD, The University of Texas at Austin

Award Date: 21 Dec 2000

Human Development and Family Relationships, M.A., The University of Texas at Austin

Award Date: 20 Dec 1998

Psychology, B.A., The University of Texas at Austin

Award Date: 21 Dec 1995

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Laura McFarland is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output

A systems approach to examining children’s opportunities for outdoor risky play: Parents and educators as gatekeepers

McFarland, L. & Laird, S., 06 Apr 2020, (Accepted/In press) Research handbook on childhoodnature : Assemblages of childhood and nature research. Cutter-Mackenzie, A., Malone, K. & Barratt Hacking, E. (eds.). Switzerland: Springer

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
  • Co-development of an educator reflection and assessment tool for children under-3

    Linda, H., Mulhearn, G., Janus, M., Wong, S., Elwick, S., McFarland, L. & Williams, K., 2018.

    Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation only

    Convergence of multiple perspectives on achieving optimal early childhood environments for development and learning for children under 3

    Janus, M., Harrison, L., Mulhearn, G., Sumsion, J., Wong, S., Elwick, S., McFarland, L. & Williams, K. E., 2018.

    Research output: Other contribution to conferencePoster