Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Early Child Development and Care

For a Special Issue on

How Can We Embed Equity Into Implementation Science Across Early Years Research and Practice?

Manuscript deadline
04 October 2024

Cover image - Early Child Development and Care

Special Issue Editor(s)

Professor Helen Skouteris, Monash University
[email protected]

Dr Heather Morris, Monash University
[email protected]

Dr Claire Blewitt, Monash University
[email protected]

Dr Mandy O’Connor, Monash University
[email protected]

Dr Angela Melder, Monash University
[email protected]

Michelle Gooey, Monash University
[email protected]

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How Can We Embed Equity Into Implementation Science Across Early Years Research and Practice?

Despite global strategies, we are falling behind in the quest to achieve the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that all children have the best start in life. Investing in child health, development, and care is central to the human right for all children to thrive, irrespective of the socio-economic and racial status they are born into, and to the wellbeing of populations and economies. To achieve this requires equitable systems  across societies, communities, and organisations which are largely absent. Structural racism, unconscious bias, power imbalances, lack of trust and other factors widen the gaps that the early childhood workforce  is looking to close. These factors and other challenges prevent transformational system level change. Isolation of support systems (siloed policies/practices), crisis-driven responses (lack of prevention), and limited skills on how to implement and evaluate equitable evidence-informed or evidence-based programs to enable work at scale (implementation science) all need to shift.

This Call for Manuscripts is focused on the last challenge above pertaining to implementation science and, in particular, the following overarching question: “How can we embed equity into implementation science across early years research and practice?” To make things more equal for children in their early years, from birth to age 5 years, we need to combine research and practical solutions. Implementation science can help us achieve this. However, despite an extensive number of implementation frameworks, theories, and models, the 'how' to use implementation science to advance equity remains in its infancy.

This Call for Manuscripts will highlight the findings of global research in the early years that has explored what affects the consideration of equity in the uptake of a program/innovation in everyday use to promote child health, development, and care from birth to 5 years, and ways to promote equity. It extends an invitation to researchers, theorists, and practitioners to share with a global audience their views on the following related issues: understanding what impacts (both negatively and positively) embedding equity in research and practice; promoting theorising as a method to advance equity-centred research and practice; and normalising equity-centred implementation in everyday operations across the early years.



Submission Instructions

Contributors are invited to propose innovative theoretical approaches as well as practical intervention measures, strategies, and techniques to promote equity-centred implementation and potentially transform understanding of the collective action we can take as researchers and practitioners to forward this agenda. Systematic and realist reviews examining an equity-centred program, strategy or implementation technique in early childhood contexts will also be considered.

Use of an equity-centred framework to guide your paper is preferred, such as PRISMA-equity; STROBE-equity; CONSORT- Equity where relevant. Use of the PROGRESS-Plus acronym when reporting on demographic information is also preferred where appropriate.

Typical questions for child health, development, and care across the early years from birth to age 5 might include the following:

  • What are the barriers and enablers of embedding equity into research and/or practice?
  • How can implementation science used in early years settings promote or support equity in the uptake of a program/innovation in everyday use?
  • What case studies exist that reveal effective equity-centred implementation science, practice, or strategy in early years research?
  • What theories promote equity-centred implementation in early years research and practice, and how can theorising advance equity-centred research and practice?
  • How can we “drive” equity-centred implementation science into practice to normalise implementation practices and strategies for better child outcomes?


Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article