STaR is committed to the evidence-based practice in the education of young children with disabilities and special learning needs. Plus in the support of their families and educators.

The basic philosophy and strategies of the STaR Childcare Placement and Support Program, including our SchoolSTaRT program, were developed from a 10-year research project undertaken at the Macquarie University Special Education Centre (MUSEC).

We continue to incorporate emerging evidence-based practices into our programs. We also conduct our own research, usually in collaboration with academics from Macquarie University’s Department of Educational Studies.

Recent Studies
STaR has been committed to contributing to the evidence base in early intervention for young children with disabilities and special learning needs from its beginning.


At STaR team of special education teachers and social welfare staff provided workshops and mentoring to educators from a Sydney family day care service. Thanks to a local government community grant.

STaR has been evaluating the effects of the training on the educators’ confidence and attitudes about including children with additional needs in their programs and supporting the children’s families.

Download a summary of publications and conference presentations based on research with STaR program children and families.


A 2014 study involved the same STaR-Macquarie University Special Education Centre (MUSEC) research team and this was funded through a Macquarie University grant. It took place in two of our affiliated childcare centres with three STaR children, their educators and some of their typically-developing peers.

The study measured the effect of an intervention that involved coaching the peers to help the STaR children to take turns using an iPad app.

What was special about this research?


A study in 2013 compared the effect of picture books and iPad apps as catalysts to engage three STaR children who had high support needs and were identified as difficult to engage.

Download the summary of the research.


Researching with STaR
STaR supports the research and collaboration with other organisations or by external researchers.  The STaR Research Committee the judges it to be:

To download the STaR’s guidelines and procedures for researchers wishing to conduct research with STaR children, families or staff.


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The STaR Association receives funding from the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS) and the NSW Department of Education


We are in partnership with Macquarie University

Thank you to our Sponsors and Partners

  • MonSTaR Foundation
  • Australian Stock Brokers Foundation
  • MadDog Graphics
  • Gilbert Tobin
  • TecWare
  • The Internet Bloke