Early education aims to support children in the development of reading, language, mathematics and motor skills. Despite this focus, approximately 10% of children experience learning difficulties in one or more of these areas. This research investigates the cognitive abilities that contribute to the development these skills, and seeks to understand the shared causal factors that may account for the presence of co-occurring learning difficulties in some children. By examining the acquisition of these abilities in early childhood (4- to 8-year-olds), our research generates theoretical models that aim to enhance the early identification of those at-risk of learning difficulties, and provide directions for targeted interventions. Our research team works closely with schools across Brisbane, generating new knowledge about the skills that contribute to proficiencies and difficulties in early education. Ultimately, our research is relevant to how we can support all children to maximize their educational potential.