This research concentration examines the role of play-based learning in building young children’s knowledge outcomes for the 21st century. Play-based learning is an acknowledged strength of early childhood education in formal and informal settings. Settings considered in this program of research include: playgroups, community contexts, childcare, kindergarten/early learning centres, families and the first three years of school. New approaches to play-based learning generated foster the capacity of parents and teachers to build young children’s knowledge outcomes. Key knowledge outcomes fostered by adults in the provision of contemporary early childhood education and care include: digital technologies, media and popular-culture, sustainability and health/wellbeing.