Child-centred, family-centred, decentred

positioning children as rights-holders in early childhood program collaborations

Frances Press, Sandie Wong, Jennifer Sumsion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Although the policy context in Australia is conducive to professional collaborations in early years services, understandings of collaboration are highly variable across the domains of research literature, policy and practice. Inconsistent and possibly incompatible approaches to working with children and families, as well as significant philosophical and professional differences, may be disguised by common terminology adopted under the rubric of collaborative practice. A potential blind spot concerns the positioning of the child, whose perspectives, needs and desires are easily subsumed by the intentions of the adults around them, either as professionals or family members. With reference to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and drawing on extant literature and data from two Australian research projects examining integrated and collaborative practices in early childhood programs, this article interrogates the positioning of the child in interprofessional and transprofessional collaborations, and examines the potential of the early childhood educator to sharpen the focus on children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-37
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal studies of childhood
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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