Early childhood educational leaders in Australia

Tensions and possibilities in leadership preparation and capacity building

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Contemporary research underscores the importance of educational leadership in building quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) environments and in supporting educators to advance children’s learning. The suite of Australian early childhood policy documents that comprise the National Quality Framework (NQF) reflects the value of effective leadership in promoting learning and development within ECEC settings. Under the NQF, the educational leader role was, for the first time, positioned as a key driver of the continuous professional development of early childhood educators. Despite these policy directives there is inconsistency in the role and job description, clarity of authority in the position and time allocated to the educational leader to enact policy expectations. This paper considers tensions and possibilities in early childhood leadership preparation afforded through both initial teacher education programmes, as well as postgraduate studies and professional development courses. It examines the place of university studies in the preparation of educational leaders by drawing on research based on their employment experiences.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-36
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Studies in Educational Administration
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • early childhood education and care
    • educational leadership
    • leadership preparation

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