The good and the bad

lesbian parents' experiences of Australian early childhood settings and their suggestions for working effectively with families

Kathy Cloughessy*, Manjula Waniganayake, Harry Blatterer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


There have been few attempts to capture the experiences of lesbian-parented families in Australian early childhood settings. This study explored the experiences of such families since the implementation of the first national Early Years Learning Framework in 2009 by way of an online survey and follow-up interviews that were analyzed taking a queer theory approach. Participants shared their perspectives on positive and negative experiences concerning their family structure and offered suggestions for educators working with lesbian-parented families. These insights can inform educators’ pedagogical decisions in ways that challenge heteronormativity’s dominance in early childhood settings, affirm lesbian-parented families, and foster an understanding of diversity in all children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-458
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Research in Childhood Education
Issue number3
Early online date13 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019



  • child care
  • early childhood education
  • heteronormativity
  • Lesbian parents
  • queer theory

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