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Institute of Early Childhood

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Choosing  Child  Care - What matters to you?

Researchers from the IEC, together with Goodstart Early Learning and KU Children's Services, are investigating what influences parents' child care choices. We would like to find out what matters most to parents who:

  • currently use formal child care
  • no longer use child care because of quality concerns
  • are thinking about using formal child care
  • have decided not to use formal child care 

Formal child care includes long day care, preschool/kindergarten or family day care. Parents who complete the survey can go into a draw to win one of eight $100 Wish cards.

Find out more information or complete the survey at:

To request a paper copy of the survey please contact Elizabeth Austin on (02) 9850 9939 or at

IEC_Book Cover_Worlds of Infants and Toddlers_Sheila Degotardi

The Relationship Worlds of Infants and Toddlers: Multiple Perspectives from Early Years Theory and Practice 

Growing numbers of working parents has led to the increased enrolment of infants and toddlers in some form of childcare or early years centres. As a consequence, very young children experience care and education both at home and in out-of-home contexts and benefit from their different opportunities for development and learning. The theme of relationships currently resonates in many curriculum approaches to early childhood education, and the quality of relationships is often held up as a central indicator of the quality of the early years setting overall (Elfer, Goldschmied, & Selleck, 2003; Paptheodorou & Moyles, 2009).  Taking as its starting point that young children learn and develop in a network of relationships, this book emphasises that each relationship has its own specific features, functions and learning/teaching affordances (Thompson, 2005). In addition, it acknowledges that as members of both family and early childhood centre communities, children's participation in relationship-based experiences in early childhood contexts is impacted by their own perspectives and those of significant others in their lives. The book therefore argues that multiple lenses are relevant to understanding relationships and the opinions, values and priorities of different stakeholders. Each chapter addresses a specific topic related to relationship-based approaches to the teaching and learning of very young children, and draws on research findings from international research and theoretical literature to discuss key themes. The discussion is supplemented by the inclusion of examples and anecdotes generated by the three authors' own research projects. Using these real examples and images, the authors present and discuss the implications of their findings in ways that are accessible to early childhood students and practitioners. Degotardi, S., & Pearson, E. (2014) The relationship worlds of infants and toddlers: Multiple perspectives from early years research and practice. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press.

Children and Childhoods 2: Images of Childhood

Decisions relating to children's lives, including formation of policies about children and young people, advocating for children's rights, educational instruction and parenting, all depend on images of children and childhoods. Nonetheless, prevailing images of childhood are not often subject to critique. more...


Institute of Early Childhood response to the NSW Department of Education and Communities (2012)

The Institute Advisory Board and the staff of the IEC, prepared a submission responding to the NSW Department of Education and Communities (2012) Great Teaching, Inspired Learning: Discussion paper. In this document, we focused on early childhood teachers and education in the years prior to school - a significant gap in understanding evident throughout this Discussion paper. 

Great Teaching Inspired Learning: Discussion paper


Musical Childhoods of Asia & the Pacific

Musical Childhoods of Asia and the Pacific agglomerates stories of young children's music and musicking from around Southeast Asia and the Pacific. A collection of truly unique traditions are interrogated through a variety of contemporary methodologies. Readers are privileged to hear about children's musical worlds from children, mothers' musical worlds from mothers, a struggle to engage with music in a closed society, and new gender politics, among other stories. Researchers share experiences and insights gained from applying their chosen methodologies and add to the debate that shapes the continually transforming domain of music education research. more...


Children, Families and Communities, Fourth Edition

Children, Families and Communities, 4e, looks at the ways in which children, families and communities influence each other and how different contexts affect them all. There is a focus on research and theoretical grounding. Each chapter highlights both the contexts and consequences of the different subject areas. Each chapter highlights both the contexts and consequences of the various topics relating to children's lives. The new edition has been substantially revised to reflect the latest research in the field. There are five new chapters covering: giftedness; Children, media and technology; bullying; children in emergencies; and policy support for children, families and communities. more...


LEADERSHIP Contexts and Complexities in Early Childhood

Leadership is an essential resource that informs day-to-day pedagogy and management of early childhood organisations. Based on the authors' professional development and research-based activities in a variety of locations including metropolitan, rural and remote regions, the book draws on established professional networks to capture diverse images and experiences of early childhood leaders. more...


Children and Childhoods 2: Perspectives, Places and Practices

The early years of life are fast gaining prominence around the world. It is well documented that investment in early childhood results in exceptionally high returns in multiple arenas; greater than those resulting from enterprise focused on later periods in people's lives. This book presents current early years research that reflects the transdisciplinary nature of childhood. The first in the Children and Childhoods series, this volume examines multiple perspectives, places and practices that constitute early childhood. more...


Book Launch: Growing Up Fast and Furious: Reviewing the impacts of violent and sexualised media on children

Psychologist and influential author Prof Steve Biddulph described Growing Up Fast and Furious at its launch on 20 June 2012 as "the definitive book" to review the impacts of violent and sexualised media on children. Co-editors Dr Wayne Warburton and Dr Danya Braunstein were congratulated at the Parliament House launch sponsored by the Honourable Greg Donnelly MLC. NSW Attorney General, the Hon. Greg Smith SC MP, introduced the book, which features chapters by nine experts in the field and grew out of a conference held by the Children and Families Research Centre and the Australian Council on Children and the Media in 2010.

IEC - future justice

Future Justice Prize awarded to Alma Fleet

Alma Fleet and Susan Page accepted the Future Justice Prize awarded to the Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Services) Program. continued 


The 3rd Australian Conference on Children and the Media.The corporate takeover of childhood: Who's paying the price? - Friday 9 March 2012

Our society has many ways of convincing children that their happiness, and their very identity, depend on what they buy and what they own. The evidence shows that consumerism doesn't make children happier or healthier. This raises the question: How can we make sure healthy child development is given due consideration in exploitative commercial environments? This conference will explore the issues, review the research and discuss possible remedies. Go to the Children and Families Research Centre website for more information.


Children and Childhood Symposium: Quality, Pedagogy and the Early Years Learning Framework - Friday 24 February 2012

Researchers and practitioners will be reporting on the development and implementation of the Early Years Learning Framework in areas such as literacy, numeracy, arts and documentation. Go to the Children and Families Research Centre website for more information.

IEC - wiggles

ARIA Big night for The Wiggles and Boy & Bear

Well-known IEC alumni Anthony Field, Murray Cook and Greg Page are founding members of The Wiggles and met while studying Early Childhood Education. The popular children's music group picked up their 10th best children's album ARIA at last night's awards. and were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. The Wiggles specifically thanked Macquarie University saying that their early research studies "really gave us the basis for what we do". The Wiggles provide a bi-annual financial prize to an Indigenous student studying the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Services).

IEC - honours iec

Congratulations  to our Honours Students

Six candidates celebrated submitting their Honours thesis on November 10. The production of these works (each about 18 000 words) is the culmination of two years of intensive research training. Everyone completed advanced course work in the third year of their degree and embarked on an individual research project in the fourth year. This year, topics under investigation included children's self efficacy, early childhood teacher identity, selection of child care, water safety, play therapy and interactive white boards. Examiners' noted the exceptional quality of everyone's research. Congratulations to all on a great achievement.

Ani Apcarian Memorial Scholarship

2011 Scholarship Recipients

The Institute of Early Childhood and Apcarian family are pleased to announce the winner of inaugural Ani Apcarian Memorial Scholarship: Caleb Wilson..Here are the 2011 scholarship winners


Institute of Early Childhood Research and Community Outreach 2010

Welcome to the inaugural Institute of Early Childhood research and community outreach publication. Presentations, publications and community activities by our academics highlight the Institute's commitment to maximising opportunities for young children, families

IEC staff visit Timor Leste

IEC Staff visit Timore Leste

IEC staff, Professor Jacqueline Hayden and Dr Kathy Cologon were recently invited to visit Timore Leste (TL) under the aupices of UNICEF TL and the Open Society Institute, UK.

IEC Children and Childhoods Symposium

Inaugral IEC Children and Childhoods Symposium

The inaugural Children and Childhoods Symposium was held at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, 24 - 25 September 2010. The Symposium provided opportunity for researchers and practitioners to share current research, examples of early years innovative practice and new directions in thinking about children and childhoods.

Conference: Growing up fast and furious: Reviewing the impacts of violent and sexualised media on children

Conference: Growing up fast and furious: Reviewing the impacts of violent and sexualised media on children

Our young people are experiencing a media environment that is increasingly violent, commercialised, and sexualised. Come and hear what the most recent research has to say about the implications of this for them, and for our community.

The Wiggles honoured by Macquarie University

The Wiggles honoured by Macquarie University

The Wiggles, IEC alumni, were awarded an honorary doctorate at our September Graduation

IEC Creative Arts staff in Venice Biennale Project

IEC Creative Arts staff in Venice Biennale Project

Read about Dr Peter Whiteman and Dr Rosalind Kitson's work with the Venice Biennale Project

Higher Degree Research students from the IEC present at the Faculty Showcase

Higher Degree Research students from the IEC present at the Faculty Showcase

Congratulations to IEC HDR students presenting at the Faculty Research Showcase.

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