Strong Foundations: Evidence informing practice in early childhood education and care celebrates the progress made by the Australian early childhood education and care profession since the implementation of the Early Years Learning Framework. Recognising this progress, Associate Professor Anna Kilderry and Honorary Professor Bridie Raban lead a team of 34 notable contributors from 13 universities and institutions throughout Australia, who focus on the challenges of access, equity and quality that remain across the sector.
With a Foreword by Professor Alison Elliott, Strong Foundations brings together knowledge and insights from research in education, health, social care, child safety, science, mathematics and the arts. The critical importance of health, wellbeing and safety in the first five years of children's lives is reflected in a particular focus on supporting positive lifestyle choices, on social and emotional development and on the role that adults play in keeping children safe.
The book addresses policy requirements from the Early Years Learning Framework, the National Quality Standard and Quality Improvement Plans, highlighting links between research and practice, and making connections to the five EYLF Learning Outcomes. With an emphasis on professional practice expectations, Strong Foundations showcases evidence from Australian and international research and provides case studies of early childhood educators applying evidence-informed actions in a wide variety of education and care settings.
Strong Foundations translates high-quality, peer-reviewed research into everyday practice and supports early childhood educators in improving long-term outcomes for children, families and communities.
Anna Kilderry is Associate Professor in early childhood education at Deakin University, Melbourne. She has worked in higher education for over 20 years in Australia and the United Kingdom. Anna has published in the areas of early childhood pedagogy, policy and teacher practice, with her work widely cited internationally.
Bridie Raban is Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, and previously, a professor in England, Australia and Hong Kong. Bridie’s research has been published extensively, including her most recent works, Developing self and self-concepts in early childhood education and beyond, and Growing up literate with Associate Professor Janet Scull.
Foreword by Alison Elliott
SECTION 1 – The early childhood years: context
Chapter 1 Early childhood education and care in challenging times
Anna Kilderry and Bridie Raban
Chapter 2 Investigating early childhood practice: insights from a large Australian study
Chapter 3 The early childhood professional
Megan Gibson and Lyn Gunn
Chapter 4 Building inclusive education communities
SECTION 2 – Identity, wellbeing and children contributing to their world
Chapter 5 Early childhood outdoor environments: places for play, learning and wellbeing
Anne-Marie Morrissey, Llewellyn Wishart and Deborah Moore
Chapter 6 Healthy lifestyle behaviours in the first five years of life
Rachel Laws, Penny Love, Katherine Downing and Jill Hnatiuk
Chapter 7 Keeping children safe
Chapter 8 Social and emotional development in early childhood
Claire Blewitt, Helen Skouteris, Amanda O‘Connor and Heidi Bergmeier
Chapter 9 Facilitating children’s agency in early childhood education and care
Caroline Scott, Andrea Nolan and Anna Kilderry
SECTION 3 – Children as confident and involved learners
Chapter 10 Play and early childhood pedagogies
Chapter 11 Supporting oral language development in young children
Louise Paatsch and Andrea Nolan
Chapter 12 Early literacy
Chapter 13 Learning about STEM
Chapter 14 Learning about mathematics
Bob Perry and Sue Dockett
Chapter 15 Learning through the arts
Susan Wright and Jan Deans
Chapter 16 Play and learning in the digital age
Chapter 17 Assessment and documentation for children’s learning and development
SECTION 4 – Children and society: building positive futures
Chapter 18 Early years transitions
Sue Dockett and Bob Perry
Chapter 19 Building positive relationships with families and communities
Chapter 20 Leading practice in early childhood education
Jo Bird and Angel Mok
Chapter 21 Rethinking research in early childhood: (re)turning the kaleidoscope
Jeanne Marie Iorio and Will Parnell
Chapter 22 Learning to surf: embracing change in the early childhood sector