Hayden, Jacqueline, Gibson, Helen, Australian Journal of Early Childhood
In a society characterised by fragmentation and diversity, families are increasingly making use of early childhood services and relying on early childhood professionals for myriad needs. This volume of AJEC, the first for the new millennium, begins with the premise that early childhood professionals are (must be) leaders. Leadership refers to vision and influence. By vision we mean the foresight, imagination, and commitment to devise new and better ways; and by influence we refer to the capacity to motivate others to participate in the realisation of the vision.
Our question for this edition of the journal then has been `In what ways can early childhood professionals consolidate their role as leaders in the profession and in society?' We unpack this question and provide case studies as examples.
Fraser provides an overview of the context in which children's services currently operate. She reinforces the need for leadership and action on behalf of children and children's services. She argues that early childhood professionals must create the infrastructures that allow them to be players in decision-making and provides suggestions for action.
Henderson-Kelly and Pamphilon explore the particular challenges for female early childhood professionals as they incorporate the discourse and actions of leadership into their roles. They argue that particular female approaches to leadership suit the times and society in general. They remind us that there is great scope for early childhood specialists who feel ready to assume the mantle of leadership. This premise is reinforced by Waniganayake, Morda and Kapsalakis, who describe the findings from an international project on leadership in early childhood. …