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Early Childhood Education Summit, 10 June – register now to attend

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ECE Summit – Join international speakers, leading experts, policy makers, and ECE professionals and parents for an amazing day of presentations, discussions, and learning.

Register by clicking on the SIGN-UP button below to go to the registration form.

Or you are welcome to contact us at [email protected] with the name or names of the people you wish to register, and we will send you further details.

  • Government minister – speech
  • Labour’s spokesperson and former Minister of Education – speech
  • Dr Sarah Alexander – “The upside of modern early childhood education and care!”
  • Assoc Professor Wendy Boyd (keynote speaker from Queensland) – “Quality early childhood education and care: For whom?”
  • Julie Cullen – “Digital technologies and recommendations for children’s use in ECE settings” 
  • Penny Jorgensen – “We’re talking children, so why is WorkSafe NZ their health and safety regulator?”
  • Dr Mary Moloney (keynote speaker from Ireland) – “What happens when…? Losing sight of children’s rights in ECE programmes”
  • Dr Martyn Mills-Bayne (keynote speaker from South Australia) – “Building a strong, sustainable and diverse ECE workforce”
    Involving men in ECE, and the South Australian Government’s investment in the ECE workforce.
  • Bonnie Te Ara Henare – “Teacher supply and recommendations to government for building a sustainable, skilled, and knowledgeable ECE workforce in NZ/Aotearoa”
  • Dr Kerry Purdue – “Initial teacher education in NZ/Aotearoa”


  • Children’s Rights Alliance Aotearoa, Dr Amanda D’Souza
    • ECE Parents Council
    • Service Provider and Teacher/Educator Reps

Please turn to the next page for abstracts and Keynote Speaker information

When we talk about the quality of early childhood education and care, from whose perspective are we asking about the quality?

The presentation will focus on parents’ and staff perspectives of quality. Parents prefer to have their children with people they can trust. Teachers too prefer to build strong relationships with families to support children’s learning and development.

This presentation will unpack teacher characteristics and their leadership and teamwork skills that influence high-quality early childhood education and care for children. Recommendations for providing professional learning for staff to provide high-quality early childhood education and care will be discussed.

Assoc Prof Wendy Boyd was the director of an early childhood centre for 24 years.  Today, she holds the position of Associate Dean of the Faculty of Education at Southern Cross University on the Gold Coast.

Wendy’s research has a strong focus on the education, attraction, and retention of the ECE workforce; parents’ choices of childcare; the arts and curriculum in ECE; and sustainable practices in early childhood education. Her work is based on the premise that early childhood teachers, who implement quality programmes, are critical to the wellbeing and success of children. Wendy is the Editor of NZ International Research in ECE Journal; Editor of Research in Practice Series for ECA; and she is on the Editorial Board for Australian Journal of Early Childhood.

A core objective of early childhood education and care, globally, is to relieve child poverty, and redress educational disadvantage. At the same time, ECE is also used as a conduit to enable parents to engage in employment and bolster the economy. On the face of it, a win-win for everyone: children, parents, the economy, society.  What could possibly go wrong?  

A child’s right to quality education and care, and the widely acknowledged association between quality and positive outcomes for children remains on the margins of fiscal considerations.  Against the backdrop of abuse, in some countries, even death of a toddler in the UK, Dr Moloney will illustrate how ECE can be, a source of gross inequality for young children.  She will talk about how this poses multiple questions, asking what happens when…?

What happens when bolstering the economy takes precedence over children’s rights? What happens when accountability is not robust?  What happens when profits are more important than children?  What happens when early childhood teachers fail to advocate for children’s rights within ECEs?   It is time to Act, to protect children, and safeguard their rights. It is time to bring ECE in from the margins.

Dr Mary Moloney is an early childhood policy expert, researcher, and author.  She lectures in ECE at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland. Her career in ECE began in 1999 when she established her own childcare service. Mary’s work has been influenced by visits to a broad range of countries including Slovenia, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, China, and Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy.  She worked in a kindergarten as a volunteer with refugee children and their families in Greece for 3 years and taught English to children and adults. Mary is founder of Professional Educators and Managers Ireland (PEMI) – the professional body for early childhood and school age professionals. 

She is the chairperson of CRANN, a community voluntary body that works to improve and enhance the governance and operations of community ECEs, and community voluntary social inclusion projects.  She is also a member of the international advisory board for the ‘Teachers in early education (TEE): Attracting, retaining, and sustaining a quality ECE teacher workforce in Australia’, and the European Convenor of the ‘Professionalism in ECEC’ special interest group of EECERA.

There is much we can learn from other countries about their early childhood teacher recruitment strategies – what works, and policies and initiatives for building a strong, sustainable and diverse ECE workforce.

In his keynote address Dr Martyn Mills-Bayne will tell us about the South Australian state government’s plan for investment into early childhood education and care workforce shortages, and the Office of Early Childhood Development’s taskforce focus on the early childhood workforce.

The early childhood workforce gender problem is significant. Martyn will discuss the gender problem and what is being done about this, including the Thrive by Five Dad’s Alliance Action Plan: A national early childhood workforce strategy that encourages male participation. There are actions that can be taken to encourage and support men to be involved in early childhood education.  

Dr Martyn Mills-Bayne is a Senior Lecturer and former Program Director for the Bachelor of Education at the University of South Australia in Adelaide. He is currently working with the Thrive by Five Dad’s Alliance toward implementing a 5-point action plan for greater support for dad’s and a radical increase in the number of men working in ECEC. 

He is a contributing member of the newly established Office of Early Child Development (OECD) Workforce Taskforce (established off the back of the recent SA Royal Commission into ECE). Martyn is the creator and coordinator of the MENtor Program for Males in ECE. This program provides support for male students currently completing an Early Childhood Education degree. 

Martyn is a member of the South Australian Council for Quality and Leadership in ECE and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (now known as Advance HE). Martyn has taught in Reception classes in government schools, in Preschool settings, as well as running transition to school programmes.

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