Educator networks enhancing children’s transition to school in rural areas

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Background: The importance of a positive transition to school has been linked with positive educational and social outcomes for children. Transitions to school are enhanced when educators from prior-to-school settings and schools work together. While educator networks are widely recognised as an effective tool for improving professional practice, little is known about how educator networks are used to enhance transitions to school.
Aim: To understand how educators from both prior-to-school settings and schools in rural areas collaborate using networks to enhance children’s transition to school.
Method: Qualitative data were collected across four different sites in rural New South Wales and Victoria from network meetings, focus-group interviews and follow-up interviews with network members. Network members were made up of prior-to-school and school educators, and other educational professionals.
Results: Educator networks were identified as being a worthwhile tool for enhancing transitions to school, giving educators an opportunity to come together and work collaboratively with a shared aim of promoting positive transitions to school in their rural areas. In addition, the networks also enabled the facilitation of a range of other practices to support children’s transitions to school. While the networks looked different in each site, they shared characteristics around effectiveness and sustainability.
Conclusions: The educators in the networks were brought together by an understanding of the importance of positive transitions to school and a shared aim to improve transitions in their communities. The networks themselves were effective as a tool for enhancing positive transitions to schools as well as for promoting other effective transitions practices.
Implications for children and families: When educators collaborate and work together, this can help them build positive relationships with you and your child, share important information, and support you and your child during the transition to school. Educators are focused on making this exciting time of change as smooth as possible for everyone.
Implications for practitioners: Educator networks are shown to help facilitate positive transitions to school. Through participation in a network focused on transitions, you may have the opportunity for professional collaboration, sharing of information, improved communication, building of relationships and reciprocal understandings and fostering professional support and respect across prior-to-school and school settings, and with other educational professionals.

Online presentation

Online presentationEarly Childhood Voices Conference 2022
OtherThe Early Childhood Voices Conference 2022 (ECV2022) is a multidisciplinary international conference providing a platform to share research about innovative methods, theories and partnerships with children, families and practitioners that supports social justice during early childhood and within the early childhood sector. ECV2022 was organised by the Charles Sturt University Early Childhood Interdisciplinary Research Group as an opportunity to present research in a virtual online space.

Researchers and post-graduate students were invited to submit abstracts to share their work on innovations to improve the lives of children, families and practitioners during early childhood (generally birth-8 years) and within the early childhood sector. Papers employing qualitative and/or quantitative methods, reviews (e.g., scoping and systematic reviews) and scholarly theoretical papers were welcomed. All abstracts were peer reviewed by the ECV2022 Scientific Committee and authors of accepted abstracts submitted online presentations.

ECV2022 is online and asynchronous. There is no registration fee and no fees to present or view the presentations due to Charles Sturt University’s motto “For the public good”. The conference was held from 5th to 9th December 2022. Presentations will remain online via YouTube. The presentations are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License to indicate that adaptations or commercial use of the presentations are not allowed.
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