Inequality, social justice and the purpose of Early Childhood Education

Frances Press, Mandy Cooke, Leanne Gibbs, Robyn Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Early childhood education and care (ECEC) – as with education more generally – should be a central plank of a suite of social policies designed to support more socially just societies. However, universal access to ECEC in itself, will not redress inequalities. This paper draws upon reports from the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), and data from three doctoral studies nested within the Australian Exemplary Early Childhood Educators at Work research project, to argue for attention to the quality of the early childhood system and to consider the contribution that a deeply embedded socially just purpose makes to quality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-524
Number of pages14
JournalDiscourse: Journal of Childhood and Adolescence Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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