Sustainable Leadership Approaches to Retain Early Childhood Educators

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


The research presented in this chapter aimed to understand what enabled or constrained early childhood educator retention, with leadership identified as both a support and a challenge for retention. Leadership styles can influence organisational cultures, educational practices, and educators’ responses within early childhood services. Early childhood leaders who supported retention were those who expanded the traditional boundaries of independent and hierarchical leadership by encompassing approaches that were relational, collaborative, and democratic, better positioning the leaders and educators to support and uphold the rights of children and families in their services. The research found that early childhood leaders who pushed past traditional leadership boundaries were better positioned to retain educators through providing sustainable leadership approaches that improved educator well-being and working conditions. This chapter highlights the leadership approaches that supported educators’ and children’s well-being and encouraged high-quality early childhood education practices, which included practices of social justice, well-being, equity, and inclusion. Due to the limited retention research available in the Northern Territory, Australia, it was chosen as the research context. As Australia currently faces critical staff shortages in early childhood education, the leadership strategies discussed in this chapter supported educators’ retention and increased high-quality equity and inclusion practices for children and families that align with the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 8.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Publication series

NameInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development
ISSN (Print)2468-8746
ISSN (Electronic)2468-8754


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