Over 30 years have passed since the introduction of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (United Nations, 1989). However, there remains a paucity of evidence-based literature informing professionals who work with our youngest children. Young children are the people of today who form the foundation of our future society and are active participants and subjects with their own agency. This introductory chapter provides philosophical and theoretical perspectives underpinning the consideration of early childhood voices, drawing on the CRC (United Nations, 1989) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (United Nations, 2015). Together, these frameworks provide a shared vision for equity, peace, and justice for all while integrating environmental, economic, and social dimensions of sustainability. This chapter explores ways of perceiving the concepts of listening and children’s voices to transform practice so that children’s lives are improved and to ensure no one is left behind. Children’s voices are viewed holistically and are evident within complex and constantly changing landscapes. This introductory chapter aims to highlight the importance of listening to our youngest children. It also prefaces subsequent chapters that focus on how professionals work to promote children’s voice and uphold children’s rights in the context of the SDGs with a view to improve the lives of young children, their families, and professionals who work with them.

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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