Contexts and Complexities in Early Childhood Education

Second Edition

Manjula Waniganayake, Sandra Cheeseman, Marianne Fenech, Fay Hadley, Wendy Shepherd


Contexts and Complexities in Early Childhood Education

Second Edition

Manjula Waniganayake, Sandra Cheeseman, Marianne Fenech, Fay Hadley, Wendy Shepherd






2 Oct 2017




$89.95 AUD

$102.99 NZD

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How to be an intentional and active leader

Leadership will provoke and challenge you to think and question the way you look at and engage in leadership matters within your early childhood setting and beyond. It is an essential resource that will assist tertiary students and practitioners engaged in early childhood matters to critically understand and actively engage with the macro and micro contexts within which they may work as intentional leaders.

Based on the authors’ professional development and research-based activities in a variety of locations including metropolitan, rural and remote regions in Australia, the book draws on established professional networks to capture diverse images and experiences of early childhood leaders.

This book is in two parts. The first provides an orientation to the various contextual dimensions of early childhood leadership. These chapters are focused on ‘big picture’ issues that give shape to early childhood leadership, and include discussion of early childhood policy, legislative frameworks, quality standards, advocacy, governance and pedagogy. Part two deals with the application of leadership within early childhood settings. These chapters address perennial areas of importance including the development of sound relationships with families, engagement with community, and the creation of effective workplaces, as well as focus on other relatively new leadership dimensions: social entrepreneurialship, professional judgement and succession planning.


  • The text has been fully revised, including two new chapters:
    • Chapter 8 Leading Organisational Change
    • Chapter 14 Places and Spaces for Adults for Thinking and Learning
  • New content emphasising the importance of professional communication and strategic planning.
  • “Pause-Act-Reflect” questions which reinforce the need for “mindful leadership”.
  • “Leaders in Practice” profiles have been revised and updated. These profiles reflect diversity across gender, culture, age and expertise of those working in a range of early childhood contexts located in different states and territories in Australia. Their perceptions, ideas and recommendations are grounded in first-hand experiences and authentically foster meaningful engagement in leadership matters. These are connected to the videos resources available in Oxford Ascend.



1. Conceptualising Early Childhood Leadership
2. The Australian Policy Context
3. Leading for Quality
4. Leadership and Governance
5. Strategic Planning and Social Entrepreneurship
6. Pedagogical Leadership
7. Leading Intentionally through Advocacy and Activism
8. Leading Organisational Change 

9. Interpersonal and Workplace Communication
10. Creating a Community of Learners
11. Relationships with Families
12. Community Engagement
13. Money Matters
14. Places and Spaces for Adults for Thinking and Learning
15. Career Development and Succession Planning


Manjula Waniganayake is a Professor of Early Childhood at Macquarie University.

Sandra Cheeseman is a Lecturer in Early Childhood at Macquarie University.

Marianne Fenech is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Early Childhood programs at the University of Sydney.

Fay Hadley is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Initial Teacher Education at Macquarie University.

Wendy Shepherd is a Lecturer and the Director of the Mia Mia Child and Family Study Centre at Macquarie University.

Student Resources

Oxford Ascend is the home of online resources for higher education students to help them study and succeed. Each print copy of Leadership comes with a free code that can be activated at www.oxfordascend.com to access the student resources. The resources do not come with the ebook, but can be purchased separately. Leadership includes access to:

    10 audio interviews with selected practitioners featured in the "Leaders in Practice" profiles in the text. Listen and learn from the practitioners who have enrichened this profession as they share their expertise and experience.

To access:

  1. Go to www.oxfordascend.com
  2. Create an account
  3. Enter your code (found inside the back cover of the book)