Children, Family and Communities

Sixth Edition

Rebekah Grace, Jennifer Bowes, Christine Woodrow

Children, Family and Communities

Sixth Edition

Rebekah Grace, Jennifer Bowes, Christine Woodrow






7 Oct 2022




$91.95 AUD

$104.99 NZD

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Critically analyse the roles communities play in sculpting early childhood development.

Children, Families and Communities is an essential resource that will help you to understand child development in the context of the vital roles that families and the community play in educating children. It acknowledges and discusses the profound inequities that exist in child health, education and wellbeing in Australia, while presenting an optimistic focus on the role of families and communities, including governments, in allowing children to explore and thrive.

The sixth edition continues to focus on Australian issues and research while also drawing on international bodies of work. Alongside the nine new chapters, all chapters have been significantly revised to reflect current research evidence and theory development. In-text case studies with specific research information help you to understand the link between practice and theory, and a diverse collective of authors brings exceptional academic, policy and practical experience to the text.


  • A completely revised text that draws on international bodies of work provides the most up-to-date information in this field.
  • A range of topics are covered, now tailored to suit multiple disciplines, including teaching, social work, health and nursing.
  • New chapters highlight key topics such as mental health, social connection and loneliness, gender and identity, social inequity, and natural emergencies.
  • Essential frameworks relevant to early childhood development are referenced throughout the text, including the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the National Quality Framework (NQF).
  • All chapters have been rewritten to allow complex concepts to be easily understood, whether you are afirst, second or third-year university student.


1. Understanding the child in context: An ecological approach to child development

2. Research about and with children, families and communities

3. Gender identity in early childhood

4. Children with disability: Rights, risks and opportunities

5. Child mental health

6. Refugee children: Supporting families in transitions

7. Family as the primary context of children’s development

8. Children’s friendships

9. Children thriving and learning in a digital world

10. Interconnections among family, childcare and education

11. Social inequities in Australian communities and the impact on children and families

12. Child protection and out-of-home care

13. The Stolen Generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children: Understanding the impact of cultural hegemony in policy and intervention

14. Climate change and disasters

15. Early childhood education and care policy in Australia

16. Services working together to support children and their families

17. Impactful policy and practices for children, families and communities


Rebekah Grace is an Associate Professor at Western Sydney University and Director at the Transforming early Education and Child Health Research Centre (TeEACH).

Jennifer Bowes is a retired Professor from the Institute of Early Childhood and founding Director of the Children and Families Research Centre, Macquarie University. Since her retirement she has worked as a Research Coach with Research Coaching Australia.

Christine Woodrow is an Associate Professor in the School of Education, a Lead Researcher (Early Education) at the Transforming early Education and Child Health Research Centre (TeEACH) and a Senior Researcher in the Centre for Educational Research (CER) at Western Sydney University.

Other Contributors:

Elizabeth Adamson is a Research Fellow at the Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales.

Rebecca Barton is a Lecturer in occupational therapy at the Faculty of Health Sciences and an associate with the Centre for Disability Research and Policy, University of Sydney.

Deborah Brennan is a Professor at the Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales.

Abi Brooker is a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne.

Anita Bundy is a Professor of Occupational Therapy and Head of Department at Colorado State University, USA.

Kate Burns is a lawyer with a background in human rights and international law.

Kay Bussey is an Associate Professor in Psychology at Macquarie University.

Anna-Lisa Camberis is a psychologist working clinically with families from pregnancy through to early childhood.

Judy Cashmore is Professor of Socio-legal Research and Policy in the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney and adjunct Professor in the Division of Arts, Southern Cross University.

Kathy Cologon is a Senior Lecturer and researcher at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University.

Agnes Dodds is an Associate Professor of Medical Education in the Melbourne Medical School at the University of Melbourne.

Lina Engelen is a Research Fellow in the School of Public Health and Charles Perkins Centre, the University of Sydney, Australia.

Sally Fitzpatrick is a Postgraduate Researcher and Clinical Psychologist at the Centre for Emotional Health, Macquarie University.

Anne Grant has taught in the early childhood field, at both pre-school and primary level, for many years, working with children who have a range of abilities from those identified as gifted through to children with severe developmental delay.

Linda Harrison is Professor of Early Childhood Education at Charles Sturt University and an Honorary Fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Alan Hayes is the Inaugural Distinguished Professor of Family Studies and Director of the Family Action Centre within the Faculty of Health and Medicine at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Jacqueline Hayden has researched, served as a consultant to, and directed emergency and development programs for young children around the globe, including in Rwanda, Haiti, Cambodia, Namibia, Eastern Europe, and the Asia–Pacific region.

Kate Highfield is an academic from Macquarie University. After working in schools for a decade Kate currently lectures in the areas of technology, mathematics, and science.

Jeanette Lawrence is a developmental psychologist and an Honorary Associate Professor in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Karen Menzies is a Lecturer with the Wollotuka Institute, University of Newcastle.

Elizabeth Murray is Associate Head of School in the School of Teacher Education and Lecturer in early childhood and primary education in the Faculty of Education, Charles Sturt University.

Geraldine Naughton is a Professor in Paediatric Exercise Science at the Australian Catholic University.

Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett is the Director of the Early Years at the University of Wollongong and has been a lecturer and researcher in early childhood for more than 18 years.

Dorothy Scott holds Honorary Professor positions at both the University of South Australia and the University of Melbourne.

Paul Tranter is an Honorary Associate Professor in Geography at UNSW Canberra (the Australian Defence Force Academy), Australia.

Rosalind Walsh is an ESL/English teacher who holds a MEd specialising in gifted education.

Sarah Wise is a developmental researcher with many years of experience in research, policy and service innovation covering a wide range of issues relating to children, parents and families.

Sandie Wong is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Teacher Education, Charles Sturt University, where she is also a member of the Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education.

Wayne Warburton is a Senior Lecturer in developmental psychology and Deputy Director of the Children and Families Research Centre at Macquarie University.

Shirley Wyver is a Senior Lecturer in child development at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University.

Lecturer Resources

The following resources are available for lecturers who this text for their course:

  • An Instructors’ Resource Manual written to incorporate both education-focused streams and health/social work streams,complete with student exercises, additional case studies and materials to use in tutorials.

Sample Pages