AJEC Special Issue on Early Childhood Global Workforce Challenges

The early childhood prior-to-school workforce is at crisis point in many countries. Researchers have identified persistent challenges concerning workforce shortages, high levels of turnover and attrition, lack of professional recognition by community and government, pay inequality and poor working conditions. In addition, educators’ well-being, inequitable access to professional learning, and the loss of early childhood graduates transitioning into the sector remain ongoing challenges.

Across the world strategies have been implemented that attempt to address these challenges. Some of these strategies have included a Ten-year National Workforce Strategy (Australia), skills investment and additional funding for staff wages (Scotland) and Early Childhood Industry Transformation Map (Singapore). In addition, there have been strategies trialled at the local level —within services or their managing organisations. However, while well-intentioned, there is a lack of critique of the potential of these strategies and an absence of empirical evidence of what traction these strategies may have to address workforce challenges.

This special issue offers an opportunity to advance thinking and move forward on the known workforce challenges. We invite conceptual papers that critique and theorise the potential effectiveness of policy strategies at the national, state/territory/provincial, or local level. We also welcome empirical research investigating strategies used to address workforce challenges, or which identifies new workforce issues and proposes alternative strategies to those already in place. We particularly welcome papers providing accounts of strategies that have successfully addressed workforce challenges such as inequitable pay and conditions, workforce shortages and health and well-being. Papers concerned with the international and/or Australian context are welcomed.

All manuscript submissions will be peer reviewed. Technical requirements for submission of manuscripts can be found at: https://journals.sagepub.com/author-instructions/AEC. Authors must comply with these requirements. Accepted manuscripts will be published in the online edition of Volume 48(3).

Full papers are to be submitted by 1 February 2023. Final papers will be due by 1 July 2023.

Edited by Dr Tamara Cumming and Professor Sandie Wong.

Please email the special issue editors if you wish to discuss ideas prior to submission: tamara.cumming@mq.edu.au or sandie.wong@mq.edu.au.