Attracting, retaining and sustaining early childhood teachers: an ecological conceptualisation of workforce issues and future research directions

Marianne Fenech, Sandie Wong, Wendy Boyd, Megan Gibson, Helen Watt, Paul Richardson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


    A well-qualified, well-paid, stable workforce with high psychological and emotional wellbeing is critical to the provision of quality early childhood education and care, yet workforce shortages and high turnover persist in Australia and internationally. This paper uses ecological theory to conceptualise and make sense of findings from research that has investigated the recruitment, retention and wellbeing of early childhood teachers in Australia. The theoretical framing of early childhood teacher workforce issues proffered in the paper highlights the utility of considering these issues from a holistic ecological perspective. Analysis of Australian early childhood workforce studies draws attention to the need for large-scale, longitudinal research that holistically investigates influences on the attracting, retaining and sustaining of early childhood teachers, and the impact of these influences on teacher quality.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages19
    JournalThe Australian Educational Researcher
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


    • Attrition
    • Early childhood education
    • Early childhood teachers
    • Recruitment
    • Retention
    • Wellbeing
    • Workforce

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