Professional leadership contributes significantly to children’s learning by enabling effective pedagogy that supports all children.

Child holding dish

Leadership in early childhood education for '5 out of 5' children

This resource focused on five key areas for effective ECE leadership. It showcases five ECE services, ECE service and school leaders, kaiako and parents explaining how '5 out of 5' children become confident and competent in their ECE context.

5 out of 5 brochure

This brochure is for ECE leaders to use with their teams. It includes a range of questions to provoke conversation, reflection, and action. It is designed to be used in conjunction with the video in a facilitated workshop situation.

5 out of 5 posters

These five posters include the questions from the brochure, in A3 format, for group use.

5 out of 5 wildcards

The wildcards are for facilitators to use during workshops to direct discussion or stimulate additional reflection and conversation. They are designed to be used alongside the questions in the brochure and on the posters.

Additional templates

A selection of additional templates are available for facilitators to use with workshop participants.

Further resources

Centres of innovation

The Centre of Innovation (COI) Programme promoted a deeper exploration of innovative teaching and learning processes in early childhood services. A limited number of ECE services were selected and contracted by the Ministry to research and further develop their existing innovative practice; and disseminate information about their innovation and the outcomes of their research.

Two of the selected centres had a focus on innovative leadership practices. Their research reports are:

Conceptualising Leadership in ECE – Education Council

This report explores ECE leadership and leadership development in New Zealand and the issues and dilemmas facing the sector, including the identification of possible future directions.

School Leadership and Student Outcomes: BES

While this report is primarily concerned with the compulsory schooling sector, many of the findings are transferable into ECE settings. This BES is of relevance to all who have an educational leadership and those who have a role in supporting their work through research and teaching in the tertiary sector.

Leadership belongs to everyone – Ann Hatherly

What image springs to mind when you think of leadership in early childhood contexts?

Is it of a person who holds a formal position and gets paid accordingly because of their particular skills, experience, or charisma? Or is it of a team of teachers, who are well-known and respected for their innovative practice or curriculum speciality? It is likely that the former view will dominate your thinking as most of us come from a long tradition of associating leadership with a position and a title.

The world we work in has become much more complex, diverse, and ever-changing. This is no more so than in early childhood education and has prompted calls for the reconceptualisation of leadership as a shared endeavour – the responsibility of all not just one.

While formal leadership is still important – let’s call this positional leadership – the ability to be responsive, innovative, and stay at the cutting edge of teaching and learning practice is also a significant part of maintaining a quality service these days. It takes the talent, perspectives, courage, and energy of a whole team to realise positive outcomes for all children and their families.

This notion of leadership is often referred to as “pedagogical leadership”, “educational leadership” or “leadership in learning and teaching”.

Here is how Linda Lambert defines leadership:

"Leadership is about learning together and constructing meaning and knowledge collectively and collaboratively. It involves opportunities to surface and mediate perceptions, values, beliefs, information and assumptions through continuing conversations; to inquire about and generate ideas together; to seek to reflect upon and make sense of work in the light of shared beliefs and new information; and to create actions that grow out of these new understandings. Such is the core of leadership."

(Lambert, L. (1998). Building leadership capacity in schools. (p.5). Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.)

How do leaders support improvement in Pacific early childhood services

This ERO report highlights the crucial role of leaders in Pacific early childhood services to manage changes that improve learning outcomes for Pacific children. Other leaders may find this report useful when considering improvement-focused changes in their centres.

Read Te Whāriki online
Read Te Whāriki online

Te Whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa | Early childhood curriculum is the national curriculum document for early childhood education (ECE).

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This site is designed for you as you work with our tamariki. We will be adding more support resources and information. We would appreciate your feedback with any suggestions or ideas for further content.

Please email us at Early.Learning@education.govt.nz