Shifting Landscapes in Early Childhood Education

Jane Murray*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalEditorial


Change occurs in young children’s lives as a matter of course. Healthy children grow and develop (Berk, 2012). They make multiple horizontal transitions daily, for example moving from mealtime to play, and navigate major vertical transitions, such as starting school (Kagan and Neuman, 1998). Children experience changes to their routines at home when their parents make adaptations to working practices (Kim, 2020; Snyder, Rech, Masuda and Dinkel, 2021), and they experience new approaches to curriculum and pedagogy at first hand in their settings (Manning, Thirumurthy and Field, 2012; Murray, 2017; Yang, Xu, Liu and Li, 2022). When educators leave early childhood education (ECE) settings, it is children who must adjust to new educators. Whilst ECE educators may move to new settings for their professional development in strong workforce systems, in weaker systems educators’ dissatisfaction results in the ECE workforce attrition that results in change for children (Nutbrown, 2021). War wreaks havoc in children’s lives, often displacing them from their homes and the carers and educators they know (Korp and Stretmo, 2020). In recent decades, the pace and variety of change in young children’s environments, including their experiences of ECE, have increased exponentially, affecting young children’s lives in many different ways (Clark, 2022). While young children appreciate novel experiences (Murray, 2022), they also thrive on continuity and routine (Clark, 2022; Zigler and Kagan, 1982); balance may therefore be important. In this short critique of some of the shifting landscapes in ECE, I discuss ways the field is transforming at the macro-policy level, before considering some of the changes experienced by children and adults who care for them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalInternational Journal of Early Years Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2023


  • Early childhood education
  • Young children
  • Transitions


Dive into the research topics of 'Shifting Landscapes in Early Childhood Education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this