Early childhood Education

Early childhood Education

A child’s early years are key to predicting their success in school and life. Their early learning experiences are critical determining factors for their emotional, social and intellectual development.

Macquarie has a strong reputation for early childhood teaching and research, enabling you to learn from active researchers in early childhood.

Careers in early childhood

Become an early childhood teacherBecome an early childhood teacher
Discover interesting careers in a long day care centre or preschool. Other early childhood careers include:

  • teacher/director in prior-to-school settings
  • educational officer in government and community programs
  • Educational researcher

Become a special education teacherBecome a special education teacher
Help fill the gap of qualified special educators across Australia. A postgraduate special education qualification also leads to work in related professional areas like:

  • respite care
  • early intervention
  • disability services
  • post-school employment support.


The Master of Teaching (Birth to Five Years) is accredited by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).

Our Bachelor of Teacher (Early Childhood Education) (Birth to 12) is also accredited by the New South Wales Board of Studies and Educational Standards (BOSTES). Our degrees are recognised nationally and internationally by early childhood education providers.

Professional experience

Professional experience is a requirement for all early childhood teacher education programs. Depending on the professional experience unit, you may be placed in a prior to school setting (working with children from birth to 5 years) or primary school classroom. Students are supported and challenged to develop into professional and highly skilled and reflective practitioners by working alongside experienced teachers. Student work towards teacher accreditation as required by the Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards NSW, based on the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Professional Standards for Teachers.

At Macquarie, we also offer Participation and Community Engagement (PACE) programs that provide opportunities for undergraduate students to gain practical experience by working with industry partners on mutually beneficial projects. Students may be eligible to apply for an approved overseas or inter-state placement. Learn more about the opportunities available through PACE.

Student experience

Tricia Mirasol - Master of Special Education Tricia Mirasol
Macquarie’s special education

"I like that we have a practicum component for each subject and we get to experience hands-on learning by seeing how theories are practiced at different special schools across Sydney. I have made a lot of good friends from different countries and learnt about different cultures." Read more

Graduate outcomes

Michael McGirr
Teacher, The Northern Sydney Institute

"After completing my Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education), I commenced my career working as an educator in a community based long day care centre. Having enjoyed my time at Macquarie University it was only natural that Macquarie University was my first choice for future study.

The Master of Early Childhood helped me to further my professional knowledge, whilst challenging myself in both my teaching and my learning. It increased the quality of my teaching which increased the quality of learning for my own students," said Michael McGirr.

Our expertise in early childhood

Transforming early childhood education in Australia

Our academic staff are talented, creative and dedicated experts in their fields, renowned for excellence in teaching and research.

Collaborating with researchers at Macquarie’s research centres, their work is influencing Australia government's policy making as well as industry practice both nationally and globally.

Benefit first-hand from their expertise, engage with research findings and develop your professional specialisation which can lead to fulfilling career opportunities.

Putting the spotlight on quality in Australian early childhood education and care centres

Sheila DegotardiAssociate Professor Sheila Degotardi is a leading author and expert in curriculum and pedagogy for infants and toddlers under the age of 2. Her work is addressing critical childcare policy issues in Australia and setting new professional standards for the industry worldwide. 

Chief investigator on two ARC research grants, Professor Degotardi is leading the largest current investigation to explore the qualities and quantities of infant-educator and infant-peer interactions in long-day-care centres. Findings will therefore have significant impact on policy and practice in these education and care contexts.

The second, an ARC Linkage grant, investigates how parents' perspectives about what constitutes 'quality' in early childhood centres features in their decision making as they select and transition their child into an out-of-home education and care centre. With increased government focus on the accessibility and affordability of child care, findings from this research will ensure that issues of quality are placed firmly on the policy agenda.  

She is the author of 'The Relationship Worlds of Infants and Toddlers: Multiple Perspectives from Research and Practice' (Open University Press) which she co-authored with colleague Emma Person.

Her work is used in teacher education programs globally, addresses the gap in infant-toddler pedagogy and learning research and professional literature and increases the significance of providing high quality infant-toddler programs.

She also works to raise the profile of early childhood education and care for Australia’s youngest children, and has been instrumental in providing theoretically sound professional learning opportunities for the educators of infants and toddlers. In partnership with Gowrie NSW, she was instrumental in organising the 'Infants and toddlers: Practice, Pedagogy and Research' conference which brought practicing educators, service managers and local and internationally renowned infant-toddler researchers together to engage critically with current approaches and knowledge bases.

Our facilities

Mia Mia Child and Family Study CentreWe help you succeed in your studies by providing you with the best learning support services, resources and research facilities.

Mia Mia Child and Family Study Centre is an exemplary long day care centre with an international reputation for early childhood education.

It provides unique opportunities for learning, research, participation and observation by students and academic staff of Macquarie University and other tertiary institutions.

Draw valuable insights for your studies into child/family, curriculum planning, teaching studies and developing your teaching ability.

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