Institute for Early Childhood Studies

Find out about the Wellington Faculty of Education’s Institute for Early Childhood Studies.


The Institute was established in 1995 as a joint initiative by Victoria University of Wellington and Wellington College of Education.

Following the merger of the College and the University in 2005, it became part of the University’s Wellington Faculty of Education.

The Institute promotes excellence in early childhood education through:

  • research
  • policy studies
  • information services

The Institute maintains strong links to early childhood teacher education and early childhood professional development through the involvement of its members in these areas.

The work of the Institute

The work of the Institute includes:

  • being a public voice in the interest of children and their families on early childhood issues.
  • research and publications on early childhood education and issues related to the learning and development of young children
  • national and international consultancy to government and non-governmental agencies on early childhood issues
  • public seminars and workshops as a resource for early childhood professionals
  • support for early childhood researchers in tertiary institutions, early childhood organisations, and early childhood centres
  • maintenance of an archive of early childhood historical documents, and a reference library of a series of specialist early childhood books, journals, video tapes and personal collections
  • provision of a welcoming place for visiting international and national early childhood scholars and for local early childhood groups

Annual Review 2017

Read the Institute for Early Childhood Studies Annual Review 2017

Autumn Research Seminar 2019

Looking Backward to Move Forward: Me Anga Whakamua

Saturday 11 May 2019

Keynote address: Helen May (Adjunct Professor Victoria University of Wellington) and Ben Clark (Northland Childspace), Lesley Rameka (Waikato University), Hoana McMillan (University of Waikato) and Tiria Shaw (Te Kohanga Reo ki Rotokawa)

This seminar offers opportunities for practitioners and researchers to consider strategies, strengths and possible priorities for the EC sector in Aotearoa in the times ahead.

Many western cultures, probably all ‘modern’ cultures assume that the future lies ahead of us and the past behind us. In the Māori concept ‘Me anga whakamua’ time and space elide—we ‘face’ our past. What if we developed policy and practice with ‘Me anga whakamua’ in mind—being in tune with our days gone, reflective of our pasts, our experiences, where we come from, who we are—would we be able to move with ease into our futures?

Seminar presenters will address the question of strategies, strengths and possible priorities for the EC sector in the times ahead in a range of ways. Presentations traverse past, current and future priorities in and beyond Aotearoa; practice-based presentations share experiences of a range of efforts to pursue different priorities.

Autumn Research Seminar 2018

Education for Sustainability in Early Childhood Education: Making it real

Saturday 12 May 2018

Keynote address: Professor Rangi Matamua (Waikato University) and Marina Bachmann (Collectively Kids)

This symposium explores what sustainability means for early childhood education and care in Aotearoa. UNESCO states that sustainability “has to be integrated in all curricula of formal education, including early childhood care and education.”

Sustainability means developing in the present and without exceeding available resources without causing future harm. Sustainability is not just environmental, being also social and economic.

Symposium presenters will address sustainability in a range of ways expanding our understandings of sustainability goals in practice in ECCE in Aotearoa and emphasising some of the cultural, linguistic, social, environmental and political implications of these goals for ECCE.

Read the PDF here.

Spring Research Seminar 2017

The 2017 Institute for Early Childhood Studies Spring Research Seminar was held on 14 October. The theme for this seminar was: Te Whāriki 2017: new realities and possibilities.

The seminar offered a chance to explore changes in the refreshed Te Whāriki 2017, and to investigate the new possibilities it opens up. Discussions focused on how early childhood services can deliver on the Ministry of Education aspirations for centres to:

  • create a rich curriculum and be intentional about empowering each learner
  • work out what matters here in my service?
  • affirm identity, language and culture
  • make the principles / kaupapa whakahaere the touchstones of how they work
  • create a personalised pathway to school and kura.

A diversity of speakers facilitated the day.

Autumn Research Seminar 2016

The 2016 IECS Autumn Research Seminar was held on Saturday, 14 May. The theme for this seminar was Making Teaching Visible. There were two keynote speakers—Helen Hedges and Daniel Lovatt—and a selection of workshops and papers.

Autumn Research Seminar 2015

The IECS Autumn Research Seminar was held on Saturday 16 May 2015. The theme for this seminar was Diverse Diversities with two keynote speakers—Professor Marilyn Fleer and Dr Alex Gunn—and a selection of workshops and papers

Autumn Research Seminar 2014

The IECS Autumn Research Seminar was held on Saturday 10 May 2014 The theme for this seminar was Relationships: People, places and things with two keynote speakers—Anita Mortlock and A/Prof. Vanessa Green—and a selection of workshops and papers.

Staff information


Early childhood staff from across the Schools of the Faculty are members of the Institute

Staff and contact information

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Sophie Alcock

Professor of Education

School of Education

Associate Professor

School of Education

Partner Head of School

School of Education

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Anna Strycharz-banas

Associate Professor

Subject Matter Consultant

School of Education|Wellington Uni-Professional