The Australian Early Childhood Teacher Education Network (AECTEN) was established in October 2016 and began operating under the umbrella of the Australian Council of Deans of Education in December 2017. AECTEN has member representation in 42 higher education institutions and are leaders in Australian early childhood teacher education degree programs.


AECTEN is co-chaired by Associate Professor Marianne Fenech from the University of Sydney marianne.fenech@sydney.edu.au and Associate Professor Gill Kirk from Edith Cowan University g.kirk@ecu.edu.au.

The AECTEN Steering Group meets bi-monthly and is made up of representatives from AECTEN’s five branches that cover:

  • New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory
  • Victoria
  • Queensland
  • Western Australia and the Northern Territory
  • South Australia and Tasmania

Professor Michele Simons (ACDE President) also attends AECTEN Steering group meetings.


AECTEN provides a forum to support the provisioning of quality early childhood teacher education in Australia by:

  • Promoting the role and quality of early childhood pre-service and post-initial teacher education programs
  • Providing high level advice on early childhood education policy and practice
  • Advocating for quality early childhood teacher education
  • Liaising with government and peak bodies
  • Promoting ethical practice within all aspects of early childhood teacher education
  • Providing advice on matters relating to the provision and management of early childhood teacher education
  • Advocating, undertaking and accessing research and scholarship on matters relating to early childhood teacher education
  • Seeking from pre-service teachers, co-operating staff, employers and institutions their views on early childhood teacher education
  • Identifying the nature and extent of early childhood teacher education provision within early childhood programs in tertiary and vocational education and training institutions
  • Sharing current information and resources and developing new resources as needed.


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