ChildForum Early Childhood Education Nationwide Network
Promoting quality, valuing knowledge, advancing thinking and working together for the benefit of children, services and the sector

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About Us


What is ChildForum

ChildForum is the national network for early childhood education in New Zealand, providing advice and information to more than 4,000 services across the whole of the sector as well as individuals involved in early childhood education such as teachers, teacher educators, and researchers.

ChildForum is:

  • a dynamic, socially-oriented organisation
  • able to offer different perspectives, critical thinking, quality resources and research.
  • truly nonpartisan (we do not represent any one group of people or section within the sector, we do not represent business owners and we are not affiliated to any political party or interest group)
  • trusted by people seeking independent and often confidential advice 

The goal or mission of our network is for every young child to experience the best possible care and early education. This is why we expect ECE service members to meet the Code of Ethical Conduct for ECE Services and the Code of Rights for Children 

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Our website

On our website you will find practical advice, policy guidance, the latest news, original research and analysis. 

There are articles you won't find anywhere else on a wide range of subjects to assist you in your own research or studies, teaching and caring for young children, operating an ECE business, and making sense of policy and legal requirements.

We are proud to host the NZ public discussion forum on early childhood education, enabling greater sharing of experiences and recommendations between people and services in the sector.

It's all on our website, in one place and at your fingertips!


Dr Sarah Alexander - Chief Executive 

Sarah headshot 1
Sarah is a leading expert in early childhood education.  She is passionate about making a difference for children and she brings a strong intellect and deeply caring approach to all that she does.

She has a remarkable depth and breadth of experience, in early childhood teaching, training student teachers, academia, international speaking, writing, publishing and event organisation. 

Sarah's career started early. She had just turned 19 when appointed to a head kindergarten teacher position. She is also a parent with five children and a former middle distance and marathon runner. 

Her qualifications include: Ph.D. in ECE, M.A. (hons) degree, B.A. degree, Higher Diploma of Teaching, Kindergarten Diploma, and Montessori Diploma (dist) London.

Sarah's research areas have included defining and assessing quality in early childhood services, men in teaching, the effects of childcare on children, education for gifted children, women and work, and breastfeeding-friendly ECE services. Sarah is the author of the Ministry of Education's Best Evidence synthesis on "Quality Teaching: Early Foundations" and reports on the Parents as First Teachers Programme.

Sarah is a strong and caring leader who has developed many new initiatives as well as providing personal support to help countless numbers of individuals and organisations. 


Reg Ponniah - Managing Editor


Formerly a senior journalist/sub-editor with the New Zealand Press Association, Reg brings with him substantial experience in editing and writing for print media as well as editing academic papers and theses. 

He has been part of the ChildForum team for a number of years, greatly helping ChildForum maintain a high standard as an independent voice and network for early childhood education.




Dr Wendy Boyd - Journal Editor

Dr Wendy Boyd


Dr Wendy Boyd has 25 years experience teaching children in early childhood education and managing programmes. She has worked at Southern Cross University in New South Wales since 2009. In 2011 she won the Vice Chancellor's Citation Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Wendy has a strong academic publication record and is a highly respected researcher and research adviser.

She is also well regarded in the early childhood field and an advocate for high quality early childhood education and care for children and their families.  


Editorial Board members 2018/19

Dr Kaye Cederman (Trinity College, Dublin)
Dr Elspeth McInnes (University of South Australia, Adelaide)
Dr Janet Moles (Deakin University, Melbourne)
Prof Pam Whitty (University of New Brunswick, Canada)
Tui Summers (Te Rito Maioha, NZ)
Dr Jane Bone (Monash University, Victoria)
Dr Corine Rivalland (Monash University, Victoria)
Dr Melinda Miller (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane)
Dr Jo Ailwood (University of Newcastle, New South Wales)
Assoc Prof Linda Newman (University of Newcastle, New South Wales)
Dr Carla Solvason (Worcestershire University, UK)
Dr Qilong Zhang (NZ)
Gillian Postlewaight (Eastern Institute of Technology, NZ)
Helen Mataiti (University of Canterbury, NZ) 

All enquiries about the NZIRECE Journal and submitting a manuscript should in the first instance be sent to Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or click here to go to journal publication and submission information on this website.  



The beginning - a brief history 

The NZ Early Childhood Research Network was founded in 1998 and quickly grew its membership to just over 1,000 researchers and people interested in early childhood research. 

In the same year the first issue of the NZ Research in Early Childhood Education Journal was published by the Network (today this is known as the NZ-International Research in ECE Journal and is published by ChildForum) .

In 2008 the research network became known as ChildForum, and in August 2010 ChildForum expanded its expertise to provide information and support on childcare and teaching, and early childhood service management. Click on the original video below to learn more about ChildForum in the early days.


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Membership Options


Who is this for?
Any person who has an interest in early childhood education and care or who works directly with children.

$98.00 12 months from the date of joining
$60.00 6 months student-only

The membership belongs to you, and you only. Enjoy your own personal username and password.

ECE Service Organisation

Who is this for?
Centres, home-based, hospital-based, playgroups ... established or newly licensed. Gives access to professional & research materials enjoyed by individual members PLUS service operation and management area. 

$198.00 12 months for a standalone licensed service
Special rates for organisations with more than 1 licence

The membership belongs to your whole organisation, team members and managers.

Library NZ-International Research
in ECE Journal Subscriber

Who is this for?
Universities, Polytechnics and organisations wishing to have online access to the NZ-Int Research in ECE journal (includes all past and current issues) 

$125.00 annual subscription, renewable in November each year

A username and password for your library users linked to your IP address.