Infants’ and toddlers’ rights in early childhood settings: Research perspectives informing pedagogical practice

Andi Salamon, Ioanna Palaiologou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Globally, early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings are
increasingly influenced by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the
Child (UNCRC) (United Nations, Convention on the Rights of the Child. United
Nations, Geneva, 1989). The Convention emphasises that the best interests of the
child is a central focus for actions and decisions concerning children. This includes
the best interests of infants and toddlers. Enacting rights that emphasise children as
participants in research and practices that involve them (Articles 3.3, 12, 13 and 36),
has led to an exploration of methods and practices that support this aim. However,
this chapter problematises the notion of participation in relation to infants and toddlers. Coming from UK and Australian perspectives (and experiences that have
shaped the authors’ epistemological standpoints), the authors argue that participation with infants and toddlers might be an illusion. They also address some of the
asymmetries of the rights of children under the age of three in ECEC. In this chapter, the authors discuss how participation can be conceptualised in practice and and research, and the role of participation. Finally, the chapter concludes by suggesting a changing in discourse, and makes the case that instead of focusing on how
participation can be achieved with children under three in practice and research, the
focus should be to achieve ethical praxis by acknowledging ethical permeability,
relatability, Otherness and emotional capital.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication(Re)conceptualising children’s rights in infant-toddler early childhood care and education: Transnational conversations
EditorsF Press, Sandra Cheeseman
Place of PublicationAustralia
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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