Educational leadership

The educational leader of a service plays a significant role in guiding and developing educators’ and families’ understandings about play and leisure-based learning, and the significance of the early years in the education continuum for children.

Acecqa – The Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority

What is an Educational Leader?

The educational leader in children’s education and care services has an influential role in inspiring, motivating, affirming and also challenging or extending the practice and pedagogy of educators. The role is a collaborative endeavour involving inquiry and reflection, which can significantly impact on the important work educators do with children and families.

The role of the educational leader is the focus of Standard 7.2 of the National Quality Standard – Governance and leadership. Where effective leadership establishes a culture of reflective practice to encourage continuous improvement across all aspects of the service, the role of educational leader supports this culture and community through leading the development and implementation of the educational program and assessment, as well as the planning cycle. The educational leader is supported by the service’s leadership team to effect positive change, including playing an integral role in mentoring, guiding and supporting educators.


What are the requirements and responsibilities of the Educational Leader?

The role of the educational leader is primarily to:

  • collaborate with educators and provide curriculum direction and guidance
  • support educators to effectively implement the cycle of planning to enhance programs and practices
  • lead the development and implementation of an effective educational program in the service
  • ensure children’s learning and development are guided by the learning outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework and/or the Framework for School Age Care or other approved learning frameworks.

ACECQA National Education Leader

ACECQA and its National Education Leader, Rhonda Livingstone are committed to assisting the education and care sector to implement the National Quality Framework while supporting providers, educational leaders and educators in the important work of enhancing outcomes for children and families.

Regular articles by our National Education Leader are published in the National Education Leader section of ACECQA’s We Hear You blog.


The Educational Leader Resource

The Educational Leader Resource cover showing educators talking to each other

Effective leadership builds and promotes a positive organisational culture and professional learning community (NQS Standard 7.2).

ACECQA, recognising the important role of the educational leader, and in response to sector feedback, has developed The Educational Leader Resource. This resource is a collection of practical advice, resources, case studies, research, reflections and references to support new, experienced or future educational leaders, as well as approved providers.

The Resource provides information for educational leaders in all service types in all states and territories. It is not intended to be read from cover to cover – rather, it has been designed as a resource that can be referred to as needed.

The Resource has been designed as an online PDF document and will be updated as required. For updates about the Resource, subscribe to the ACECQA Newsletter.

Purchase a hard copy of the Educational Leader Resource on our secure online payment portal.


The Educational Leader Resource videos 

To support the Educational Leader Resource we have a series of videos to accompany the Resource. Like the Resource, these videos are designed to be dipped in and out of as needed.

Unpacking the Educational Leader Resource

Perspectives of educational leadership

Discussion panel on educational leadership

Perspectives of an Early Childhood Service Educational Leader

Perspectives of a Family Day Care Educational Leader

Perspectives of an Outside School Hour Care Educational Leader


Educational leadership resources

There are a range of other resources to support the role of educational leader that can be found in the Resources & Research area of our website. On the Videos page are various interviews, presentations and webcasts.

ACECQA has also compiled a range of resource links that you may find useful in your educational leader role. The resources are grouped under each quality area on the National Quality Standard page of our website. Quality Area 1 resources may be particularly useful in leading the development and implementation of the educational program and assessment and planning cycle at your service.

If you would like to request the ACECQA National Education Leader, or another member of the ACECQA team, speak at an education and care event or conference use our Speaker Request form.