Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Professor Frances Press

Professor Frances Press

MA Int. Disc. (Women's Studies) UNSW, PhD (Macquarie University)

Frances' (PhD: Sociology) teaching and research interests cover the areas of early childhood policy, the sociology of early childhood, and the leadership of early childhood programmes. She has worked extensively with academic, government and non-government bodies on issues related to child and family policy and has a particular interest in examining policy and practice from the stance of children's rights. As well as undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research, Frances has strong links with the early childhood field. She is frequently called upon to provide professional support, particularly to leaders and managers of early childhood programmes.

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Frances' research interests include:

  • Early childhood policy;
  • Integrated programmes for children and families;
  • Identification and sustenance of high quality early childhood programmes, particularly for infants.

Frances has been a Chief Investigator on four non-government competitive grants, an ARC Discovery Grant and an ARC Linkage Grant. Frances is a member of CSU's Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education (RIPPLE), a multi-disciplinary research centre that conducts high-quality applied research and consultation. She is also a member of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Collaborative Research Network (CRN) comprising 62 researchers from CSU, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Monash University.

Research and Professional Activity
  • Wong, S., Press, F., & Sumsion, J. (2012). Resource to support leaders in Australian early childhood integrated services. CHILD Australia
  • Sumsion, J., Harrison, L. J., Press, F., McLeod, S., Bradley, B. (2008). What is life like for babies and toddlers in childcare? Understanding the 'lived experience' of infants through innovative mosaic methodology. Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant (LP0883913).
  • Harrison, L.J, Press, F., Sumsion, J. Bowes, J.M., Fenech, M. (2008-2010). A multi-modal investigation of current and proposed structures and processed determining and sustaining quality in Australian centre-based child care. Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant (DP0881729).
  • Wong, S. & Press, F. (2011-2012). The Art of Integration: Delivering Integrated Education, Care and Support for Young Children and Their Families. The Infants Home, Ashfield.
  • Wong, S., Press, F., Sumsion, J. & Hard, L. (2011-2012). Collaborative Practice Research Project. Department Education and Early Child Development (Victoria). 2010
  • Press, F., Sumsion, J., & Wong, S. Integrated Early Years Provision in Australia. The Professional Support Coordinators Alliance (PSCA) (2009-2010).
  • Harrison, L., Sumsion, J., Press, F., Wong, S., Fordham, L. and Goodfellow, J. (2010-2011). A shared early childhood development Research Agenda: Key research gaps 2010–2015. Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)
  • Wanigayake, M., Cheeseman, S., de Gioia, K., Harrison, L., Burgess, C., Press, F. (2008). The significance of professional development and support in contributing to quality outcomes for children in childcare centres in receipt of Australian Government funding. Professional Support Coordinators Alliance.
  • Brennan D, Bowes, J., Cass, B., Goodfellow, J., Hill, E., Kalb, G., McNamara, J., Pocock, B., Press, F., Sumsion, J., Smith, B., Tayler, C., Waniganayake, M. (2007-2008). Early childhood education and care: Building an international research collaboration. Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, [submitted through UNSW]
  • Press, F. (2008). Early childhood education and care: Building an international research collaboration. Comparative policy review. Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC)
  • Press, F. (2007). Analysis of Draft Child Care Quality Assurance Standards (CCQAS): Report for the National Child Care Accreditation Council (NCAC).
  • Press, F. (2006). Quality in children's services.  Policy Brief No. 2.  Centre for Community Child Health, Melbourne.
  • Press, F. (2005-2006). What about the kids? Policy directions for improving the experiences of infants and young children in a changing world. Commission for Children and Young People, NSW; Commission for Children and Young People, Queensland, National Investment for the Early Years. 2005 11,363.64;  2006 17,500.00
  • Press, F. (2005) Family Day Care Literature Review on Regulatory Reform. National Family Day Care Council.
Professional Activity Grants (since commencing at CSU):
  • 2012 Marrickville Council Children's Services Management Restructuring Consultancy
  • 2011 Blackfriars Child Care Centre Strategic Planning Facilitation.
Expert Witness Reports
  • Explore and Develop Child Care Company (2010)
  • Leadership and Team Building for Authorised Supervisors
  • Leadership and Team Building for Licensees
Expert Witness - Industrial Relations Commission
  • 2009 IEU Pay Equity Case
  • 2005 LHMU Pay Equity Case for Child Care Workers.

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Frances teaches in undergraduate subjects and postgraduate subjects in the areas of sociology, leadership, research and children' rights.

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  • Press, F. (2009). Trends and debates in ECEC policy. A literature  review canvassing policy developments in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden  and the United Kingdom. In D. Brennan (ed) Building an International  Collaboration in Early Childhood Education and Care. Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY). Social  Policy Research Centre, UNSW. Australian  Policy Online.
  • Harrison, L. J., Ungerer, J. A., Smith, G. J., Zubrick, S. R.,  & Wise, S., with Press, F.,  Waniganayake, M. and the LSAC Research Consortium. (2009). Child care and early  education in Australia. The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Social  Policy Research Paper No. 40. Canberra: Australian Government Department of  Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
  • Press, F. (2006). What about the kids? Policy directions for improving the experiences of infants and young children in a changing world. Commission for Children and Young People, NSW; Commission  for Children and Young People, Queensland, National Investment for the Early  Years.
  • Press, F. and  Hayes, A. (2000). OECD Thematic Review of  Early Childhood Education and Care Policy: Australian Background Report. Canberra

Book Chapters

  • Press, F. (2015). The Australian Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce: Feminism, Feminisation and Fragmentation. In V. Campbell-Barr & J. Georgeson (eds). International Perspectives on Workforce Development in Early Childhood Education and Care: History, Philosophy and Politics. Northwich: Critical Publishing.
  • Press, F. & Mitchell, L. (2014). Lived Spaces of Infants in Childcare: Policy Implications. In L. Harrison & J. Sumsion (Eds). Lived Spaces of Infants in Childcare. (pp. 225-240). Dordrecht: Springer
  • Sumsion,  J., Press, F., & Wong, S.  (2012). Theorizing integrated service provision in Australia: Policies,  philosophies, practices. In J. Duncan & S. Te One, Comparative early childhood education and care services.
  • Press, F.,  Bradley, B., Goodfellow, J., Harrison, L.J. , McLeod, S., Sumsion,  J., Elwick, S. & Stratigos, T.  (2011).  Listening to infants about what  life is like in childcare: A mosaic approach.  In S. McLeod and S. Roulstone (Eds). Listening  to children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.  London: J&R Press.
  • Sumsion, J., Harrison,  L., Press, F., McLeod, S.,  Goodfellow, J., & Bradley, B. (2011). Researching infants' experiences of early childhood education and care.  In D. Harcourt, B. Perry & T. Waller (Eds). Researching  young children's perspectives: Debating the ethics and dilemmas of educational  research with children (pp.113-127). London:  Routledge.
  • Press, F. & Woodrow, C. (2009). The giant in the playground: Investigating the reach  and implications of the corporatisation of child care provision. In D. King  & G. Meagher (Eds), Paid care in Australia (pp.231-250). Sydney: Sydney University Press.
  • Woodrow, C. & Press, F. (2007). (Re)Positioning the Child in the Policy/Politics of Early Childhood In S.  Farquhar & P. Fitzsimons (eds), Philosophy of Early Childhood Education: Transforming Narratives. Richmond: Wiley
  • Press, F. (2007) Public investment, fragmentation and quality early education and care:  Existing challenges and future options. In E. Hill and B. Pocock & A.  Elliott (Eds) (2007) Kids count: Better  early childhood education and care in Australia, Sydney University Press.

Journal Articles

  • Cheeseman, S., Press, F.  & Sumsion, J. (2014).  An encounter with 'sayings' of curriculum: Levinas and the formalisation of  infants' learning. Educational Philosophy and Theory online
  • Cheeseman,  S., Sumsion, J. & Press, F. (2014) Infants of the knowledge economy:  The ambition of the Australian Government's Early Years Learning Framework. Pedagogy,  Culture and Society 22(3), 405-424, DOI: 10.1080/14681366.2014.914967
  • Press, F. (2014). The  state of play in early childhood policy: A note from Australia. NZ Research  in Early Childhood Education Journal Special Issue: Early Childhood Policy,  (17), 11-19. [Invited contribution]
  • Logan, H., Sumsion, J.,  & Press, F (2013). The Child Care Act 1972: A critical  juncture in Australian ECEC and the emergence of 'quality'. Australasian Journal of  Early Childhood 38 (4).
  • Hard,  L., Press, F. & Gibson, M (2013). 'Doing' justice in early  childhood. The potential of leadership. Contemporary issues in Early Childhood,  14(4), 324-334.
  • Logan, H.,  Sumsion, J., & Press, F. (2014). Uncovering hidden dimensions of  Australian early childhood policy history: Insights from interviews with policy  'elites'. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 22 (5),  711-722
  • Wong,  S. & Press, F. (2013). Integrated services in Australian early  childhood education and care: what can we learn from our past? Australian  Journal of Social Issues 47 (2), 153-173.
  • Press, F. (2012).  Embedding collaboration in integrated early childhood services: The strategic  role of governance and leadership. Waikato Journal of Education – Te Hautaka  Mātauranga o Waikato 17(1),  29-42.
  • Goodfellow, J., Elwick. S., Stratigos, T., Sumsion,  J., Press, F., Harrison, L., McLeod, S., & Bradley, B.  (2012). Infants' lives in childcare: Crafting research evidence. The First  Years Nga Tau Tuatahi Journal of Infant Toddler Education.
  • Press, F.,  Wong, S. & Sumsion (2012). Child-centred, family centred, de-centred:  Positioning children as rights holders in early childhood program  collaborations. Global Studies of  Childhood. 2 (1), 26-37.
  • Wong  S., Sumsion, J. & Press, F. (2012). Early childhood professionals  and inter-professional work in integrated early childhood services in  Australia. Australasian Journal of Early  Childhood. 37(1), 81-88.
  • Bown, K., Sumsion, J. & Press, F. (2010). Dark  matter: the 'gravitational pull' of maternalist discourses on politicians' decision making for early childhood policy in Australia. Gender and Education, 22 (6) 1–18.
  • McLeod, S., Press, F., &  Phelan, C. (2010). The (in)visibility of children with communication impairment  in Australian health, education, and disability legislation and policies. Asia  Pacific Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing, 13(1), 67-75.
  • Bown, K., Sumsion, J. & Press, F. (2009). Influences  on Politicians' Decision Making for Early Childhood Education and Care Policy: what do we know? What don't we know? Contemporary  Issues in Early Childhood Education, 10(3), 194 -217.
  • Press,  F. & Skattebol, J. (2007) Early Childhood Activism, Minor Politics and  Resuscitating Vision: a tentative foray into the use of 'intersections' to  influence early childhood policy.  Contemporary Issues in Early  Childhood 8(3), 180-191.
  • Woodrow, C. & Press, F. (2007). (Re) Positioning the  child in the policy / politics of early childhood. Educational Philosophy and Theory 39 (3), 223-336.
  • Press, F. (1999) The demise of community owned long day care centres and the rise of the  mythical consumer. Australian Journal of  Early Childhood 24 (1), 1-8.
  • Press, F. &  Woodrow, C. (2005). Commodification, corporatisation and children's spaces. Australian Journal of Education, 49 (3),  278-291

Professional Publications

  • Press, F. (Summer 2012) Philosophy:  NQS Spotlight. Rattler 104, 24-26.
  • Press, F. & Harrison, J. (2012). Quality: Staff and parenting insights, Rattler 101, 13-16.
  • Press, F. (2012). Staffing: NQS  Spotlight 4. Rattler 101, 22-25.
  • Press, F. (Summer, 2008). Learning From ABC. Rattler 88 , 20-25
  • Press, F. (2008). Solving the policy puzzle, Bedrock, 13 (1).
  • Press, F. (2007). Young children deserve better. Invited commentary. Directions in education. 16(8) Australian Council for Educational Leaders.
  • Sumsion, J & Press, F. (2007). Policy and  priorities from the ground up. Investigating quality in early childhood education  and care. Bedrock.

Conference Papers

Invited Keynotes
  • Press, F. (2011, July). Listening, leading learning: integrated services in Australia. Working Collectively with Families, Teacher Refresher Conference, Waikato, New  Zealand.
  • Press, F. (2011, March).Children  at the heart of early education and care: Critical influences, issues and  debates. Future for  Children National Policy Forum 2011, Wellington New Zealand.
  • Press, F. (2010, September). Children and community: Building bridges on the road to change. Mobile Meet: On the road to change, Dubbo.
  • Press, F. (2009, September). Where go the boats? Developing Partnerships with Early Childhood Services for the Vulnerable Child, Orange.
Invited Conference Speaker
  • Press, F. (2011, July). More than co-existence. Commitment, complexity and cohesion in early years' integration. National Investment in the Early Years (NIFTeY) Conference, Sydney.
  • Press, F. (2008,  April). Influences on Australian Early  Childhood Policy. Social Justice in  Early Childhood Conference, Sydney
  • Press, F. (2007,  March). Early childhood activism and minor and major politics: Some tentative thoughts on the use of 'intersections' to influence early childhood policy. Social Justice in Early Childhood Conference, Sydney.
  • Press, F. (2006, November) Early childhood education and care: The  foundations for a socially just Australia. The foundations of opportunity and lifelong learning: ACOSS Annual Congress. What do we need to close the gap between research and reality?Sydney.
  • Press, F.,  Whalley, M., Hydon, C. & Moore, T. (September 2102) (invited panellist). How do we  create an integrated ECD workforce? Where do shared values fit?  Early  childhood development: an emerging profession, South Australian Office of Early Child  Development Education and Childcare and DEEWR, Adelaide.
  • Press, F. and Cox, E. (2010, June) Human capital agenda and advocacy - Putting the social back  into early childhood.  Issues of  economic and human capital justification for investment in Early Childhood, Social Justice in Early Childhood Conference, Redfern.
Other Conference Papers
  • Press, F. (2007, July). What do we want for  children? Considerations for the development of comprehensive and complementary policy for the early years. Australian Social Policy Conference, Sydney.
  • Press, F. (2006, October). Early Intervention and Prevention (EIP) in  children's services: change, challenge and opportunity. ECIA NSW Chapter State Conference, Sydney.
  • Press, F. (2006, July). Corporatisation of Child Care: Incursions on children's citizenship  in the age of the consumer. Children and Youth Citizenship and  Participation Conference, Sheffield.
Joint Papers
  • Cheeseman, S. & Press, F. (2012). Infants Lives in Childcare - Using  video and still photography to better understand the infant's experience. Australian  Community Children's Services National Conference, Wollongong.
  • Harrison, L., Elwick, S., & Press, F. (2011, September). Conference symposium: Understanding infants' lives in early  childhood education and care: Theoretical, methodological and policy  possibilities. European Early Childhood Research Association Conference, Geneva.
  • Press, F. and Wong, S.(2011, June). Researching  partnerships between professionals and families. KPVA Together We Grow  conference, Melbourne.
  • Press, F. and Woodrow, C. (2008, September). The  Giant in the Playground. European  Early Childhood Education Research Association, Stavinger, Norway.
  • Press, F. and Woodrow, C. (2005,  November). Corporatisation, social  justice and children's rights.   Incursions on children's citizenship in the age of the consumer.  Honouring the Child, Honouring Equity 5: Reconsidering Rights and Relationships. Centre for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood, Melbourne.
  • Press, F. and Woodrow, C. (2005, August).Corporatisation, privatization and  children's services. Australian Social Policy Conference, Sydney.
Invited Presentations
  • Press, F. (September 2102) Developing shared  values. Early  childhood development: an emerging profession, South Australian Office of Early Child  Development Education and Childcare and DEEWR, Adelaide.
  • Press, F. (2012) Infants'  lives in childcare  (and other research…): Implications for policy and practice. Association  of Community based Children's Services, South Australia, Annual General Meeting, Adelaide.
  • Press, F. (2011) Issues in early childhood  education. Association of Community Based Children's Services (ACCS) Annual  General Meeting, Sydney.
  • Press, F. (2011, March). Listening, leading learning: governance and  leadership in integrated services. Centre for Community Child Health  (CCCH): Victorian Integrated Services Practitioners Network, Melbourne.
  • Press, F. (2010, November). Teachers are Teachers: Independent Education Union campaign launch.  Sydney.
  • Press, F. (2010, November). Connections  That Count. Connections That  Count: The Early Years, Smith Family Annual Seminar, Sydney.
  • Press, F. (2008, February). Opening Address: Policy Debates in Early  Childhood Education and Care. Building  an International Collaboration in Early Childhood Education and Care: Social  Policy Research Centre, UNSW.
  • Press, F. (2008) Current Issues facing Early  Childhood Education and Care, National Childcare Accreditation Council  (NCAC) Board, NCAC Sydney.
  • Press, F. (2007, March). The optimum environment  for children to grow and learn in home-based care. Presentation of Literature  Review findings. National Family Day Care Council, Melbourne.
  • Press, F. (2006, July). Public Investment, fragmentation and quality early childhood education and care: Existing challenges and future options. Academy of Social Sciences in Australia - Child Care Roundtable, Sydney University.
  • Press, F. (2006, November). Navigating muddy waters  -the future for children's services.   SDN Children's Services Annual General Meeting.
  • Dunn,  B., Godhard, T., Press, F., Warrilow, P. (2010, May) Debate: Quality at any cost. Waves of Change. Australian Community Children's Services National Conference, Wollongong.
  • Press, F. and Woodrow, C. (2008, September) The corporatisation of childcare in Australia. International Centre for the Study of the Mixed Economy of Child Care, University of East London.
  • Press, F. and Woodrow, C. (2007, November). Corporatisation of childcare - in whose interests? Critical Issues in the childcare policy landscape.  For-profit Providers of Paid Care  Symposium, Paid Care Research Network, Sydney University.
  • Panel member (2010, August).  Child  care as an election issue: Federal Election forum. Masonic Centre, Sydney. [with Kate Ellis (the then Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare  and Youth); the Hon. Sharman Stone (then Shadow Minister for the Status of  Women, Early Childhood Education and Childcare); Sarah Hanson-Young, The  Australian Greens].
  • Panel member (2008, March). Forum on Integrated Services Provision. Early Childhood Australia, Masonic Hall, Sydney.
  • Panel member (2006, August). Child Care: Whose Responsibility? Sydney Conversations, Smith Family Forum, Sydney.
  • Panel member (2005, September). Family Day Care NSW Conference.
  • Chair (2010,  April). International Research and  Practice in Integrated Child and Family Services, Community Child Care, Victoria, Melbourne.
  • Chair (2007, December). Early Development and Learning Deliberative Forum: Ratios, group size, qualifications: what matters? Centre for Community Child Health, Melbourne.


  • Press, F. Wong, S.  & Sumsion, J. (2012). Share your story. A Resource for the National Symposium on Early Childhood Development.
  • Wong, S., Sumsion, J & Press, F. (2012). Supporting Professional Learning in an Integrated Context: A Resource for Early Childhood Leaders. Professional Support Coordinators Alliance.
  • Wong, S., Press, F., Sumsion, J. & Hard, L. (2012). Collaborative Practice in Victorian Early Years Services: 10 Project Sites. Victorian Department of Education and Early Child Development.
  • Wong,  S. & Press, F. (2012). The Art of Integration: Delivering Integrated Education, Care and Support Services for Young Children and their Families. The Infants Home Ashfield.
  • Harrison,  L., Sumsion, J., Press, F., Wong,  S., Fordham, L. & Goodfellow, J. (2011). A shared early childhood development Research Agenda: Key research gaps  2010–2015. A report for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).
  • Press, F. Sumsion, J, & Wong, S. (2010). Integrated Early Years Provision in Australia. Professional Support  Coordinators Alliance.
  • Waniganayake, M., Harrison, L., Cheeseman S.,  Burgess, C., De Gioia, K. & Press, F. (2008). Practice potentials: Impact of participation in professional development and support on quality outcomes for children in childcare centres.
  • Press, F. (2006). Quality in children's services. Policy Brief No. 2. Centre for Community Child  Health, Melbourne.
  • Rice,  A & Press, F. (2003). Early childhood education in NSW: A comparative report. A report on early childhood education for the NSW  Department of Education and Training.
  • Press, F. (2003). The costs and benefits of proposed changes to the NSW Children's Services Regulation in relation to  staff-to-child ratios and group size. Department of Community Services NSW.
  • Centre  for Community Child Health, Melbourne, University of Western Sydney, & AJ  Martin Consulting (2003). NSW First Three  Years of Childhood Initiative. NSW Department of Community Services.
  • Press, F., Rice, A. & Hayes, A. (2002) Adding value to preschool education in the ACT. Preschool education in the ACT for  the Inquiry into ACT Education Funding.

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