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One of the most fundamental challenges facing educators is how to instil in children the attitudes, knowledge and outlooks they will require to function successfully as adults in the future. Their ability to respond to this imperative will depend, to a major degree, on the extent to which they can fashion systems and curricula that are truly responsive to the long-term developmental needs of the children in their care. Early childhood professionals have a particularly important role to play in this process. Positioned at the commencement of the education system, they are optimally placed to lay significant foundations for young children’s lifelong development as they move towards adulthood and come to engage increasingly with a complex and often fragmented social environment.