Researchers worldwide have emphasized the critical role of teacher education in preparing teachers to respond in a professional manner to the prevailing discourse of accountability. We aimed to investigate the influence of initial teacher training programmes on agency, as part of the professional autonomy of early childhood teachers, vis-à-vis their impacts on teachers’ specific professional expertise. Drawing on qualitative data, we elucidate the vital role of early childhood teachers’ expertise in fostering their agency and the importance of teacher education for the development of this expertise. A quantitative follow-up study supports the qualitative findings. Implications for practice are discussed.