Building social capital in early childhood education and care: an Australian study

Farrell, Ann, Tayler, Collette P., & Tennent, Lee (2004) Building social capital in early childhood education and care: an Australian study. British Educational Research Journal, 30(5), pp. 623-632.

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Mounting research evidence demonstrates that effective 'early childhood education and care' (ECEC) has short-term and longer-term social and educational benefits for children and families. An allied body of evidence attests to the contribution of social capital (i.e. social networks and relationships based on trust) to such benefits. The research reported in this article bridges these two bodies of evidence by researching the social capital of children, their families and community members in the context of a state-wide initiative (in Queensland, Australia) of integrated early childhood and family hubs. Drawn conceptually from the sociology of childhood, a methodological feature of the research is a broadened focus on children, not just adults, as reliable informants of their own everyday experience in ECEC. Some 138 children (aged 4-8 years) in urban and rural/remote localities in Queensland participated in research conversations about their social experience in and beyond ECEC. Children's social capital was found to be higher in the urban community than in the rural community, highlighting the potential of child and family hubs to strengthen children's social capital in those communities with few social facilities.

Impact and interest:

17 citations in Scopus
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11 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 6546
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/0141192042000234610
ISSN: 1469-3518
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in: British Educational Research Journal 30(5)
Deposited On: 23 Mar 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:06

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