The sleeping elephant in the room: Practices and policies regarding sleep-rest time in ECEC
Staton, Sally, Irvine, Susan, Pattinson, Cassandra, Smith, Simon S., & Thorpe, Karen J. (2015) The sleeping elephant in the room: Practices and policies regarding sleep-rest time in ECEC. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 40(4), pp. 77-86.
The National Quality Framework (NQF) for Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in Australia identifies the need for services to make provision for each child’s sleep, rest and relaxation within a national early year’s policy framework that also requires that opportunities for learning and physical health are optimised, and that the agency of each child and their family is respected. Against this background, the scheduling of a standard sleep-time in ECEC centres remains a common practice, even in rooms catering for older children for whom daytime sleep may no longer be necessary. This article draws upon existing scholarship to explore the issues and tensions associated with sleep-rest, in the context of Australian curriculum and quality standards documents. We review accounts from educators, parents and children and contemporary views regarding high quality practice in ECEC, with an aim of supporting critical reflection on practice and continuous quality improvement in ECEC.
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