Understanding who cares: Creating the evidence to address the long-standing policy problem of staff shortages in early childhood education and care

Press, Frances, Wong, Sandie, & Gibson, Megan (2015) Understanding who cares: Creating the evidence to address the long-standing policy problem of staff shortages in early childhood education and care. Journal of Family Studies, 21(1), pp. 87-100.

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Abstract

Evidence-based policy is a means of ensuring that policy is informed by more than ideology or expedience. However, what constitutes robust evidence is highly contested. In this paper, we argue policy must draw on quantitative and qualitative data. We do this in relation to a long entrenched problem in Australian early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce policy. A critical shortage of qualified staff threatens the attainment of broader child and family policy objectives linked to the provision of ECEC and has not been successfully addressed by initiatives to date. We establish some of the limitations of existing quantitative data sets and consider the potential of qualitative studies to inform ECEC workforce policy. The adoption of both quantitative and qualitative methods is needed to illuminate the complex nature of the work undertaken by early childhood educators, as well as the environmental factors that sustain job satisfaction in a demanding and poorly understood working environment.

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ID Code: 94762
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: early childhood education, qualitative research, family policy, work and family
DOI: 10.1080/13229400.2015.1020990
ISSN: 1839-3543
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500) > Social Policy (160512)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 12 Apr 2016 04:14
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2016 22:28

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