Some of the challenges relating to Australia's early childhood workforce sustainability are consistent with experiences in other national contexts, in particular: pay that is in- commensurate with the skill and responsibility required of educators, educators per- ceiving that there is a lack of public recognition of their professionalism and, that work in other sectors offers the same pay but is perceived to be less stressful (Prod- uctivity Commission 2011). Also similarly to other national contexts, rates of staff turnover between workplaces are high in Australia - estimated at between 25% and 37% per year (depending on jurisdiction and job classification) (Community Services Ministers' Advisory Council 2006). Staff shortages are also widespread and, along with turnover, are especially problematic among diploma and university-qualified educators, in regional and remote areas and in the long day care workforce. In addition, there are difficulties attracting and retaining educa- tors (of all qualifications) for indigenous-focused services (Productivity Commis- sion 2014). A shortage of service leaders also appears to create additional pressure; with educators sometimes promoted beyond their skills, experience and knowledge (Bretherton 2010). As some advocates have suggested, without ongoing mentoring and skills development, these leaders may subsequently ‘burn out’ and leave the sector (United Voice - The Childcare Union 2011).
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2.14 In the millennium year, 2000, a high level group, with senior represen- tatives from nine Government departments, following a wide-ranging consultation, produced Ireland’s first National Children’s Strategy, Our Children Their Lives. This is a strategically important document for children in Irish society and, unusually for such a document, included sections entitled “Ensuring Implementation” and “Monitoring Implementation” in its contents. Also, in 2000, the National Children’s Office was established. The following year, 2001, the Children’s Act was passed. In 2003, the Children’s Ombudsman, which had been promised in 1996, was established. Following the establishment of pilot projects for day care provision for disadvantaged children in 1994, and a small programme of supports for the childcare sector, the supply side recommendations of the National Childcare Strategy underpinned the creation of the Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme (EOCP), under the National Development Plan (2000-2006). This is operated by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to facilitate parents and especially mothers engaging in the workforce and in training/education. This involved expenditure of e 235 million in the period 2000-2004 and it is now planned to spend a further e 490 million from 2005-2009 on the Programme. City and County Childcare Committees were established to develop locally focused Childcare Strategies and to support delivery of services at local level. 2.15 While concerns about care and education for early childhood featured
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Bundy (2012) argues in her paper, which examines Ontario’s Early Learning Program (ELP), that placing children at the centre of the program renders invisible all other actants except children. She argues that the effects of the discourses of the future child and equality of opportunity for children leave gender equality on the periphery. In her view, there is no room in the discussion for women and women’s rights when it focuses on investments in the future child. She states that even though, as a by-product of universal child care, women could be better represented in the workforce, it is not in that context that policymakers are positioning women and their equality when they consider universal child care. They are only positioning universal child care as a means to get women back into the workforce to create more wealth for the state in the form of income tax, and their interest is not necessarily in bringing equity to women in the workforce. This reality is seen in the continuation of low wages, poor benefits, and precarious work of early childhood educators. Finally, Bundy argues that the ELP reproduces gendered prescriptions for regulated and expected behaviour of women and mothers.
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Across and beyond Europe, demographic, social and economic pressures both at the macro and the micro level are impacting on the work contexts of early childhood educators. Alongside heightened drives towards expansion and increasing regulation of the field, expectations are intensifying. Additionally, goals and targets for higher education and vocational education at the European policy level are generating restructurings of the national qualification systems for work in the early childhood field. In this dynamic context of change the SEEPRO (Early Education/care and Professionalisation in Europe) study, based at the State Institute of Early Childhood Research in Munich and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Family and Youth Affairs, set out to map the qualification requirements and workplace settings of early years practitioners in their country-specific context. Similarities and differences across the 27 countries of the European Union were documented and analysed. The findings of the study show considerable divergencies across Europe in terms of formal education and training requirements and the desired professional profiles for working with young children. Against this background of diversity, similarities in terms of workforce emergencies and challenges have also emerged: one is a common lack of truly flexible and inclusive pathways linked to formal professional recognition and status for all practitioners in the field; another is the continuing need to seek more effective ways of including men in the early childhood workforce.
Broadhead and Meleady (2008) wrote about the challenges they faced within Sheffield Children’s Centre in recruiting and retaining staff. They adopted an intersectional approach (Crenshaw, 1989; Cristensen and Jensen, 2014) aiming for the staff team to represent both the gender composition and ethnic diversity of its community. A current example of intersectional awareness in recruiting male workers is in a centre in Bradford, England, based on the children’s centre model pioneered during the years of the Sure Start initiative. It has a diverse staff which is not only ‘gender balanced’ but includes a representation of the religious and racial and cultural groups who live around it. Here we have a rather more sophisticated form of what we might mean by a balanced workforce, in which gender balance is an element of an overall value for diversity.
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Combining innovative pedagogies with an effective use of digital tools and content will boost education in terms of quality, equity and efficiency. The most effective teaching methods place students at the centre of the learning process. Digital tools are often involved in such active teaching practices, yet only one out of three teachers in the EU reports frequent use of practices involving ICT. Close to 20% of lower secondary school teachers indicate that they have a high need for continuing professional development in the area of ICT skills for teaching and new technologies in the workplace. Meanwhile, MOOCs are becoming more prevalent, but Europe is still lagging behind. This is a policy priority, as MOOCs and Open Educational Resources have the potential of reaching a far larger and more diversified audience than traditional forms of learning, and at a lower cost.
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MAY-JUNE 2017, VOL- 4/32 www.srjis.com Page 498 Education is an important agency of social control and social transformation. Therefore opportunity of education must be given to everyone. In this regard, the world declared on 1948, ‘Everyone has a right to education’. In the year 2000, the world’s governments adopted the six EFA goals and the eight Millennium Developments goals, the two most important frameworks in the field of education. The report to UNESCO of the International Commission on education for the twenty-first century promoted a holistic view of education consisting of four pillars namely learning to know, learning to do, learning to be and learning to live together. The education priorities of UNESCO are shaped by these objectives. In response to this situation, the global Education for All (EFA) movement aims to meet the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015. The text was widely adopted by the India and other many countries. In accordance with the Constitutional commitment to ensure free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14 years, provision of universal elementary education has been a salient feature of national policy since independence.
Overall, the participants constructed love in ECEC settings as different from love within families. The key difference they identified was that children were only in ECEC settings on a temporary basis (both in terms of hours of the day, and also years of their lives). However, they pointed out that parents wanted to know that their children were loved while in the care of professionals, or in non-familial contexts. While clearly distinguishing between love in the family and in a work setting, the childminder identified the most similarities between the two, and was explicit that her role let her “be a mum” on a temporary basis.
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In fact, the strengths of qualitative ECEC research are many, and their importance for government, considerable. Qualitative research has been done in all aspects of ECEC operations and policies, from coordinating mechanisms at a national level (OECD, 2006), curriculum frameworks (Office for Children and Early Childhood Development, 2008), and determining the critical elements of preschool quality (Siraj-Blatchford et al., 2003), to developing services at a community level including effective outreach practices and governance arrangements. Qualitative research underpins best practice guides and regulations (Bink, 2007). Cross country comparative studies on policies and programs rely heavily on qualitative research methods.
Although my periods of fieldwork were conducted during kindergarten sessions, in the majority of cases focus group interviews were held after the children had left for the day. McLaren (2008:10-13) has noted the difficulty of trying to conduct research with early childhood teachers who are working long hours and often on rostered shifts in noisy environments where it is challenging to find a quiet space for testing (or interviews in my case). Occasionally in New Zealand, but particularly while taping in Japan, children’s high-pitched voices sent my sound levels spiralling off the charts. Te One (2007) has noted that she had trouble transcribing children’s conversations in early childhood settings as the microphone picked up a great deal of extraneous noise which made the task extremely difficult. As I came to realise, Japanese notions of what could be accomplished during interviews beset with a barrage of interruptions (children popping in, phone calls, photocopiers churning and parcel deliveries) were quite different to perceptions in New Zealand. These issues combined with non-native
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qualifications for a Pre-School teacher will be at least 7 weeks basic training, spread over a period of two years, organized either by the Ministry of Education or VEJA. During this time they are mentored and assessed by the PPSCs and/ or the Key Teachers This will equip them with the basic knowledge to facilitate the child’s ability to learn through play. No untrained person should be in charge of a Pre-School. Teachers are also encouraged to undertake further training with registered Training Providers. No teacher should be under 18 years of age.
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The Campus hosts between 900 and 1,200 students per semester from the Pacific region, most of whom are studying law, and all over Vanuatu who are studying via Distance and Flexible Learning (DFL) mode. Students at the campus are studying certificate, diploma, degree or postgraduate level programs using either face-to-face mode of study or the University of the South Pacific’s unique distance education program. In addition to the distance education program, four of the University of the South Pacific’s teaching programs are based at Emalus: Law, Pacific Languages, Economics and more recently education. The campus also offers a varied community and continuing education program and has expanded its Francophone program to cater to students who have dropped out of the French secondary schools throughout Vanuatu and are planning on continuing their studies at the tertiary level.
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opment and institutions and their practices in Australia and Denmark. Based on Vygotskian theory, they focused on three perspectives in relation to home and schooling: formal societal, general institutional, and individual. They found that both the formal societal conditions and material conditions in- fluenced practice in the two families in the study, but most obvious were the school demands and the material restrictions in the Australian family and the parents’ work demands in the Danish family. In Chapter 15, Freitas, Shelton, and Sperb examine early childhood programs in Brazil. Historically, these programs were developed similarly to those in other countries including Canada, where one system has care programs for the poor and the other has educational programs for the rich. Although there was some change in Brazil in the 1960s and 1970s when women demanded childcare programs so that they could work, the greatest change has been the implementation of federal legislation in 1996 that stated that all children had the right to be educated. Although this ensured an increase in preschool programs, this has not filtered into rural areas, which do not have adequate early childhood programs. In the final chapter, Fleer, Tonyan, Mantilla, and Rivalland analyze play in early childhood programs. In their research, they had early childhood teachers ex- amine their work with children by analyzing the play. They concluded by suggesting that the categories of play are insufficient in describing children’s play and that these play theories describe “only one of the many possible cultural models of children’s play” (p. 307). The strength of this section is the array of methods that policymakers used to address issues in childhood and then how the educators tried to work with policies at the local level.
These developments in early childhood education and care listed above formed part of a wider programme of reform that emphasises the integration and improvement of ser- vices for children and families, including health and family support in addition to educa- tion and childcare. The overall aim is to improve child outcomes and to narrow the gap between children who do well and those who do not. This follows a principle of pro- gressive universalism combining universal services with progressively greater support in relation to need. Protecting vulnerable children is paramount as well as ensuring that vulnerable children do not slip through the net. Such aims were expressed in the Every Child Matters framework, and reiterated in later policy documents, and refer to achiev- ing five outcomes for all children: being healthy; staying safe; enjoying and achieving; making a positive contribution; and achieving economic well-being.
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The Department plays a support role in the ongoing development of the Better Start Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) which was launched in June 2016 by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA). This is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme. In 2018 DES/EYEPU, which sits on the cross-sectoral implementation group steering the initiative, continued to provide supports to the AIM model through participation in both the project team on developments such as AIM Inclusive Play (AIP) Resources (6,500 packs delivered to ECCE services nationally in 2018) and the Training working group which developed further training programmes in 2018. A consortium led by Mary Immaculate College, in partnership with Early Childhood Ireland and Froebel, Maynooth University, is delivering the award winning “Leadership for Inclusion (LINC) programme” http://lincprogramme.ie/ nationwide to 900 students per annum over four years to train an Inclusion Coordinator – a key role that has been identified to help support children with a disability in pre-school – to work in every early years setting. An additional capitation is paid by DCYA to services which employ an Inclusion Coordinator. The third cohort of students graduated in October 2018.
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program. A total of 41 colleges were contacted. Criteria for participation were: (a) high school diploma/GED and no early childhood college coursework, (b) currently employed as a teacher of 3-5 year olds, and (c) had not completed CDA coursework. In-service training completed to meet state childcare licensing requirements was not measured since all teachers working at state licensed facilities would be required to meet these training requirements. Few participants could be identified who did not have recent coursework in early childhood. Research has indicated that even a few college courses in early childhood can make a difference in the developmental appropriateness of teachers beliefs and self-reported practices (Cassidy, Buell, Pugh-Hoese, & Russell, 1995). Because including these students in the study would have made it difficult to attribute changes in beliefs solely to the impact of the CDA coursework, a new method of finding participants was initiated.
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Despite policy rhetoric that promotes parents’ involvement at the implementation level, the experience in many countries is that educational institutions seem to have difficulties in involving parents. Among these difficulties are: teachers’ perceptions of parents as being indifferent or difficult to engage (Crozier & Davies, 2007; Hand, et al., 2006); tensions between what parents want and child care legislation and accreditation guidelines (Deslandes, 2001); and tendency of carers to value professional knowledge more than parents’ own knowledge about children and childrearing (Crozier & Davies, 2007). Berthelsen and Walker (2008) suggested that there may be cultural capital inequalities between parents and teachers, which echoes the findings of Vincent and Martin (2002) who discovered that the extent to which parents access and use different social resources had a significant effect on how easily and over what issues they approached the school. Sullivan (2001, p. 893) citing Bourdieu (1977), explains that cultural capital comprises of an
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Figure 2 shows gross enrolment rates in State Preschools. However, almost no children are enrolled in early education in the remote areas. This is a concern as children living in these areas may have multiple disadvantages, such as, poverty, poorly educated mothers and ethnic minority status. The timings and the months of operation of the CPS and HBP take into account the fact that many parents are farmers. For example, the CPS program finishes at 9.00 a.m. and the CPS and HBP do not operate in the harvest seasons. The child is taken care by the mother/other family members after school hours. As shown in Table 2, there are considerable differences among the three programs in their dates of establishment, size and modes of operation. These differences clearly affect program quality.
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children’s and families’ needs in relation to social themes, and to give articulated answers; an educator able to develop new knowledge and put it into practice by reflexivity and adopting a research attitude. In the case of Greece there are no formal national competence profiles for early childhood educators. One may come across such profiles in isolated cases of certain municipal daycare centres, but these profiles are not valid throughout Greece. Early childhood educators are of course always appointed on the basis of certain certified qualifications (degrees, knowledge of Greek language, computer skills, written exams in the case of kindergarten pedagogues working in public kindergartens, etc.). There is no written, formal and universal description of what their role and competences should be. Upon completion of their initial training studies professionals are qualified and supposed to be competent to perform their tasks in any early childhood institution. Initial training studies vary, according to the rank of the early childhood educator (kindergarten pedagogues/relevant university degree, early childhood educators/relevant technical educational institute (TEI) degree and early childhood educator assistant/relevant vocational training centre (IEK) certificate supplemented by a certification from the Organisation for Vocational Education and Training (OEEK), or relevant vocational high school (EPAL) or Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) schools’ graduation award). Each institution is entrusted to equip the students with the necessary competences to carry out their responsibilities effectively. The curriculum and content of modules in initial training institutes are defined by the general assembly of the relevant department and approved by the institute’s council. Only recently has the European Union – through Greece’s National Agency (IKY) – begun to request higher education institutes to specify in writing their
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Preschool teachers capitalize on children’s play to further language and vocabulary development (using storytelling, rhyming games, and acting games), improve social skills (having the children work together to build a neighborhood in a sandbox), and introduce scientific and mathematical concepts (showing the children how to balance and count blocks when building a bridge or how to mix colors when painting). (2) Young children learn by exploring their environments in play activities. By observing the interests of the young child, a teacher qualified in early childhood education is able to support habits of the mind that results in a love of learning. This provides the essential foundation for future years of schooling (Helm and Katz 4).