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When babies have teachers: A study of how three community-based children's services employ early childhood teachers in infant-toddler programs

Author:
Ireland, Lynda

Year: 2006

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract: The Children's Services Regulation 2004 (NSW) makes it possible for children aged between birth and two years to be without a university qualified teacher in a centre-based long day care service. However, research demonstrates important links between caregivers' formal training and quality of interactions for infants and toddlers. This research project, undertaken as part of my Master of Education, is a phenomenological study which focuses on the pedagogical beliefs and management strategies of three community-based children's services that have employed a university qualified teacher in their infant-toddler room. The directors from each of the three children's services were interviewed. Each case study is reported independently of the other to draw upon the individual narrative of each service. A discussion draws together commonalities and nuances of the beliefs and strategies that these services assumed. The analysis illuminates strong pedagogical beliefs and a commitment to high quality early childhood education. Management strategies used to enact these beliefs include a detailed understanding of the financial status, effective leadership skills, partnership links with industry and a stable management committee. The research project has implications for employment conditions for staff, leadership in early childhood education, and the provision of high quality infant-toddler education.

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