Redefining the early childhood profession: Bridging the great divide

Year: 2002

Author: Maloney, Carmel, Barblett, Lennie

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper addresses those issues recognised as perpetuating the divide between care and education. Whilst the OECD Report (Press & Hayes, 2000) placed Australia at the crossroads in terms of the tensions reflected in the divide between care and education, it would appear that the gulf is widening rather than shrinking. Issues such as professional status and standing, working conditions, and training and qualifications are discussed. Data are drawn from a survey conducted with students enrolled in a Bachelor of Education (ECS) course. Students' perceptions of the major issues indicate that the divisions continue to be reinforced. This further highlights the need to redefine the knowledge base, policies and practices of care and education to reflect quality provisions and pre-service training and education which will provide a seamless approach to structures and practices.