Optimising professionalism and quality in long day care: Early Childhood professionals' perceptions of the impact of the regulatory environment

Year: 2004

Author: Dearn, Marian, Sumsion, Jennifer, Goodfellow, Joy

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Long day care centres in NSW operate under a myriad of regulatory requirements, most notably the NSW Department of Community Services' regulations and the National Childcare Accreditation Council's Quality Improvement and Accreditation System. This paper reports on the first phase of an Australian Research Council funded Linkage Project that is investigating long day care teachers'/directors' perceptions of:

• the impact of the regulatory environment on the provision of quality care;
• how the regulatory environment affects early childhood professional practice; and
• whether an improved balance between early childhood professionals' accountability for quality care and their autonomy in professional decision-making is needed.

Preliminary results from a survey sent to all long day centres in NSW will be presented. The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils and the NSW Independent Education Union are the Industry Partners to the project.