Working by the rules: Early childhood professionals' (dis)satisfaction with the regulatory environment

Year: 2005

Author: Fenech, Marianne, Sumsion, Jennifer, Goodfellow, Joy

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The regulatory environment in which long day care centres in NSW are required to operate plays a key role in determining what early childhood professionals do and how they go about doing it. This paper is drawn from an ARC funded, multi-phased project aimed at investigating the perceptions early childhood professionals have of the impact of this regulatory environment on their professional practice and provision of quality care. It reports findings from a state wide survey and shows how early childhood professionals position themselves with respect to four key aspects of the regulatory environment: the premises underlying regulatory control; its perceived support for them as professionals, in terms of their professional autonomy and delivery of quality care; the ways DOCS' regulations and QIAS impact upon their daily practice; and the way these audit systems affect their professional status. The implications of areas identified as sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction with the regulatory environment on (i) the provision of quality care, and (ii) childcare regulatory policy, will be discussed.