This paper examines three periods in the history of child care: nineteenth-century creches, World War II day nurseries, and the 1970s Community Child Care movement. It argues that, in each of these periods, the services were shaped by three sets of competing interests: those of the mothers who needed or wanted to work; their children; and the volunteer committees or collectives anxious to "rescue" children from forms of care they considered unsuitable. The final resolution, in each case, reflected not simply a response to the needs of working women and their children but rather a more complex process that often owed at least as much to the values of the service providers as those of the mothers and children in their care.
This paper reports analysis of 2006-2007 on-entry assessment data from the Performance Indicators in Primary Schools Baseline Assessment (PIPS-BLA) of random samples of students in England, Scotland, New Zealand and Australia. The analysis aimed, first, to investigate the validity and reliability of that instrument across countries and sexes, and, second, to investigate what students know and can do the year before they start formal schooling. Data was analysed using the Rasch measurement model and interactive software (RUMM2020). Results indicated that three scales, Reading, Vocabulary and Mathematics, represent (with the exception of very few items) single variables which have the same meaning across all four countries and both sexes. The three scales may also be combined and regarded as a single measure at a higher level of scale. Developmental trends for children starting school were similar for all four countries. (Contains 12 figures and 5 tables.)
This paper addresses how and why the musical intelligence can be used to aid students in the learning process. It explores the brain research, several short vignettes and an informal case study. Conceptually, the author suggests that music can and should be used to help students learn and retain curricular content, may be matched to tasks in preschool as an auditory reminder, and should serve as a link for cultural growth and preservation. Music in the classroom also addresses the students' emotional wellbeing. Suggestions of application for classroom teachers and learning disabilities practitioners are provided. (Contains 3 endnotes.)
The Quality Improvement and Accreditation System (QIAS) is designed to create benchmarks for quality long day care (LDC). As accreditation does not influence employment conditions, high staff turnover and departures from the industry of qualified and experienced workers is the result. High staff turnover and industry attrition of workers can be abated if both the determining and contributing factors of quality care are simultaneously addressed. Failure to examine and improve the extrinsic rewards of work in LDC will dilute the child-centred outcomes of accreditation as well as the occupational commitment of child care workers.
In June 1995 the Federal Government received the evaluation report on the national accreditation and quality improvement system for long day child care centres (Coopers & Lybrand Consultants 1995). The evaluation had been commissioned to investigate four issues: the quality improvements resulting from accreditation; the financial costs to centres of accreditation; the adequacy of resources provided to assist centres with accreditation; and any problems centres had encountered with the system. This paper focuses on the evaluation's findings with respect to the first term of reference, the exact wording of which was ‘to measure improvements in the quality of care attributable to the system’.
Workers in selected long day care centres in Sydney, Australia were surveyed on issues such as time allocated for written work, adequate staff-child ratio, inservice training, the process of accreditation, award wages and conditions, and attitudes to long day care. The aim of the survey was to find out if child care work conditions had changed with the implementation of accreditation. The results indicated that most of the respondents agreed that accreditation ensures high quality care but they found the process difficult, mainly due to lack of time. Work conditions over all had not changed as almost half of the respondents do not have allocated time for written work; half of the respondents did not agree with the staff-child ratio and three-quarters were not satisfied with their awards and wanted higher wages.
Science experiences in early childhood are common place, particularly in the natural sciences. However, when we organise these experiences they are usually framed from a Western science perspective. Little thought is given to other forms of science, such as Eastern or Aboriginal perspectives. This paper discusses the need to move away from such an ethnocentric view of science, and for early childhood professionals to actively seek out the cultural views which influence their children's scientific thinking. Accordingly, Aboriginal science is highlighted in this paper.
This article explores parental and childcare staff perceptions of quality across alternative childcare governance structures in Australia. A total of 21 childcare staff currently working within both 'non-profit' and 'for-profit' long day care centres were interviewed. In addition, 20 interviews with parents of children attending community-based, independent-private and corporate chain centres were conducted. Significant differences between the quality perceptions of parent and staff cohorts were found. In addition, inter-group differences were also observed. The results tentatively suggest that both parents and staff attach importance to both structural (regulated and flexible)and procedural elements of childcare service delivery—although parental age and caregiver experience appear to moderate the levels of importance assigned to identified quality dimensions. Yes Yes
This article argues that improvements in the quality of young children's educational experiences could be assisted by greater use of fourth generation’ action research. A case is built for an increase in research for’ quality improvement in early childhood services as opposed to research ‘about’ quality improvement, through comparing and contrasting the implications for educational practice of the ethical and epistemological underpinnings of positivist, phenomenological and critical social science research traditions. It is argued that action research, informed by the ethics and epistemology of critical social science, offers one way of initiating such research.
This paper describes two simple, informal checklists that can be used to assess the range of experiences and activities of preschool children. Data from use of the checklists with a large sample of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children are provided. (Author/DB)
This article offers an overview of ADD and ADHD, their causes and long-term prognoses. The complexities of the conditions, our incomplete knowledge about them and the difficulties of diagnosis during the early childhood years are discussed. Assessment and treatment options are summarised and the conclusion reached that, while our understanding of ADD and ADHD is still incomplete and we have still larger gaps in our knowledge of treatment options for many children, the condition has so many secondary effects that designing an individualised and multimodal treatment regime is essential.
This paper presents my own personal perspective on the challenging behaviour of my son, and my attempt to theorise about that behaviour using the work on ‘temperament’. The history of ‘attention and behaviour problems’ is briefly outlined, culminating in the most recent work on neuropsychological factors. The paper then considers the ways that various approaches assign the blame/responsibility for ‘problems’ to different locations, including the individual child, the family, and the wider social context. Consideration is given also to the connections between ADHD and gender.
Children diagnosed as having ADHD are likely to have difficulty meeting the demands of the classroom, and hence present a problem for the teacher. An examination of the research literature shows that behavioural and cognitive behavioural intervention procedures have been the most researched interventions for ADHD. There is strong empirical support for the efficacy of the behavioural interventions, but stronger than usual consequences are typically required to motivate children with ADHD. The results for the cognitive behavioural interventions have been less than expected. The literature also suggests that children with ADHD are better suited to being placed in highly structured, teacher centred, and well managed classrooms. The reluctance of some teachers to implement behavioural interventions and suggestions for overcoming this reluctance are discussed.
This article reports the results of a survey of 168 New Zealand early childhood workers and describes their health status, behaviours and concerns. The respondents included 73 childcare teachers, 58 kindergarten teachers and 37 home-based educators. Although 92 per cent of respondents reported that they had good or excellent health, statistically significant differences were found between the groups for days absent because of illness, accidental injuries, job-related stress and ergonomic aspects of their work. All groups reported an increase in various physical symptoms since working with children, in particular backaches, muscle strain and fatigue. One-quarter of respondents experienced an illness related to their work with children during the past year, most commonly respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses. The study alerts early childhood education employers to the importance of managing health issues such as workload and stress, occupational injuries, the provision of an ergonomically healthy work environment and adequate conditions of employment.
Predicts that changing sociocultural patterns will affect services for Australian children in the 1980s. Among topics discussed are demographic changes: a decreased birth rate and an increased number of working mothers in fatherless families at the poverty level. Compensatory education programs and family policy development in Western societies are also described. (Author/DB)
This qualitative study investigated the experiences of 2 pairs of boys (1 typically developing, 1 with Down Syndrome) during their transitions to school. The boys were observed using continuous narrative recordings during all aspects of the curriculum. Their teachers, parents and peers were also interviewed. Results indicated that the boys with Down Syndrome (DS) engaged in a narrower range of roles than the typically developing boys at preschool. Essentially, they were included in level 1 type inclusion (interactions that did not involve any emotional connections with specific children). However, observations at school indicated that inclusion or exclusion were not within-child characteristics, but largely dependent on the context. By the end of the first week of school, one child with DS was actively included in the full range of roles characteristic for that setting (levels 1 and 2 inclusion). Furthermore, one typically developing child who experienced both forms of inclusion at preschool was excluded at school. He experienced mostly interactions characteristic of level 1 type of inclusion at school. The data suggest that the nature of relationships in each context affected inclusion and exclusion more than the setting (preschool or school) or the presence of DS. These relationships were shaped by all levels of the centre or school’s educational culture and beliefs, which permeated through the curriculum, pedagogy, assessment processes and ethos of the institutions, which in all but one school were based on an absence of disability as a prevailing norm.
This paper presents a model of the approaches open to government to ensure that early childhood services are affordable to families. We derived the model from a comparative literature review of affordability approaches taken by government, both in Australia and internationally. The model adds significantly to the literature by proposing a means to understand and assess the numerous options for affordability funding. The model suggests that the options fall into only three basic approaches: operational funding, fee subsidies and tax relief. Application of this simple model helps clarify the costs and benefits of particular choices within these approaches. We predict that the choices affect cost to government, affordability to families, and participation by children in early childhood services. (Contains 2 tables.)
IN THE EARLY CHILDHOOD education and care (ECEC) sector there has been a plethora of literature about practice with children in the birth to five age group (Arthur, Beecher, Dockett, Farmer, Richards, 1995; Dockett & Fleer, 1999; Fleer, 2003, 2005; Hutchins & Sims, 1999; Grieshaber & Cannella, 2001; Press & Hayes, 2000; Stonehouse, 1988). There is also literature about how particular types of ECEC practice assists in promoting intellectual competence, agency and resilience in these young children. However, current research about how to scaffold and value metalinguistic and metacognitive competence and agency in the birth to three age group appears to be scant (Page, 2005).
This paper uses data from interviews and videotaped observations of young children and their families to begin to unpack how learning experiences for birth to three-year-olds happen within particular social contexts. An interpretive and theoretical bricolage (Denzin & Lincoln, 2003; Levi-Strauss, 1966) of theory and literature is used to interrogate this data, acting as a means of informing epistemological understanding about how practice within particular social contexts constrains or enables children as competent and capable learners. The authors argue that a tendency to underestimate the metacognitive and metalinguistic ability of infants and toddlers delimits understanding of what is possible for them within play and learning contexts. Finally, a model of practice is developed that focuses on appreciating and enhancing such abilities in this age group.
The primary aim this study was to investigate whether a gross motor proficiency norm developed in one country could be applied to young children in another country. The secondary aim of the study was to assess the gross motor proficiency of Hong Kong preschoolers aged five years. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP) (subtests 1 to 5) was used to test the gross motor proficiency of 242 children aged approximately five (four years, six months-5 years, 5 months) years. The gross motor proficiency of the young children was measured in terms of their performance on running speed and agility, balance, bilateral coordination, strength and upper-limb coordination (subtests 1 to 5 of BOTMP). The results indicated that Hong Kong children at five years were significantly better than the BOTMP norms in all test items except running speed and agility performance. Hence, norms developed in one country might not be applicable to children of other countries. (Contains 3 tables.)
In this study of the incidence and intensity of separation anxiety on entrance to preschool, differences in variables such as age, sex and prior experience at separation were examined, as well as the relationship between general anxiety and separation anxiety. The subjects were 221 three- and four-year-old children about to commence preschool, while the instruments employed were Doris et al. (1971) Parental Anxiety Rating Scale (PAR), which included a general anxiety subscale and another relating to separation anxiety and their Teacher Separation Anxiety Rating Scale (TSAR).
The majority of the children were rated by their parents as exhibiting relatively low levels of age-appropriate anxiety and fears, and teachers found they made a relatively easy adjustment to preschool. No significant sex differences were found in the general fears of the children, but four-year-olds were rated more fearful than three-year-olds. On the separation anxiety subscale of the PAR prior experience with separation was found to be significant, as well as the combined effects of sex, age and experience. A link between separation anxiety and general anxiety proneness was evident. No significant sex, age or prior experience differences were found on the TSAR scale. The study failed to find a significant correlation between the TSAR and the PAR on either of its subscales.
This article identifies contemporary issues for educators regarding the integration of new technologies in the early childhood education centre, through critical analysis of discourse associated with the integration of new technologies in early childhood services in Aotearoa/New Zealand. A culture of critique is revealed as an early childhood curriculum objective in Aotearoa/New Zealand, supported by the Ministry of Education. However, engaging in such critique reveals tensions between expectations regarding educators and the vested interests of policy-makers and technology industries. The characterisation of the educator as technologically deficient marginalises opportunities for educators to critically consider the role of technology in society. This paper argues for a problematisation of negative characterisations of educators in order to promote meaningful critique that is articulated as a requisite of effective integration of technology in early childhood curricula.
This paper presents an overview of events in Aotearoa/New Zealand mathematics education over the past decade or so. We begin with the curriculum reforms of the 1990s that led to the development of the current mathematics curriculum (Ministry of Education, 1992), and document developments in policy, resources and approaches to teaching. There has been a strong emphasis on improving student achievement, and the overview illustrates how developments in the school sector have been accompanied by a focus on early childhood education, adult numeracy, and community involvement in children's learning. We conclude by reflecting on the current curriculum review, and what this might mean for practice.
Describes development of New Zealand's national early childhood curriculum guidelines, called by the Maori phrase for "woven mat." Examines the government's changing role in early childhood education, the curriculum development process, and sources and principles of the curriculum. Details the curriculum's specific aims for children. (HTH)