In the Read

Quality is key for early childhood education

The Mitchell Institute at Victoria University have released a paper examining how Australia is faring on process quality, which focuses on emotionally supportive interactions between staff and children, and effective teacher-directed learning activities, alongside elements of structural quality, such as formal qualifications, workplace health and safety and access to equipment and resources, and broader system quality issues. The paper argues that quality early education is best achieved through rich, sensitive and warm play-based interactions between staff and children, which are informed by structural and system quality measures, such as raising qualification requirements, reducing educator to child ratios and establishing a National Quality Standard, which have long been the focus of reform. In contrast, the paper argues for prioritising the everyday experience of children in early childhood education and the practice of educators in skilfully crafting learning opportunities to inform why changes need to be made to the structural and systemic measurements of quality. When it comes to process quality, the paper finds that disadvantaged children are more likely to miss out on high quality early childhood education and that quality varies more for younger children. Read the report.

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