Abstract

Discourse on quality, within the context of childcare, has moved beyond the level of licensing to consider children’s right to belong. Within Western Australia (WA), there has been a paradigm shift as international research literature on quality childcare has advocated the long- term benefits for individuals and the community when children experience high quality early education and care. This paradigm shift has resulted in new legislation in WA that articulates the components of quality across childcare, as well as the criteria on which centres are assessed. This paper reports the findings of an investigation into the constructs of quality from two stakeholder groups; parents and educators. Findings from this study indicated that, when it comes to quality, what matters most to both parents and educators are the types of interactions children have with others and their environment; the ways in which children’s needs are met; and children’s experiences for development and learning. These findings align with the themes of the nationally mandated early years’ document – the Early Years Learning Framework (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR], 2009) Belonging, Being and Becoming.

Keywords

childcare, quality, Western Australia, early education, “Early Years Learning Framework”, “Belonging, Being and Becoming”, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

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