This paper presents the findings of a research project investigating the perceptions and expectations held by pre-service teachers regarding the childcare sector. It presents the views of a group of pre-service teachers both before and after their exposure to practice within childcare following a ten week practicum. The personal experiences of the research participants impacted greatly on their evolutionary understanding of and attitude towards the childcare sector. Thematic analysis of the data produced several key concepts that illuminated issues of identity conflict across the care and education divide. This paper makes a necessary contribution to the current research context where research on perspectives of teacher-educators within childcare is limited. It is particularly pertinent in the context of Australia’s implementation of the policy requiring a qualified teacher to be employed within childcare settings from 2014 onwards.


early childhood education, childcare, identity, professional status, pre-service teachers, practicum

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