This research provides an insight into the perceptions held by pre-service teachers on the professional status of early childhood educators in their community. As a comparative study, it presents results from both Australian and American perspectives.

It is the first research of its kind in studying pre-service teachers’ perceptions of ECEC teacher’s status in relation to the Australian context or in comparing perspectives from Australia and the USA.

The paper illuminates on two main points. It presents findings on multiple level pre-service teachers’ perceptions of early childhood educators’ professional status in their community and also examines how the perceptions gathered from pre-service teachers in Australia compare to those from America, opening the field for cultural and policial analysis and discourse.

This study’s significance is deepened within the Australian political landscape as it comes at a time when the Early Childhood Education and Care sector has implemented a new quality framework which prioritises teaching qualifications. The comparative aspect of the study thereby provides rich opportunity for cross cultural analysis in relation to how Early Childhood Educators are viewed within their own broader educational community membership.


teachers, pre-service teachers, professional status, community, Australian and American comparisons

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