Constructs of quality in school based childcare for 0-3 year olds within one Western Australian catholic school

Christine McGunnigle

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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Historically, the responsibility to ‘educate’ children and the responsibility to ‘care’ for children has been distinct. International research has articulated that the care and education of children should not continue in a dichotomous fashion, if, as a society, Australia is to improve long term outcomes for children. International research has been pivotal in the Australian Government’s quality reform of services for children in the early years. A result of this quality reform has been the development of a new phenomenon in Western Australian Catholic schools in 2009, the introduction of school based childcare for 0-3 year olds. The present study examined constructs of quality education and care within this new phenomenon, at one Catholic school based childcare. Constructs of quality were shaped from the perspectives of two stakeholder groups: five staff and five parents. To form these constructs of quality, a qualitative approach was adopted, utilising Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. A further element of this study was a comparison of stakeholder constructs of quality with indicators of quality in newly implemented policy, the National Quality Standard (2009b). Findings indicated that both staff and parents understood quality in terms of five master themes: relational, environmental, social emotional, educational and staffing. Through the analytical process, two over-arching characteristics were identified; the ability of the centre to be both ‘home-like’ and ‘school-like’. Through thematic and document analysis, comparisons were then made to the National Quality Standard (2009b). In doing so, it became evident that this policy does include the characteristics of quality that were valued by the stakeholder groups.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2013


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