NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED499138
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Nov-15
Pages: 75
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 236
ISBN: 0-8643-1717-4
Early Childhood Education: Pathways to Quality and Equity for All Children. Australian Education Review Number 50
Elliott, Alison
Australian Council for Educational Research
Although a good beginning is well recognised as the foundation for future development, health and wellbeing, not only in the early years, but also throughout life, policy and practice in early education and care in Australia still lack focus and integration. Using metaphors of patchworks and crossroads, the author discusses this issue, outlining problems and framing potential prospects. The patchwork metaphor captures the mix of types of provision, regulatory regimes and policy contexts that reflect the historical origins of the field and the contemporary realities of early childhood education in the Australian federation. The background to the patchwork is the divide between care and education that has historically characterized the field. Elliott points out that the divide stems from the emergence in the late 19th century, of the kindergarten movement with its focus on early learning and preparation for school and on day nurseries with a charitable and welfare focus. These divergent paths have resulted in different systems for managing and regulating provision of early childhood services. The crossroads metaphor captures the sense of choice, highlighting the need for regaining momentum to address the educational and developmental needs of young children, to move forward, so that Australian children can enjoy equitable access to high-quality early education, and so Australian society can reap the social benefits. Elliott advocates that the way forward requires placing learning and development at the center of policies and practices in early childhood, with a strengthened commitment to supports for families. (Contains 2 figures and 8 tables.)
Australian Council for Educational Research. Available from: ACER Press. 347 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia. Tel: +61-3-9835-7447; Fax: +61-3-9835-7499; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Australian Council for Educational Research, Victoria.
Identifiers - Location: Australia