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ERIC Number: EJ1043494
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1052-0147
"I Love My Work But..." The Professionalization of Early Childhood Education
Boyd, Margaret
Qualitative Report, v18 Article 71 2013
There are two separate but related issues that have challenged advocates, researchers and practitioners in the field of early education and care work for decades: improving the quality of children's programs and increasing the wages and benefits of the workers. The solution has been framed as a need for professionalizing the workforce--professional development training, higher education and enhanced skills. While seeking professional status is expected to improve the quality of childcare programs and worker compensation, the relationship between quality, compensation and professional development training has not been fully explored. Through in-depth interviews with 32 early childhood educators I explored the relationship between educational qualifications and experience, with teacher pay and conditions of employment. Although the majority saw their work as "valuable and meaningful" they did not intend to remain in early childhood education. They experienced poverty wages, few benefits, high work related expenses and job insecurity. Their narratives highlight a crisis in early childhood education that requires radical change within the profession of early education. To retain the most qualified and motivated early childhood educators, pay and working conditions must be improved. Obtaining professional status and credentials for early education and care workers is not enough. Substantial increases in wages and benefits must be central to this movement; anything less suggests exploitation not professionalization.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A