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ERIC Number: EJ1104264
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1357-5279
Regulators' Views of Quality in Early Childhood Care and Education Settings in Ireland
Hanafin, Sinéad
Child Care in Practice, v22 n2 p183-196 2016
There is a substantial literature on the importance of good-quality early childhood care and education services. There is also, however, some agreement that service quality is a nebulous concept which is difficult to define and therefore difficult to assess. While there is growing literature in the area, the views of one stakeholder group--that of regulators--is relatively scarce in the academic literature. This article presents the views of this stakeholder group using the findings from a systematic analysis of reports of pre-school inspections carried out in the Republic of Ireland. A total of 3007 individual inspection reports comprising 81,189 regulation references were analysed in this study. The findings indicate that regulators are of the view that the majority of services are compliant across most of the 27 regulations inspected, with three-quarters (73%) of all services inspected reported to be non-compliant on five or fewer regulations. The three areas reported to have the highest levels of non-compliance were "management and staffing" (46.2%), "safety" (43%) and "records" (35%). Variation in the findings was identified according to the type of inspection (follow-up inspections had the highest levels of non-compliance), type of service (drop-in services had the highest levels of non-compliance), geography (Dublin North East had the highest level of non-compliance) and extent of the commentary (children's health, welfare and development generated extensive commentary, far in excess of other regulation areas). While international comparisons are not possible due to different approaches and foci for assessment, variation has also been a feature of studies conducted in other jurisdictions including Scotland and the United States. The findings from this study provide an understanding of the views of regulators across the breadth of regulations that legally underpin the service and can act as a benchmark for a variety of stakeholders.
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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
Identifiers - Location: Ireland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A