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ERIC Number: EJ1105009
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0332 3315
A Vocation or a Career: The Perspectives of BA. ECEC Graduates about Accessing Employment and Working in the Early Years Sector in Ireland
Moloney, Mary
Irish Educational Studies, v34 n4 p325-339 2015
Caring for and educating young children is highly skilled and complex, and is dependent upon the educator's education and training, work environment, salary and work benefits. This paper which draws upon two annual BA ECEC Graduate Occupational Profile Surveys undertaken in 2013 and 2014, explores the perceptions of graduates about seeking employment and working in the sector. The findings indicate that the graduates perceived themselves as: professionals who were confident about their practice; held valuable knowledge of the practice frameworks: Síolta and Aistear, and excited about opportunities for professional autonomy. However, while graduates working in the sector were buoyed by their "love of children" and described the work as "rewarding" they were critical of the pay and working conditions. Consistent with [Herzenberg, S., M. Price, and D. Bradley. 2005. "Losing Ground in Early Childhood Education: Declining Workforce Qualifications in an Expanding Industry." Economic Policy Institute; Whitebook, M. 2002. "Working for Worthy Wages: The Child Care Compensation Movement 1970-2001." Center for the Study of Childcare Employment, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, UC Berkeley. Moloney, M. 2014. Breach of Trust--Getting it Right for Children in Early Childhood Care and Education in Ireland. "New Zealand Research in Early Childhood Education Journal." Special Issue: "Early Childhood Policy" 17: 71-86] the findings support the assertion that early childhood educators are among the lowest paid professionals, and many graduates indicated their intention to exit the sector. The BA ECEC provided a stepping stone towards post-graduate study and alternative career pathways. The findings highlight a pervasive tension between the potential of ECEC to be a rewarding and satisfying career, and the reality of employment conditions within the sector.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A