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ERIC Number: EJ1261245
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1463-9491
Who Cares for Carers? How Discursive Constructions of Care Work Marginalized Early Childhood Educators in Ontario's 2018 Provincial Election
Powell, Alana; Langford, Rachel; Albanese, Patrizia; Prentice, Susan; Bezanson, Kate
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, v21 n2 p153-164 Jun 2020
In the Canadian province of Ontario, the early childhood education and care workforce continues to be undervalued, underpaid and burdened with challenging working conditions. Drawing on Fairclough and Lazar, this study employed a feminist critical discourse analysis to explore the discourses of care work present in the 2018 childcare platforms of three major parties: the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party and the Progressive Conservative Party. This critical discourse analysis provided an opportunity to consider the absence and presence of early childhood education and care discourses in the election platforms, and the consequences this has for the advancement of the workforce. The findings indicate that the early childhood education and care workforce remained largely invisible in the 2018 childcare platforms. When present, educators were often constructed as components of the early childhood education and care system's stability. In addition, a discourse of 'maternal care burden' emerged in some platforms, which initially suggested progressive recognition of the gendered reality of care and care work for women in Ontario. However, the critical discourse analysis illuminates that the maternal-care-burden discourse, while suggesting that mothers are freed to enter the paid workforce, actually reinforces notions of care as women's work. As well, this discourse further marginalizes the early childhood education and care workforce by downloading one group's caring responsibilities to a new group of invisible carers -- early childhood educators. In light of these findings, the need to disrupt discourses that continue to devalue the early childhood education and care workforce is considered as researchers and advocates seek to assert care labour as an essential public responsibility and a critical concern in political dialogue.
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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: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A