Early Childhood Education and Care Policy in Australia: An Insight into Parent Perceptions Posted Online

Susanne Garvis,Donna Pendergast,Harry Kanasa
page. 103~119 / 2013 Vol.7 No.3


Recently in Australia there has been a shift towards the increased use of formal early childhoodeducation and care services. Federal, state and territory policy makers have responded with reformagendas designed to improve the quality of early childhood education and care. There are few studiesthat provide insights into community perceptions of current initiatives in early childhood educationpolicy and their perceived effectiveness with families. This study begins to address this void byexamining the perceptions of the community - identified as parents through textual inclusions - withregard to early childhood education and care policies. Data were 199 posts to an online forum inresponse to an opinion piece about early childhood education. The following key themes were identifiedin the forum posts: the importance of child care; brain research and early childhood; and, challengesbalancing career and family. Findings provide an insight into current issues relevant to early childhoodpolicies in Australia, from the perspective of a self-selected group of community members, in responseto an issue related to care and early childhood.

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