- Description of topic (200 words)
Early childhood educators’ well-being, work environments and ‘quality’: its impact on early childhood quality learning
A high-quality workforce is key to the provision of high-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC). However, a ‘high-quality’ workforce has frequently been equated only with having competencies and skills – especially as evidenced through gaining mandated qualifications (Sims & Waniganayake, 2015). To realise ‘high quality’ practice, educators’ also need to be well (Ylitapio-Mäntylä et al., 2012), but reviews of extant research literature concerning educators’ well-being (Hall-Kenyon et al., 2014; Cumming, 2017) have demonstrated that educators experience compromises to their well-being. These compromises have negative consequences for children’s experiences and learning, as well as for services and educators themselves (McMullen et al., 2020).
A child’s right to high quality education not only relies on a competent and skilled workforce, but one in which educators are well. Supporting a well workforce requires governments, organisations and educators to attend to work environment quality. This attention needs be based on sound, relevant evidence.
This research is based on the centre XYZ where I am currently working. They are struggling with the staff arrangements, ratios of educators among the children and educators being burnout due to overtime work.
In this research plan I am going to research about how educators’ wellbeing will affect the quality education for children in an early childhood setting. The research questions that need to be consider while researching about the topic are:
Two research base questions
What is the impact of poor wellbeing of educators on children’s quality learning?
How do we improve the quality work environment for educators?
wellbeing, quality work environment
wellbeing: Educators’ well-being – like that of all employees (McHugh, 2016) – is closely related to the quality of their work environment practices, policies and procedures (Zinsser et al., 2016). Work environment is generally understood to include job tasks and their scheduling and management, physical work setting, the social climate of the setting, and opportunities for employee satisfaction and advancement (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD], 2017). In many national contexts educators’ rights to safe and healthy workplaces are protected by industrial relations laws and workplace health and safety regulations. EC educator wellbeing is inextricably linked to program quality, poor EC educator wellbeing has significant implications for children’s learning and development outcomes (Corr et al., 2015; Jena-Crottet, 2017; King et al., 2016; Logan et al., 2020; Smith & Lawrence, 2019). EC educators are the central enabling influence on the quality of program delivery, and high-quality programs can have significant short- and long-term benefits for all children, especially for children experiencing disadvantage (
However, early childhood settings are unique work environments in that they are primarily designed for children. Specific consideration is therefore required to ensure these environments are places in which educators can thrive (Corr et al., 2017; Zinsser et al., 2016).
Quality work environment: Quality Learning Environment refers to pedagogy that creates classrooms where students and teachers work productively in an environment clearly focused on learning. Such pedagogy sets high and explicit expectations and develops positive relationships between teachers and students and among students.
First, start by contextualising the topic. Briefly describe where the topic in question is being investigated. Provide some contextual information about the service.
- Describe clearly and succinctly the topic of investigation.
- Provide a brief definition of key terms (what are the key terms in your topic & research questions). Provide a definition of them.
- Rationale – Significance of your research (250 words)
I chose this topic because we are currently dealing with the problem of staff wellbeing in our early childhood setting. And I feel the problems need to be figured out, researched and solved accordingly. In, detail the problem we are facing are early childhood teachers leaving the job, a smaller number of permanent staff in the classroom, educators working overtime to cover the workforce shortage, poor work environment and so on which basically leads to poor wellbeing of early childhood teachers.
As we know that poor wellbeing not only effect the health and wellbeing of teachers but also the quality learning of children. Educators in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) play a vital role in nurturing the learning and development of young children and making caring and supportive connections with families and communities. There are many challenges that educators may face which can impact on their wellbeing
When educators are experiencing stress, fatigue, or burnout, this can impact on their capacity to interact with children, or it may inhibit quality interactions. Feelings of failure in this space can worsen the challenges educators are facing, by creating an additional burden of anxiety and stress. This problem should be addressed because this can lead to complete burnout and departure from services and the profession. EC educator wellbeing is inextricably linked to program quality, poor EC educator wellbeing has significant implications for children’s learning and development outcomes (Corr et al., 2015; Jena-Crottet, 2017; King et al., 2016; Logan et al., 2020; Smith & Lawrence, 2019). EC educators are the central enabling influence on the quality of program delivery, and high-quality programs can have significant short- and long-term benefits for all children, especially for children experiencing disadvantage (
Whereas educators who feel a strong sense of wellbeing are best positioned to care for children and support them in their learning and development. This is also a safeguard and stronghold with relation to educator retention and can support services to sustain their teams over time. By caring for educators and protecting their wellbeing, we can ensure they are set up for success in their interactions with children and in other dimensions of their work as well.
Conversely, several correlational studies have shown that EC educators with high levels of depression and stress, emotional exhaustion or burn-out, are less likely to engage in high-quality interactions or emotionally responsive teaching practices (Buettner et al., 2016; Cassidy, et al., 2017; Jeon et al., 2014; Kim & Choi, 2018; Roberts et al. 2016). High levels of work-related stress are also associated with a reduction in professional commitment (Buettner et al. 2016) and higher rates of turnover (Phillips et al., 2016; Totenhagen et al. 2016). High rates of EC educator turnover represent both the loss of EC educator skill and experience in the sector and a disruption to EC educator-child relationships, with significant adverse implications for children’s learning and social-emotional outcomes (Cassidy et al. 2017; National Scientific Council on the Developing Child 2015). Of particular concern is that turnover rates are higher in early childhood centers under greatest stress, including centers attended by children living in disadvantaged circumstances (Allen et al., 2018; Stormont & Young-Walker, 2017; Wells, 2017).
- First, start off by indicating what led you to choose the topic you’ve chosen. For example, is it because it’s an issue you’ve been dealing with for a while, it’s a topic of personal interest, you feel the service needs improvement in this area, there’s not enough research on this topic, etc.
- Indicate why the topic matters – in other words, say why we should know more about this topic, why your research questions are addressing a critical problem, and why this problem should be addressed.
- Identify what current literature says about your topic – how does the literature help you support the significance of your study?
- Methodology (200 words)
This is a qualitative study that used semi-structured interviews “to gain insights into a person’s subjective experiences, opinions and motivations” , p. 3. used as a research method. Frequency counting was also used as part of the data analysis to support the interpretation of results (i.e., to indicate the prevalence of a particular category or subcategory in the interviews in this group of teachers) . in this research I am going to use qualitative method as it to focus on how people or groups of people can have (somewhat) different ways of looking at reality (usually social or psychological reality).
Qualitative research is concerned with developing explanations of social phenomena. That is to say, it aims to help us to understand the social world in which we live and why things are the way they are.
In this research the participants involved are parents, teachers, children ,organisation etc. The parents, the child, child caregivers, school board members, administrators, social service providers and teachers are known as stakeholders in early childhood education.
Participants were contacted by phone or email, the terms and conditions of the study were presented, and interviews were scheduled following the participants’ availability.
Interviews were recorded after informed consent was given. Confidentiality was assured, and participants were informed that they were free to end their participation in the study at any time. In the interview transcripts, all data associated with the participant’s identity (e.g., name, location) were eliminated to ensure data anonymity
2) focus groups
5) collection of narrative
6) open ended questions in questionnaires (other aspects of are covered in the resource pack surveys and questionnaires )
- Indicate what kind of methodology you’re planning to employ. Define the methodology you’re employing.
- Who are the participants involved? Provide a description of the participants.
- What kind of data are you planning to collect?
- Over what period of time?
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