This book investigates notions of 'quality' in early childhood settings both in Australia and globally. After experiencing quality reform as an educator, the author turned to research as a means by which to better understand early childhood quality reform and agenda over time. This book questions how early childhood reform policy and agenda have constructed quality - what it is presumed to be and do - over time and the implications of these 'truths'. Taking a Foucauldian governmentality view of the history of Australian early childhood services, the impetus for the quality reform era, the quality reform policy assemblages and the contemporary post-reform era, this book rigorously examines prevailing policy assumptions, ambitions and deployments of quality, and warns of an emerging ambition for 'only quality' settings in early childhood. This book will appeal to early childhood students and educators, education policy sociologists and all who are interested in reclaiming early childhood education and care.
Elise Hunkin is Lecturer at the RMIT School of Education at RMIT University, Australia. She is an experienced educator in kindergarten and early primary school settings. Her research investigates quality reform policy in early childhood education and care.
Chapter 1. Perspectives of quality in early childhood settings.- Chapter 2. 'For the little ones, the best': Australian early childhood service and policy histories.- Chapter 3. 'There is a quantum difference between the provision of age-appropriate play-based care and an early learning and care environment': The quality agenda for Australian early childhood.- Chapter 4. 'Early childhood education and care (ECEC) brings a wide range of benefits... but all these benefits are conditional on quality': Questioning the only quality reform agenda.- Chapter 5. 'Wiping noses and stopping children from killing each other': Contesting an only quality agenda.- Chapter 6. Quality futures? The case for re-democratising early childhood education and care