In-between spaces of policy and practice: Voices from Prince Edward Island early childhood educators
Keywords:Early childhood educators, Policy, Transitions
Over the course of the past decades, the discourse, pedagogy, scope, and delivery of early learning and child care (ELCC) has undergone myriad significant changes internationally, nationally, and at local levels. Prince Edward Island (PEI), the smallest Canadian Province, has not been exempt from these transformations. By situating early childhood educators (ECEs) at the centre of ecological multilevel environments (Bronfenbrenner, 2005), this qualitative study explored how a system-wide change implemented through the Prince Edward Island Preschool Excellence Initiative (PEIPEI) has impacted and is being impacted by ECEs over time. Purposive sampling was used to invite seven early childhood educators working on provincially regulated early years centres (EYCs) to participate in individual interviews. Findings indicated that ECEs have been striving to navigate and merge the space in-between policy and practices and that after ten years, they remain in this liminal space where they continue to navigate unravelling transitions as they search for their professional identity.
Akbari, E., & McCuaig, K. (2017). Early childhood education report: 2017. Retrieved from https://ecereport.ca/media/uploads/2017-report-pdfs/ece-report2017-en-feb6.pdf
Akbari, E., McCuaig, K., & Foster, D. (2020). Early childhood education report: 2020. Retrieved from https://ecereport.ca/media/uploads/2021-overview/overview2020_final2.pdf
Arias de Sanchez, G., Doiron, R., & Gabriel, M. (2012). An examination of international early childhood curriculum documents. Canadian Children, (37)2, 29-47 DOI: https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs.v37i2.15199
Atkinson Centre. (2017). Prince Edward Island profile 2017: Trends in ECEC from 2011-2017. Retrieved from https://ecereport.ca/media/uploads/2017-profiles-updated/pei_final-feb14.pdf
Babbie, E. (2010). The practice of social research. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Publishing.
Baldacchino, A., Gabriel, M., Doiron, R., Roach O’Keefe, A., & McKenna, J. (2015). From child-minders to professionals: Insights from an action research project in Prince Edward Island. Canadian Children, 40(1), 11–129. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs.v40i1.15214
Basler Wisneski, D., & Reifel, S. (2012). The place of play in early childhood curriculum. In N. File, J. Mueller, & D. Baslerwisneski (Eds.), Curriculum in early childhood education: Re-examined, rediscovered, renewed (pp. 176-187). New York, NY: Routledge.
Bennet, J., & Newman, M. (2004). Early childhood major challenges: Review of early childhood education and care policies in OECD countries. Prospects, 34(4), 423-433. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11125-005-2714-5
Brock, A. (2012). Building a model of early years professionalism from practitioners’ perspectives. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 11(1), 27–44 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1476718X12456003
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (2005). Making human beings human: Bioecological perspectives on human development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (1998). The ecology of developmental process. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Theoretical models of human development (Vol. 1,5th ed.) (pp. 993–1028). New York, NY: John Wiley.
Canella, G. S. (2005). Reconceptualizing the field of early childhood education: If Western child development is a problem, then what do we do?. In N. Yelland (Ed.), Critical issues of early childhood education (pp. 17-39). New York, NY: Open University Press.
Dalli, C. (2008). Pedagogy, knowledge and collaboration: Towards a ground-up perspective on professionalism. European Early Childhood Research Journal, 16(2), 171–185. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13502930802141600
Flanagan, K. (2010). The early years report: Early learning in PEI: An investment in the Island’s future. Retrieved from https://gov.pe.ca/photos/original/edu_earlyyrsRpt.pdf
Flanagan, K. (2011). PEI early learning framework: Relationships, environments, experiences: The curriculum framework of the Preschool Excellence Initiative. Retrieved from https://princeedwardisland.ca/sites/default/files/publications/eecd_eyfrwrk_full.pdf
Flanagan, K. (2019). PEI workforce strategy project: Final report. Retrieved from https://princeedwardisland.ca/sites/default/files/publications/early_years_workforce_strategy.pdf
Flanagan, K., & Beach, J. (2016). Manitoba and Early Learning and Child Care Commission: Final Report. Governemnt of Manitoba. Retrieved from https://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/childcare/childcare_news/pubs/final_report.pdf
Fontana, A., & Frey, J. (2000). The interview: From structure questions to negotiated text. In N. K. Denzin, & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed.) (pp. 645-672). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.
Government of Prince Edward Island. (2010). Securing the future for our children: Preschool excellence initiative. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Retrieved from https://gov.pe.ca/photos/original/edu_ ExcellIniti.pdf
Government of Canada. (2021). Budget 2021: A recovery plan for jobs, growth, and resilience. Retrieved from https://canada.ca/en/departement-finance/news/2021/04/budget-2021-a-recover-plan-for-jobs-growth-and-resilience.html
Government of Prince Edward Island. (2018). Early learning and child care act. Retrieved from https://princeedwardisland.ca/sites/default/files/legislation/e-.01-early_learning_and_child_care_act.pdf
Government of Prince Edward Island. (2019). Early years centres hourly wage grid. Retrieved from https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/sites/default/files/publications/eyc_wage_grid.pdf
Heckman, J., & Cunha, F. (2000). Policies to foster human capital. Joint Centre for Poverty Research (Working Paper N 154). Northwestern University: University of Chicago.
Heydon, R., Moffat, L., & Iannacci, L. (2015). Everyday he has a dream to tell: Classroom literacy curriculum in a full-day kindergarten. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 47(2), 171-202. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2014.1000381
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. (2012). Public investments in Early Childhood Education and Care in Canada: 2010. Retrieved from https://ecd-elcc.ca/eng/ecd/ececc/early_childhood_education-eng.pdf
Krueger, R. and Casey, M. (2009). Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Lazzari, A. (2012). Reconceptualising professionalism in early childhood education: Insights from a study carried out in Bologna. Early Years, 32(3), 252–265. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09575146.2011.651711
Leherer, J. (2012). A critical investigation of research, policy and programs that aim to support marginalized children’s transition to kindergarten in Quebec. Canadian Children, 37(2), 19-29. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs.v37i2.15198
MacTavish, M. (2012). Troubling government discourse on early learning websites: A critical analysis. Canadian Children, 37(2), 5-12. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs.v37i2.15196
McCain, M., & Mustard, F. (1999). Early years study. Final report. Revising real brain drain. Toronto, ON: Ontario Children’s Secretariat.
McCain, M., Mustard, F., & Shanker, S. (2007). Early years study 2. Toronto ON: Council for Early Childhood Development.
Mella, P. (2009). Every child a better future: Report of the public kindergarten commissioner. Charlottetown, PE: Government of Prince Edward Island.
Mitchell, C., Wylie, C., & Carr. M. (2008). Outcomes of ECE: Literature review. Report to the Ministry of Education. New Zealand: Research Division.
Moss, P. (2008). The democratic and reflective professional: Rethinking and reforming the early years workforce. In L. Miller & C. Cable (Eds.), Professionalism in the early years (pp. 121-130). Hodder: Arnold.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2011). Early childhood education professional development: Training and technical assistance glossary. Retrieved from https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/our-work/public-policy-advocacy/glossarytraining_ta.pdf
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2006). Starting strong II: Early childhood education and care. Paris: OECD Publishing.
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2011). Starting strong III: Early childhood education and care. Paris: OECD Publishing.
Osgood, J. (2011). Narratives from the nursery. London: Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203143063
Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative research and evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Peters, S. (2010). Literature review: Transitions from early childhood education to school. Report to the Ministry of Education. Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato.
Peterson, P., Morrison, W., & Morrison, R. (2012). Early childhood services: Using narratives to explore parent’s experiences of transition. Canadian Children, 37(2), 48-55. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs.v37i2.15200
Roach O’Keefe, A. L. (2018). Remixing digital play in the early years: Learning stories from nested ecologies of one family. Charlottetown, PE: University of Prince Edward Island. Retrieved from https://islandscholar.ca/islandora/object/ir:22512/datastream/PDF/download/citation.pdf
Roach O’Keefe, A., & Moffatt, L. (2013). Where to start? Early childhood educators, digital literacies, and professional learning final report. Charlottetown, PE: University of PEI.
Roach O’Keefe, A., Hooper, S., & Jakubiec, B. (2019). Exploring early childhood educators’ notions about professionalism in Prince Edward Island. Journal of Childhood Studies, 44(1), 20–36. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs.v44i1.18775
Sandelowski, M. (2010). What’s in a name? Qualitative description revisited. Research in Nursing & Health, 33(1), 77-84. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/nur.20362
Shaw, L. (2015). Maintaining a vision during times of change. In C. Ritchie (Ed.), Challenges and changes for the early years workforce: Working with children birth to 8 (pp. 49-70). New York, NY: Routledge.
Tierney, W. (2002). Undaunted courage: Life history and the postmodern challenge. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed., pp. 537-554). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.
Tilleczek, K. (2011). Approaching youth studies: Being, becoming and belonging. Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press.
Tilleczek, K. (2012). Early childhood transitions as critical praxis. Canadian Children, 37(2), 13-18. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs.v37i2.15197
Tilleczek, K. (2014). Theorizing youth: Biography, society and time. In A. Ibrahim & S. R. Steinberg (Eds.), Critical youth studies reader (pp. 15-25). New York, NY: Peter Lang Press.
Urban, M. (2008). Dealing with uncertainty: Challenges and possibilities for the early childhood profession. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 16(2), 135–152. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13502930802141584
Urban, M. (2010). Rethinking professionalism in early childhood: Untested feasibilities and critical ecologies. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 11(1), 1–7. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2304/ciec.2010.11.1.1
Vogler, P., Cravello, G., & Woodhead, M. (2008). Early childhood transition research: Review of concepts, theory and practice. Working papers in early childhood development. The Netherlands: Bernard van Leer Foundation.
How to Cite
Attribution: You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
NonCommercial: You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
NoDerivatives: If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
Author(s) must confirm that Journal of Childhood, Education & Society retains all the copyrights unconditionally and indefinitely to distribute the articles published by Journal of Childhood, Education & Society.