The regulatory environment in long day care: A 'double-edged sword' for early childhood professional practice

Marianne Fenech, Jennifer Sumsion, Joy Goodfellow

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    While early childhood professionals in NSW are accountable to a substantial collection of regulatory requirements, little research has explored the outcomes of this regulatory environment, both intended and otherwise. This paper presents findings from a NSW study and shows how early childhood professionals working in long day care centres perceive the regulatory environment to impact on their professional practice. Specific attention is given to the impact of the national Quality Improvement and Accreditation System and the NSW Children's Services Regulation. The notion of the regulatory environment as a 'double-edged sword' emerges as a useful conceptual metaphor to understand how early childhood professionals perceive these regulatory frameworks to impact on their practice. Findings show that the benefits afforded by accreditation and the Regulation are offset by unfulfilled intentions and unintended outcomes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)49-58
    Number of pages10
    JournalAustralian Journal of Early Childhood
    Volume31
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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