Universal access to preschool education: Approaches to integrating preschool with school in rural and remote communities

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Abstract

In 2012, the government of South Australia responded to Federal agreements aimed at universal access to preschool education for children in the year before starting formal schooling by introducing a trial designed to 'integrate' preschool children into first year of school programmes in rural and remote areas of the state. This paper reports on the evaluation of this trial, exploring the ways in which integration was interpreted and implemented in eight rural and/or remote sites, the perceived value of collaboration in planning integrated provision and the ways in which two new curriculum documents ' one for the prior-to-school years and the other for compulsory school ' influenced the delivery of integrated preschool'school programmes. Results identify several types of integration, highlight some of the challenges of collaboration in integrating preschool with school and share the caution of educators about the push down of school curriculum into preschool contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-435
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Years
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

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