‘Get real – we can't afford kindergarten’: a study of parental perceptions of early years services
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The Australian Early Childhood Universal Access Agreement stipulates all children three and a half years of age and older access to 15 hours of a quality early childhood education programme. While most states and territories in Australia have a 90% or higher attendance rate, in 2010, in Queensland the attendance rate was a comparative 40%. This study explores parental perceptions of barriers to early years services in Queensland, Australia. Using content analysis, it explores comments from an online forum with 65 self-selected participants. Findings provide important insights for policy-makers interested in improving the quality of, access to, and participation in, early childhood education. Parents perceived the cost, limited number of places and small hours of kindergarten as the main barriers to accessing quality early childhood care in Queensland. Furthermore, they questioned the actual necessity of kindergarten programmes. Therefore, if the goal is to improve kindergarten attendance rates, it is important to gain an understanding of the reported perceived barriers in order to reduce these in the future.
International Journal of Early Years Education
Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori)