Integrated practice in the early years in Australia: The assumptions, omissions and contradictions of policy reform

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Macfarlane, Kym
Nolan, Andrea
Cartmel, Jennifer
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2016
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Abstract

The aim of this article is to examine current national early years' policy reform, which emphasises the importance of service integration, national quality standards and a quality knowledge base for educators concerning the provision of early childhood education and care. Using Queensland, Australia, as an example, a policy discourse analysis identifies two problematics of implementing current national policy - the early childhood education and care problematic and the integration problematic. The article argues that speedy implementation of a national policy in order to meet national targets has unintended consequences for the knowledge base of educators and the possibility of collaboration within service provision. Although government commitment in this area is evident, these consequences and the current difficulties surrounding integration are the result of the lack of a specific integration strategy, and government investment focussed on the development of an integrated workforce.

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Journal of Early Childhood Research

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14

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3

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© 2015 SAGE Publications. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.

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Education systems

Counselling, wellbeing and community services

Sociology

Psychology

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