Are there any unintended consequences of service integration to consider? A study of early years sector perspectives

Paul Harris
Jennifer Cartmel
Kym Macfarlane
Griffith University

This study was part of a broader project to identify best practice models for an integrated early childhood service being delivered as part of a new community service precinct. The planned development will integrate residential development, places of work, a ‘town square’ and community services and infrastructure. Semi-structured interviews with 11 internal and external stakeholders informed discussion of opportunities and risks as part of the development of an integrated early years’ service model. Overall results indicated general agreement regarding understandings of integrated practice and implications for the proposed model. Key informants emphasised potential community benefits and the importance of place-based approaches, as well as governance issues, organisational considerations, change management issues, workforce issues and the importance of effective leadership. Despite a paucity of available guidance in the published literature, a number of key risks were identified, which as discussed, suggest greater consideration and investigation of possible unintended consequences is required.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood —Volume 40 No 3 September 2015

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