The construction of a taxonomy of early childhood educators’ work

Sandie Wong
Linda Harrison
Frances Press
Jennifer Sumsion
Charles Sturt University

Megan Gibson
Annette Woods
Queensland University of Technology

Despite considerable research on the impact of early childhood education (ECE), there is little empirical evidence about what the everyday work of educators entails. This paper reports on the development of a tool to capture generalisable data on the everyday work of educators so as to inform effective workforce policy. This tool—a taxonomy of early childhood educators’ work—was developed by drawing on the expertise of six early years’ experts from Australia and the United States of America (USA) and includes time-use diaries, focus groups and interviews with 21 early childhood educators working in long day care and preschool services. The taxonomy, which we present here, consists of 10 domains, each with a number of sub-classes. We propose that this taxonomy is a useful codification system for ascertaining the everyday work tasks, activities and actions of early childhood educators in diverse early years’ settings. It is anticipated that the taxonomy will prove a valuable tool for subsequent research investigating the early childhood workforce.

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

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