AJEC Vol. 42 No. 2 – Inspiring environmentally responsible preschool children through the implementation of the National Quality Framework: Uncovering what lies between theory and practice
University of Wollongong
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION FOR environmental sustainability (ECEfES) has become significant in the early years, as highlighted by the inclusion of ECEfES in Australia’s first and current National Quality Framework (NQF) for early childhood education and care (ECEC). This article reports on the major findings from a case study (Pollock, 2014), which aimed to uncover what lies between theory and practice, as ECEC educators attempt to support young children to become environmentally responsible, through the implementation of the NQF. This article discusses some of the findings from an analysis of the documents central to the NQF as well as semi-structured interviews with three university-qualified educators. Thematic analysis revealed that although challenging educators in some respects, the introduction of the NQF has enhanced their sustainability practices. This has emphasised the importance of listening to the voices of young children, a ‘whole of settings’ approach, and engaging in reflection.