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Promoting Resilience in Higher Education

Unique features of the Early Years context

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) came late to the global scene with the short term purpose to provide childcare for an increase in the ‘female’ or maternal workforce, and in the long-term, to ensure a cost effective means of establishing a competitive and productive workforce, with particular attention to sustained benefits of participation in quality education and care.[1][2]

Research has confirmed the benefits of reducing inequality by improving outcomes for children from disadvantaged circumstances[3][4][5][6][7][8] by focusing on the holistic development of their social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs, including language, motor skills and visual and sensory skills [9][10]. Further, this has been found to promote a lifelong solid and broad foundation for learning and wellbeing[11][12], and evidence of an association between early childhood education and gains in achievement, including poverty reduction and social behavior where there is increased intergenerational social mobility[13][14].

Although there is wide recognition that a qualified workforce is key to ensuring high quality ECEC[15], educators continue to experience instances of being underpaid, having low status, a lack of career paths and inadequate training opportunities.


  1. ^Yoshikawa, H., Weiland, C., Brooks-Gunn, J., Burchinal, M. R., Espinosa, L. M., Gormley, W. T., Ludwig, J ., Magnuson, K. A., Phillips, D., & Zaslow, M. J. (2013). Investing in our future: the evidence base on preschool education.  New York, NY: Foundation for Child Development.
  2. ^Baker, M., Gruber, J., & Milligan, K. (2008). ‘Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being’. Journal of Political Economy, 116 (4), 709–745.
  3. ^Allen, G. (2011). ‘Early intervention: The next steps’. An independent report to Her Majesty’s Government. Cabinet Office London: The Crown. Retrieved 8 July 2018 from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/284086/early-intervention-next-steps2.pdf
  4. ^Barnett, W., & Masse, L. (2007). Comparative Benefit-Cost Analysis of the Abecedarian Program and its Policy Implications. Economics of Education Review, 26, 113-125. DOI 10.1016/j.econedurev.2005.10.007.
  5. ^Barnett, W.S., & Nores, M. (2012). Investing in early childhood education: A global perspective. New Brunswick, NJ: National Institute for Early Education Research.
  6. ^Field, F. (2010).  The foundation years: preventing poor children becoming poor adults. The report of the Independent Review on Poverty and Life Chances. Cabinet Office London: The Crown.
  7. ^Heckman, J. J., & Kautz,T. D. (2012). Hard evidence on soft skills. (NBER) Working Paper No. 18121. National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.
  8. ^UNESCO (n.d.) Early childhood care and education.  https://en.unesco.org/themes/early-childhood-care-and-education
  9. ^Camilli, G., Vargas, S., Ryan, S., & Barnett, W.S. (2010). Meta- analysis of the effects of early education interventions on cognitive and social development. Teachers College Record, 112(3), Article 15440.
  10. ^Barnett, W. S. (2008). Preschool education and its lasting effects: Research and policy implications. Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit. Retrieved 5th July 2018 from http://epicpolicy.org/publication/preschool- education
  11. ^UNESCO (2016). Education 2030: Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (ED-2016/WS/28), Retrieved 5 July 2018, http://uis.unesco.org/sites/default/files/documents/education-2030-incheon-framework-for-action-implementation-of-sdg4-2016-en_2.pdf
  12. ^Engle, P. L., Fernald, L. C. H., Alderman, H., Behrman, J., O’Gara, C., Yousafzai, A., Cabral de Mello, M., Hidrobo, M., Ulkuer, N., Ertem, I., Iltus, S. and the Global Development Steering Group (2011). Strategies for Reducing Inequalities and Improving Developmental Outcomes for Young Children in Low-Income and Middle-Income Countries. The Lancet, 37, 1339–1353.
  13. ^Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (2011). Pre-School Quality and Educational Outcomes at Age 11: Low quality has little benefit. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 9, 109–124.
  14. ^Organisation for Economic Co-operation (OECD) (2012). Starting Strong III – A Quality Toolbox for Early Childhood Education and Care. Paris: OECD.
  15. ^Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority, https://www.acecqa.gov.au/nqf
Australian Government