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4-6 year-Old Children’s Experience of Subjective Well-Being and Social Relations in ECEC Institutions

Abstract

There is a need for research about children’s perspectives on their everyday lives in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) institutions, using methods that involves the children themselves and takes their voices seriously. This study aims at exploring what promotes and constrains children’s wellbeing in light of their social relations to other children and staff in ECEC institutions. Research on children’s own perspectives about their well-being has mainly been conducted among children older than those of preschool age, and therefore this study aimed at highlighting the voices of 4–6-year-old children regarding how they experience their lives in ECEC institutions. Quantitative data was collected through conversations with 171 Norwegian 4–6-year-old children based on an electronic questionnaire. The results indicate that relations, both with other children and with the practitioners, are important for children’s well-being - particularly, liking the other children and experiencing that the children are kind to each other in the ECEC.

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Acknowledgements

The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research funded this project. A special acknowledgement goes to the project manager, Åse Bratterud, at the Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway.

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Correspondence to Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter.

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Sandseter, E.B.H., Seland, M. 4-6 year-Old Children’s Experience of Subjective Well-Being and Social Relations in ECEC Institutions. Child Ind Res 11, 1585–1601 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-017-9504-5

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Keywords

  • Early childhood education
  • Subjective well-being
  • Child-child relations
  • Staff-child relations
  • Electronic questionnaire