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‘There Is a Quantum Difference Between the Provision of Age-Appropriate Play-Based Care and an Early Learning and Care Environment’: The Quality Agenda for Australian Early Childhood

  • Elise HunkinEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

The quotation in this chapter heading comes from a policy document co-written by future Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (Rudd and Macklin in New Directions for Early Childhood Education: Universal Access to Early Learning for 4 Year Olds, Australian Labor Party, Canberra, ACT, 2007) prior to the election. It frames the focus of this chapter which asks, how did quality reform come about? What was ‘quality’ reform assumed to be and do in the Australian context? The chapter discusses the socio-political happenings and reviews Australian policy documents to identify the dominant truth assumptions being made about quality and how those linked to global conversations. It is shown that quality in early childhood settings remained a deficit discourse even as it was reimagined by social investment theory. This constitutes a selective quality investment agenda that has created both opportunities and tensions, highlighted in this chapter.

Keywords

Quality reform agenda Early childhood Social investment Human capital theory Lifelong learning 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RMIT BundooraRoyal Melbourne Institute of TechnologyBundooraAustralia

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