Education Journal



The Development of Early Childhood Education and Care in Australia

2019.第47卷第2期(Vol. 47 No. 2).pp. 23–40
 

The Development of Early Childhood Education and Care in Australia

澳洲幼兒教育和關懷服務之發展

Bridie RABAN & Anna KILDERRY

Abstract

Australia is a vast country. It is the largest country in Oceania and the sixth largest country in the world by total area. The Commonwealth of Australia comprises 6 states and 2 territories with a total population of over 25 million people, mainly focused down the south-eastern coast line and concentrated in the capital cities of each state and territory. With respect to early childhood education and care (ECEC), the development of services across the country has changed considerably over time. From families making their own informal care arrangements decades ago, to the more recent era where the Federal government has widened and increased access to ECEC with the aim to raise the quality of children’s learning and development outcomes. Using readily available government documents, this article follows the development of ECEC in Australia from its informal beginnings to recent times where the sector has been through a reform phase resulting in the National Quality Framework (NQF) guiding the nation’s ECEC quality agenda. With a view to higher educational outcomes leading to better employment and advancement in social conditions, there remain considerable obstacles to realizing a full and seamless quality implementation. In this article, we discuss some of the challenges that lay ahead for ECEC in Australia, and provide some suggestions on how these challenges can be addressed.

Keywords: early childhood education and care; Australia; policy development; National Quality Framework; access and equity

摘要

澳洲幅員廣大,以總面積計是大洋洲中最大和世界第六大國家。澳洲聯邦有6個州和兩個領地,人口超過2,500萬,主要集中在東南海岸線和各州、領地的首府。澳洲幼兒教育和關懷服務的發展幾經轉變,自數十年前由家庭各自安排,到近期由聯邦政府擴大和增加服務,以提升兒童學習和發展的成效和質素。本文參考現有政府檔案,了解澳洲如何開展非正規的幼兒教育和關懷服務,以至於近期服務經過改革,制定出國家質素架構以引領服務發展,目的是提升教育成效,從而改善就業和社會狀況。要逹致全面而暢順的質素保證,尚有不少障礙。本文會討論當前澳洲在這方面的挑戰,並提供應對建議。

關鍵詞:幼兒教育和關懷服務;澳洲;政策發展;國家質素架構;機會與公平