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Study of factors influencing childcare quality in preschools
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by H Chiu, Alison Owens
In recent years, the quality of childcare in Taiwanese preschools has been affected by falling enrolments, low salaries, poor working conditions, and the prevalence of unregistered preschools in the context of low fertility rates and the implementation of the Child Education and Care Act (CECA) to integrate kindergartens with nursery schools. This research aims to investigate the factors influencing childcare quality in the Taiwanese preschool profession by comparing the perspectives of parents, teachers, and principals. It is anticipated that the results might be used as a reference for designing government policy and managing preschools to enhance the quality of childcare. This research uses a qualitative case study approach in three types of preschools to explore how parents, teachers, and principals view childcare quality in the Taiwanese preschool. Data collection methods for this research consisted of focus group and individual interviews with semi-structured questions. A total of nine interview sessions were held with three principals, three teachers’ focus groups, and three parents’ focus groups in October 2011.The research found that the parent category considered teacher quality, staff-child ratios, teacher turnover, parent-teacher communication, teaching and caring, and physical environment to be key factors. The teacher category considered that teacher quality, teaching and caring, government policy, staff-child ratios, principals’ leadership, and parent-teacher communication were essential. The principal category considered teacher quality, teacher turnover rates, pay and working environment, teaching and caring, staff-child ratios, physical environment, principals’ leadership, and government policy to be important.