Readiness for change: Evidence from a study of early childhood care and education centers

Orla Doyle, Caitriona Logue, Kelly McNamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This study examined the factors associated with childcare staff members' readiness to implement quality standards in early childhood settings in Ireland. To coincide with a new government policy that provides every three-year-old child with access to a free preschool year, a framework designed to improve the quality of early childhood care and education centres (ECCECs) is being rolled out nationally. The new quality framework details the first national set of best practice standards for early childhood care and education in Ireland. This study measured support for this change in childcare practices in one pilot community, which introduced the framework prior to national roll-out. The study used the Organizational Change Recipients' Belief Scale to determine how readiness for change was associated with job satisfaction and the work environment in childcare settings. One hundred and twenty surveys were completed by childcare staff in nine pilot ECCECs. The surveys were distributed in 2009 and therefore capture staff attitudes towards the introduction of the new quality framework. The results show that individual staff characteristics had little association with support for the implementation of the quality framework, while factors related to group dynamics were significantly associated with readiness for change. Specifically, a positive work environment and greater job satisfaction were associated with a lower belief that there is a need for the national quality framework, but a higher belief that the childcare staff will be supported by management when the quality framework is introduced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-184
JournalChild Care in Practice
Volume17
Issue number2
Early online date21 Apr 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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