Early Childhood Educator Perspectives: Transitioning Infants and Families into the Child Care Environment

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Ramos, Cathryn
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Mount Saint Vincent University
The focus of this research was to examine the perspectives of Early Childhood Educators and to explore how they support infants and families transitioning to group care. Qualitative research methods were used to explore an in-depth understanding of ten ECEs who participated in a focus group and answered a series of semi-structured interview questions. Thematic analysis, as described by Attride-Stirling (2001) and Braun and Clarke (2006) was used to identify global themes based on the organizing and basic themes. Two global themes were identified: successful transition and challenging transition. The results indicate that ECEs can articulate ways in which successful transitions with low stress and high levels of adaptability for infants can impact overall well-being. They also describe potential strategies and tools that are used to promote positive transition and relationship building with the family as a whole. The study results may be useful to ECEs working in child care programs, families, ECE students and program instructors as well as those who create policy for the provision of quality early learning programs. Additional research in this area is needed in order to ensure that infants are being supported in the transition from home to child care environments so that development is not impacted negatively by the stress of transition. Future research exploring the perspectives of a more diverse group of ECEs is suggested in order to expand the findings of this study.
, early childhood , educators , group care , infants , families , transition