Infants’ emotional and social experiences during and after the transition to early childhood education and care
Gath, Megan E., Herold, Laura, Hunkin, Elise, McNair, Lynn J., Redder, Bridgette, Rutanen Niina, White, E. Jayne. (2023). Infants’ emotional and social experiences during and after the transition to early childhood education and care. Journal of Early Childhood Research, Online First. https://doi.org/10.1177/1476718x231195706
Published inJournal of Early Childhood Research
DisciplineLapset, perheet ja sosiaalinen kestävyysHyvinvoinnin tutkimuksen yhteisöVarhaiskasvatusSocial Sustainability for Children and FamiliesSchool of WellbeingEarly Childhood Education
© The Author(s) 2023
The socio-emotional experiences of infants during transitions to early childhood education and care (ECEC) and across their first year in these out-of-home contexts are not well known. In an international project across five countries (New Zealand, Finland, Australia, Scotland and the United States), observational data, video of key moments, plus re-probing interviews with parents and teachers concerning 10 infants (six females) aged 5–13 months were collected across the first year of ECEC. An embedded case study design was used to analyse infant experiences from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives. Findings indicated low positive affect on infants’ first day of ECEC that increased after the first week and throughout the first year of ECEC. Drop-off periods remained a time of negative emotionality for the first month of ECEC. Over time more positive emotional experiences were evident, with peer interactions fostering positive affect, activeness and involvement, while one-on-one interactions with teachers were an important context for interpersonal engagement and well-being. These findings shed light on the highly charged emotional experience for infants when they transition to institutional care, and how these might be ameliorated in practice. ...
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Project, AoF
Additional information about fundingThe authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Funding for this project was provided by Pedagogies of Educational Transitions (POET); RMIT University in Melbourne’s Enabling Capability Platform fund; Cognition Trust, NZ; University of Waikato, NZ; University of Canterbury, NZ; Te Rito Maioha, NZ; Inspired Kindergartens; Academy of Finland; University of Arkansas Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Foundation. The Finnish subproject was funded by Research Council of Finland (project no 321374). ...
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