|University||University College Dublin (UCD)|
The paper begins with a brief introduction to the changing nature of Irish domestic life. Including, some information about the history of the gender equality movement, the importance of ECCE, Irish political culture, and the development of the ECCE sector is presented. This sets the stage for the paper’s crucial issues.
Considering the conservative government structure, which has been softened in current history by liberal internationalism and a feminist perspective. Ireland is an illuminating case study that is especially well-suited to the research subject at hand. The time in question is one of considerable social and economic transformation, as seen by the Irish government’s reactive stance towards ECCE policies (Bradbury, 2012; Warren, 2019).
It is critical to understand early childhood education as a dynamic and evolving sector, rather than as a static service unaffected by political and societal pressures and expectations. Connell (2013) asserts that it is vital to consider the development of education in order to have an understanding for education as a social mechanism. Thus, this attitude toward early education and care has substantial implications for how the public perceives the field and its practitioners, for how ECCE differentiates itself, and for how ECCE educators navigate their professional standing (Moss, 2010; Rhodes & Huston, 2012).
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Taken together, this chapter will explore early childhood development, with a particular emphasis on childcare supply and workforce efforts as mutually reinforcing priorities that have garnered the country’s attention and prompted legislative action (National Development Plan, 2000).
Thus far, the intertwined nature of care and education remains to be repeated by government publications and policymakers, but strategy execution continues along fragmented tracks. This view is supported by Hayes (2010) who points out that merely combining the two terms within the expression of early childhood care and education is inadequate to combine them conceptually, constitutionally, or realistically.
Aim and Key Objectives of the Research
Having considered all these reasons, the researcher thought it was important to dig further into the issue of professionalism and professional identity creation in the ECCE sector.
A set of goals and priorities lay the foundations. Ultimately, this study aspires to:
1. Define the complexities of the professional identity of the Early Childhood Care and Education sector in Ireland.
2. Outline potential challenges and barriers to establishing professionalism throughout the ECCE sector.
3. Explore practitioner’s views on their perception of professional identity.
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