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Quality and educator dispositions for Indigenous families in the urban early learning and child care context: a scoping review

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Freeborn, C., Mardhani‑Bayne, A., & Soetaert, C.
Publication Date: 
8 Feb 2023


This scoping review focused on the experiences of Indigenous families and their children in accessing quality early learning and child care in a Canadian urban context. This scoping review was conducted to contribute to the field and frame a more extensive study involving focus groups and case studies. The analysis revealed a range of quality indicators that included the following: (1) families, educators, and community members must establish a definition of quality that best reflects their personal life experiences and cultural context; (2) many families express a desire for child care focused on developmental milestones, social skills, and Indigenous knowledge; (3) families value connections made between the home and the center that foster identity, encourage child and family autonomy, implement programming relevant to culture, and stimulate learning within the context of family; and (4) families desire child care that focuses on relationship building increased cultural safety. Results from the scoping review related to quality educator dispositions found the following: (1) families seek centers that are flexible, family-focused, and culturally relevant; (2) families value educators who value diversity and decolonization; and (3) some families favor a cultural match with educators from similar backgrounds. These findings point to several areas for further consideration that can improve the overall experiences of Indigenous children and families accessing quality early learning and child care in a Canadian urban setting.