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"Burnout central": Australian early childhood educational leaders’ experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic

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Rogers, M., Boyd, W., & Sims, M.
Publication Date: 
1 Mar 2023


The Covid-19 pandemic has been a major disrupter in the Australian early childhood education (ECE) sector. ECE educators had to respond quickly to frequent surprises and risky challenges. Their stressful, exhausting experiences as they constantly managed change are explored in this paper. The study used an interpretive social constructionist approach to interview six ECE leaders in order to construct a shared understanding of their beliefs and experiences during this time. The results indicate an increased risk of mental and physical health problems, and some impaired service quality. Although the results are indicative of historical treatment, the consequences of government neglect have resulted in a staffing crisis and closed services. Lessons need to be learned in how we treat educators and services if we want future generations of children educated and cared for by resilient educators who are not at risk of feeling they are in "burnout central."