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Falling by the “wasteside”: Defining and moving towards educator well-being from the perspective of early childhood educators in Ontario, Canada

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Richardson, B. M., Vickerson, R. & Nadia Bader, N.
Publication Date: 
24 Nov 2023


It has been well-established that highly gendered, early childhood education workforces face major temporal, material, physical and psychological barriers to being well. This issue is particularly pressing in this political moment: a national childcare policy program is being rolled out for the first time in Canadian history. It is in this context that we take a grounded theory methodological approach, rooted in feminist care ethics, to centre and analyse the voices of early childhood educators in both conceptualising well-being and identifying ideas and strategies for moving closer to it. We suggest that concurrently addressing the material and discussive value of early childhood educators is necessary to disrupt existing social structures that rely on early childhood educator’s exploitation. We conclude that truly dismantling what is and building a something better can only be done when early childhood educators’ voices and embodied experiences are centered in the decision-making process.