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5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES, 5.4 SOCIOLOGY
The present study seeks to address the dearth of research focussed on childminding (family day care or family childcare) in Ireland, despite its significant role in national childcare provision. One overarching aim was to explore childminders’ cultural models of praxis and pedagogy in the Irish context. The research was conducted within the theoretical framework of Ecocultural Theory (ECT) (Weisner, 2002. “Ecocultural Understanding of Children’s Developmental Pathways.” Human Development 1759: 275–281), referencing concepts in Attachment Theory, in the context of historical and current policy in Ireland, Europe and the US over the last 30 years. A mixed method approach was adopted using the Ecocultural Family Interview for Childminders (EFICh) protocol, which included holistic ratings, field notes, photographs taken by participants, and a case study survey. This article describes one cultural model identified among childminders in this study, a Close Relationship Model of praxis in a home-from-home environment, prioritising love and fun in mixed age childcare, developing enduring relationships in an extended childminding family. To effectively engage professional childminders in Ireland, any proposed system of regulation, support, and education should be aligned with this cultural model to maximise the benefits of childminding for children’s outcomes in the twenty-first century.
O'Regan, M., Halpenny, A.M. & Hayes, N. (2020). Childminders’ Close Relationship Model of praxis: an ecocultural study in Ireland. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, vol. 28, no. 5, pg. 675-689. doi:10.21427/a1k4-q735
Irish Research Council