Family day care educators: An exploration of their understanding and experiences promoting children's social and emotional wellbeing
Margaret Sims, Edith Cowan University
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
This study aimed to explore family day care (FDC) educators' knowledge of child social and emotional wellbeing and mental health problems, the strategies used to promote children's wellbeing, and barriers and opportunities for promoting children's social and emotional wellbeing. Thirteen FDC educators participated in individual semi-structured interviews. FDC educators were more comfortable defining children's social and emotional wellbeing than they were in identifying causes and early signs of mental health problems. Strategies used to promote children's mental health were largely informal and dependent on educator skills and capacities rather than a systematic scheme-wide approach. Common barriers to mental health promotion were limited financial resources, a need for more training and hesitance raising child mental health issues with parents. There is a need to build FDC educators' knowledge of child social and emotional wellbeing and for tailored mental health promotion strategies in FDC.
Davis, E., Priest, N., Davies, B., Smyth, L., Waters, E., Herrman, H., Sims, M. R., Harrison, L., Cook, K., Marshall, B., & Williamson, L. (2012). Family day care educators: An exploration of their understanding and experiences promoting children's social and emotional wellbeing. Early Child Development and Care, 182(9), 1193-1208. Available here