The long way towards abandoning ECEC dichotomy in Greece
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Although Greece has a dichotomous system both in terms of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services and in terms of ECEC workers’ preparation programmes, in 2016 Greek government’s Organization for ECEC organized an open colloquy about the adoption of a ‘Unified National Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care’, causing a heated political debate. The present study, founded on policy reform intentions and reactions to them, attempts to explore ECEC professionals’ attitudes towards integration. Participants were prompted to describe the qualifications essential to work in integrated systems, the domains in which re-training is needed as well as the reforms that have to take place in order for integration to be achieved. Results suggest that long-held traditions about the separate culture and tradition of the childcare and early education sectors as well as political and corporatist reasons may inhibit every effort to integration and highlight the need for a strong and principled rational for change.