Greek early childhood educators’ conceptualization of education, care and educare concepts
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Drawing on kindergarten teachers’ and University departments’ reactions to the Greek government’s initiative to adopt an integrated Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) system, the present study aimed to explore how various ECEC professional groups working in the two main preschool programs operating in Greece define different aspects inherent to ECEC theory and practice. Results yielded both similarities and differences, with aspects of health and well-being characterized mostly as having both a ‘care’ and an ‘education’ aspect, whereas personal and professional development and communication, management and administrative factors were characterized as educational in nature. Discrepancies were revealed in terms of child development, education and play and social environment factors, with those working in childcare settings defining them as including both ‘care’ and ‘education’ whereas those working in kindergartens defined them as educational in nature.