The Quality of Early Childhood Educators: Children's Interaction in Greek Child Care Centers
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Though quality in early childhood education and care has attracted last decades enormous research interest there is still not a unanimous agreement about its definition. Yet, almost all definitions attempted include interaction, group size, adult:child ratio and early childhood educators' level of education, as important indices of quality. Relationships are key resources for young children. There is agreement among researchers that the quality of caregiving by professional caregivers in child care centres has been established as an important influence on various aspects of child development. Thus, structural characteristics have been proven to affect programs' quality of services provided. The purpose of this research study was twofold: (1) to explore the quality of interaction between Greek early childhood educators and children; and (2) to record the structural characteristics of Greek child care centres. Correlations among structural characteristics and type of interaction were also examined. Research data indicate that Greek early childhood educators are positive but at the same time detached and permissive during their interaction with children, a finding that disputes their positive interaction. Thus, Greek child care centres have been found to adopt, based on Greek legislation, high ratios and group sizes, a finding which raises questions about the effects on children's well being and development. Limited correlations have been found between the type of interaction and the structural characteristics. Research data highlight the need for further research to undergone and for changes in Greek legislation, concerning the operation of Greek child care centres.