In Search of Quality

The impetus for this project was a 1984 report titled In Search of Quality (Watts & Patterson, 1984). Federally funded, the report was commissioned by the Office of Child Care and the Department of Social Security in Canberra. Against a backdrop of quality permeating the contemporary landscape of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), it is timely now to review the construction of quality within Lady Gowrie Queensland (Qld) as an organisation.

Research practices have evolved substantially since the In Search of Quality report was originally published. Because of this, a direct comparison of ‘then’ and ‘now’ was not viable. This report differs from the original report in important ways. The original research was undertaken at one centre. As there has been significant growth in Lady Gowrie Qld’s state-wide footprint, this report gathered data across Queensland from approximately 100 centres. This document seeks to report on understandings of quality contemporary practices within Lady Gowrie Qld as they are applied locally within the organisation and operationalised through Gowrie sites.

The framing question for the report focuses on “What are the contemporary practices that contribute to high-quality education and care within Lady Gowrie Queensland?” A mixed-method design was employed to understand the contemporary practices of quality in Lady Gowrie Qld sites from the perspectives of parents, educators, early childhood coordinators, management and importantly children attending Lady Gowrie Qld sites.

A survey was distributed to educators and parents that included closed questions for quantitative data collection as well as opportunities for open narrative responses to capture the ‘stories’ of Lady Gowrie (Qld). Further qualitative data was captured via interviews with management and centre directors, interviews with children, and work diaries with the early childhood education and care coordination team. Together this collection of data has provided an in-depth picture of how quality and leadership in contemporary times is operationalised and supported throughout the organisation by staff in nominated quality support roles.

Chief Investigators

Other Team Members

  • Dr Amanda McFadden (Campus Kindergarten)