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The ‘Universal Access to early childhood education’ agenda in Australia: rationales and instruments
journal contributionposted on 2019-02-01, 00:00 authored by T Molla, Andrea NolanAndrea Nolan
This paper explores the Australian Government’s ‘Universal Access’ policy in the early childhood education sector. Using data from selected policy texts, and drawing on interpretive policy analysis, the paper specifically examines rationales underlying the Universal Access agenda and instruments put in place to operationalize it and problematizes the framing of the equity agenda. The findings show that economic, educational and social goals inform the policy initiative; and targeted funding, teacher professionalization and performance monitoring serve as instruments in the enactment of the initiatives. A closer analysis of the texts also reveals that the Universal Access agenda is characterized by discursive shifts in the framing of equity goals, issue-omissions, contradictions of agendas, and inconsistencies of categories of disadvantage.