Children's experience of activities and participation and their subjective well-being in Norwegian early childhood education and care institutions

Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter*, Monica Seland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Considering how much time most children spend in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) institutions, the psychosocial dimensions of ECEC institutions and children’s well-being represent a growing research area within the ECEC field. This paper presents results from a study where children’s experiences of subjective well-being and opportunities for participation in ECEC institutions were explored. Research on children’s own perspectives about their well-being has mainly been conducted among children older than those of preschool age, and therefore this study aimed at highlighting the voices of 4-6-year-old children regarding how they experience their lives in ECEC institutions. Quantitative data was collected through conversations with 171 Norwegian 4–6-year-old children based on an electronic questionnaire. The results indicate that even though many children experience a high degree of well-being in Norwegian ECEC institutions, approximately one-third of them experience a medium level of well-being and close to one out of ten experience a low degree of well-being. The results show that the physical environment, the toys/equipment, the common activities and the opportunity to have an influence on where to move, what to do and with whom are of crucial importance for children’s well-being in ECEC institutions. This also includes children’s opportunity to oppose the staff and negotiate and choose activities that differ from those that the staff select.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-932
Number of pages20
JournalChild Indicators Research
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • activities
  • children
  • early childhood
  • participation
  • subjective well-being

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