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 journalArticle

19 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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