Supporting educator well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: a case study of leadership in early childhood education and care organisations

Helen Logan, Laura McFarland*, Tamara Cumming, Sandie Wong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The goal of this qualitative study was to understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on early childhood educators’ well-being in Australia and to identify strategies for supporting educator well-being throughout this crisis. Data were gathered using a multi-site case study with five Senior Managers or CEOs of early childhood education and care organisations. Using elite interviews, participants were asked how the pandemic impacted educator well-being and what strategies their organisations implemented to support educator well-being. Guided by a phenomenological framework, thematic analysis was used to interpret the interviews. Participants reported that educator well-being was negatively impacted by exposure to physical risk, fear and anxiety, financial stress and feelings of betrayal. Participants reported supporting educator well-being through crisis-planning, increased and focused communication, support for physical safety, well-being resources and programmes, and advocacy for and recognition of educators’ contributions to society. Implications for critical incident planning in ECEC are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309–321
Number of pages13
JournalAustralasian Journal of Early Childhood
Volume46
Issue number4
Early online date26 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • educator well-being
  • COVID-19
  • organisational perspectives
  • leadership
  • critical incidents

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