The purpose of this study is to prepare specific plans for the integration of the early childhood education and childcare workforce, an urgent priority in the run-up to the implementation of the Nuri Curriculum for children aged 5 in 2012. In other words, building on the discussion and opinions of parents, teachers and experts regarding the integration of early childhood education and care, this study aims to present a number of action plans (in the form of short- and mid-term strategies) for the purposes of workforce integration of the two sectors in terms of training, qualifications and compensation.
A survey of a total of 902 individuals – comprising 400 teaching staff at kindergartens and childcare centers nationwide, 400 parents and 102 experts – revealed that experts (88%) were most enthusiastic regarding workforce integration of the two sectors, followed by teaching staff (67%) and parents (51%). The survey also revealed that all stakeholders hope that workforce integration will lead to not only better levels of service and workforce quality but also a reinforcement of service content and programs. In addition, a preliminary feasibility study was conducted on parents through a cost-benefit analysis to shed light on whether there is any substantial need for kindergarten-childcare center workforce integration. The study results indicated that parents using kindergarten services want additional services from their childcare providers (34.5%) while parents using childcare center services want additional educational services from their kindergartens and are willing to pay for these additional services (44%). Therefore, from the perspective of the needs of parents, the demand side, the argument for kindergarten-childcare center workforce integration seems to be both valid and feasible.
Next, opinions on measures for workforce integration were sought among service users (parents), service providers (teachers) and experts. Many of the respondents noted that teachers who will deal with an integrated curriculum need to possess university undergraduate qualifications and that a new teacher qualification system should be composed of more than five grades, while a new set of integrative standards should be prepared for teaching training courses, promotion and qualification requirements, and refresher training. The expert group felt this was a pressing issue. As to dividing teacher qualifications and roles, i.e. child-caring/education and infant care/children care, teachers and experts alike supported the idea of integrated roles while parents opted for separated roles. With these three groups of stakeholders differing somewhat with one another, policy suggestions for the kindergarten-childcare center workforce integration set forth mainly by experts as opinion leaders are based on the principle of “integration of roles,” and thus higher qualifications and expertise from teachers under any new system are required.
A teacher qualified to deal with integrated childcare and education is defined as a university graduate who has completed a common integrative curriculum (or who has passed national examinations commensurate with such a curriculum) and has attained qualifications enabling them to deal with the new integrative curriculum. This new type of teacher is subject to the new qualification system and codes of practice. Action plans for the integration of the early childhood education and childcare workforce can be presented from perspectives of new and existing teachers. In the short-term, it is essential to present concrete objectives for the teachers under the integrative curriculum and prepare overall teacher supply plans. Next, training, qualification and compensation of new teachers should be incorporated into one unified system, while the obtainment of and conversion to the new integrative type of teacher qualification should take place through a national examination. Then, entry of teachers via channels other than the national examination should be gradually blocked (first, high school graduates, then, those who have received their qualifications via online education and lastly those who have finished the course of training for childcare teachers). In the mid-term, acquisition of and conversion to the new teacher qualification should be restricted altogether, and those who do not have the new type of qualification will have to work as assistants for those teachers with the qualification.
Table Of Contents
Ⅱ. 유아교육∙보육 교사인력체계의 변천 및 현황
Ⅲ. 유아교육∙보육 인력에 대한 인식
Ⅳ. 유아교육∙보육 인력통합에 대한 의견
Ⅴ. 유아교육∙보육 인력통합의 세부실행안