Talking heresy about ‘quality’ early childhood education and care for children in poverty

Donald Simpson, Sandra Loughran, Eunice Lumsden, Philip Mazzocco, Rory McDowall Clark, Christian Winterbottom

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


This paper considers the socially progressive function of a model of 'quality' early childhood education and care widely prescribed to address child poverty across England and the USA. Ubiquitous, it is imbued with a sense of objectivity, secureness and practicality. We question these foundations. Then using data from practitioners in both countries, we contrast expectations about this model of ECEC as an unmitigated good building resilience to 'break cycles of disadvantage', with the everyday experiences and frustrations of practitioners pursuing it. Their data suggest this model of 'quality' has limitations and some heresy is required about this policy orthodoxy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-18
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Poverty and Social Justice
Issue number1
Early online date26 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Childcare
  • Childhood
  • Disadvantage
  • Early education
  • Poverty
  • Pre-school


Dive into the research topics of 'Talking heresy about ‘quality’ early childhood education and care for children in poverty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this