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Volume 4, Number 2 - October 2015

Narratives on children’s rights and well-being

This narrative-based article asks how we, as early childhood educators and advocates for children’s rights and participation, can rethink early childhood experiences and resituate discourses on children’s well-being to better encompass their agency and to acknowledge their rights to participation. The aim is to explore how social progress goes beyond policies of protection and provision of children, families, and early childhood programs to include a nuanced interpretation of child well-being. Drawing from personal experiences and several research projects, primarily in the US, we ask what it might mean to evaluate programs and plan professional development activities for early years teachers and caregivers based on our understanding of children’s well-being. We conclude with ways to re-envision policy, programming, and practice and to put our reconceptualizations into action, especially as influenced by New Zealand early years policy.


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