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Abstract: 

This paper analyzes three union contracts as a way to unpack the ways in which the professional role of the registered early childhood educator (RECE) in full-day kindergarten (FDK) programs in Ontario is recognized and constructed in policy texts. The paper examines what constitutes an “early learning professional” compared to a “teacher” or “educational assistant,” and how the discourses of professionalism are constructed through policy texts to position the role of RECEs in FDK. Results from this study suggest that union contracts play an important role in shaping the new “professional” role and status of RECEs in FDK programs.

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