This paper reports on a research program that investigates policy and practice relating to the buildingof a Chinese early childhood workforce in a context of changed government policy, improvedstandards regarding teacher qualifications and curriculum content, and changing parental expectations.The evolving context reflects the fact that recent economic development in China has witnessedenhanced need for a workforce that is suitable for jobs that require advanced skills and a highcapacity to learn. This identified need has brought a renewed interest in early childhood education.Subsequently, policy makers have raised questions regarding what early childhood teachers shouldknow and the skills they need to acquire to be competent practitioners. The research findings draw oninterviews conducted with 24 kindergarten directors from provinces across China. The interviewexplored opinions about skills and attributes teachers require, level and form of knowledge they need,and how teachers’ capacities might be enhanced.
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