Education and an Ethics of Care when working with Refugee Families during COVID-19

Anne Keary, Andrea Reupert, Mervi Kaukko, Jane Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Provision of early childhood education and care services for refugee families took on heightened challenges during COVID-19 restrictions. We undertook a small-scale study to explore how Australian educators worked with and cared for refugee families during the COVID-19 outbreak in an urban Australian setting. This paper emerges from a larger project that aimed to support social inclusion and cultural and linguistic diversity for refugee families in Australia. The paper draws on two group interviews conducted during a COVID-19 lockdown with four educators working with refugee families in early childhood education and care. Data analysis is framed by the ethics of care work of Carol Gilligan and Nel Noddings. On the basis of these theories and the interview data, two vignettes on an ethics of care were developed. The importance of being cared for and cared about and genuinely listening were identified as crucial aspects of the care provided to refugee children and their families.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEarly Years
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Feb 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • COVID-19 restrictions
  • early childhood education
  • ethics of care
  • Refugee education

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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