Time and Temporality in Early Childhood Education and Care Work

Hanna Hjelt, Kirsti Karila, Päivi Kupila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


We explore time and temporality within the work life context of Finnish early childhood education and care professionals. Temporality is a key element of education, since development and learning are always a matter of time and change. Furthermore, interpretations of time play a complex role in the work practices of educational institutions. Discursive analysis of focus group discussions shows that professionals must cope with several temporal dimensions. Even though the long-term orientation based on educational objectives is well recognized, as is the importance of moments of encounter with the individual child, time resource management dominates discussions. Thus, in everyday practices the pedagogical activities must be constantly adapted to changing time resources. This makes work unpredictable, creating an imbalance between the temporal dimensions. Results indicate that time and temporality interpretations are significant, as they affect the work conditions of professionals as well as the quality of early childhood education and care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Educational Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Feb 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • discourse
  • Early childhood professionals
  • educational institutions
  • temporality
  • time
  • working life

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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