Participant Information

Dear Colleague

We’re seeking your interest in working with us to understand more about educators’ experiences and well-being associated with COVID19.

What is the purpose of this project?
The purpose of this study is to assess educators’ well-being in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.  We know anecdotally that the crisis has been associated with psychological distress and financial hardship, and want to investigate these issues further.  Evidence will be used to inform recommendations for improved policy and practice, and plans for the development of a self-audit tool for educators and programs to use.  Part of the survey that you might choose to complete comes from the UNESCO-UNICEF survey of the effects of COVID-19 on the early childhood workforce in the Asia-Pacific region. Completing this part of the survey will allow us to compare the experiences of Canadian educators with those from Australia and other Australasian countries

This section provides you with the relevant information you need to make a decision about whether or not to take part in the project.  Please feel free to contact Brooke if there is anything you want more information about. Once you’ve had all your questions answered, and if you decide to participate, please follow the instructions below.

What does participation involve?
If you agree, we invite you to participate by completing this online survey.  The first part of the survey contains questions concerning the quality of your work environment, and assessment of your own psychological and emotional well-being.  The second part of the survey is from the UNESCO-UNICEF survey of the effects of COVID-19 on the early childhood workforce in the Asia-Pacific region.  You are free to complete any or no parts of the survey.

Will I experience any discomfort if I participate?

We do not anticipate that you will experience significant discomfort participating in the research, as you may complete the survey (or parts of it) in your own time and in a place of your choosing.
Trigger warning:  Whilst we have designed the survey to be as positive as possible, some of the questions ask you about workplace physical and sexual harassment, violence and bullying.   The second part of the survey asks about your experiences of work conditions and provisions by the Canadian governments for the early childhood education workforce during COVID-19.

Should you experience any psychological discomfort during or after completing the survey, support is available through Crisis Services Canada: 1 (833) 456-4566.
What if don’t want to participate?
The decision to participate in the study is yours alone. You can choose to participate in some or all parts of the survey. If you decide to participate, and later change your mind, you can ask for your responses to be withdrawn without having to give us an explanation.

What will happen to the information collected about me?
The survey does not ask for personally-identifying information such as your name or date of birth. Each survey response will be automatically allocated a unique identification number. The unique ID and the data will be kept safely and securely on password protected computers. All research team members involved in analysis of data will have access to this data. The data will be digitised and held securely on password protected computers at Charles Sturt University in Australia, and on a password protected computer in Canada. Data will be retained for at least five years.

Data from this study will be used to inform a larger national study of educator well-being in Australia, and possibly in comparisons with data from larger studies. In addition, data from the project may be reported in journal articles and/or other presentations. In Canada, the data will be used by researcher Dr Brooke Richardson (Brock University), in collaboration with the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario, to inform community-based projects, presentations and ongoing work asserting the value of the profession. For example, the insights from this data will be helpful to include in messaging both to our members, our partners (other childcare, anti-poverty, family support organizations), and to governments working in the ECEC sector.

We believe that your participation in this project will make a very valuable contribution to research examining educators’ experiences of COVID-19. Whilst there will be no immediate health benefit to you from participating, taking part may raise your own awareness of your work related well-being.

Should you require further information, please do not hesitate to ask.
Kind Regards

Project Lead: Lead Researcher: Canada Research contact:
Assoc. Prof. Sandie Wong Dr Tamara Cumming Dr Brooke Richardson
+61 2 9850 7111 +61 2 6338 4410  
sandie.wong@mq.edu.au tcumming@csu.edu.au brichardson@brocku.ca

Co-Researchers:
Dr Laura McFarland Prof. Rebecca Bull
+61 2 6051 9413 +61 2 9850 7111
lmcfarland@csu.edu.au r.bull@mq.edu.au

Concerns / complaints regarding the conduct of the project?
CSU is committed to researcher integrity and the ethical conduct of research projects.  This research has been approved by the CSU Human Research Ethics Committee - Protocol Number: H17106 and received clearance through the Brock University Research Ethics Board (file #20-244).

If you have any concerns or complaints about the ethical conduct of the project you may contact:   
      Governance Officer
      Ethics and Compliance Unit
      Locked Bag 588
      Wagga Wagga NSW 2678
      Email: ethics@csu.edu.au

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