Early Childhood Teachers' Knowledge of and Attitudes Towards Promoting Health and Safety in Kindergartens

By Emmy M. Y. Wong, Tsz-Shan Shannon Li, P. Y. Peggy Cheung and Lawrence T. M. Lam.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: August 31, 2015 $US5.00

A prominent school issue is health and safety in kindergartens. However, there has been no concerted effort to develop health and safety training as part of the school management of the kindergarten workforce in Hong Kong. A pilot study was designed to assess early childhood teachers’ knowledge of and attitudes towards health and safety in kindergartens using a self-reported questionnaire. The participants were 54 early childhood teachers, which included 10 principals, or senior teachers, and 44 frontline teachers of four kindergartens. The results indicated that the teachers’ level of knowledge regarding common childhood injuries was high, but their knowledge of health and safety measures was very low. There was a significant difference in the overall knowledge level of the senior teachers and the junior teachers. The principals or senior teachers were more positive towards the need to have a health and safety policy and to develop a health and safety strategy plan and recording system for their kindergartens than the front-line teachers. Furthermore, the teachers with more teaching experience were more concerned about assigning an appropriate staff member to be responsible for different aspects of health and safety than the teachers with less teaching experience. The teachers with a Bachelor degree or above were more likely to indicate the importance of providing professional development training for staff than the teachers with a Diploma degree or below. There is a need for an in-service professional training program for early childhood teachers to increase their health and safety knowledge and attitudes.

Keywords: Health, Safety, Knowledge, Attitude, Early Childhood

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 5, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.59-67. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: August 31, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 515.841KB)).

Dr. Emmy M. Y. Wong

Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Physical Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, SAR Hong Kong China, Hong Kong

Tsz-Shan Shannon Li

Research Assistant

MPH, BHSc

Dr. P. Y. Peggy Cheung

Assistant Professor, Department of Health & Physical Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China

PhD, MPhil, BA

Prof. Lawrence T. M. Lam

Professor & Head of Department, Health and Physical Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong