Child & Youth Care Forum

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 53–70 | Cite as

Perceived Stress and Canadian Early Childcare Educators

  • Shannon L. Wagner
  • Barry Forer
  • Ivan L. Cepeda
  • Hillel Goelman
  • Stefania Maggi
  • Amedeo D’Angiulli
  • Julie Wessel
  • Clyde Hertzman
  • Ruth E. Grunau
Original Paper



Occupational stress for early childcare educators is an area of apparent understudy in the literature. The present study attempted to address this gap and provide some updated data regarding the experiences of this occupational group.


Early childhood workers across a variety of early childhood education settings (N = 69) responded to questionnaires regarding perceived stress, individual/educational background, and work setting (Perceived Stress Scale, You Bet I Care!, and Ways of Coping Questionnaires).


Our findings suggest that early childhood educators who were married, had a stable community, and had no children of their own felt less perceived stress. Further, workers who utilized problem-solving coping, felt job security, and experienced higher job satisfaction and control, reported less perceived stress. In contrast, individuals who employed avoidant coping, worked full-time, and expressed feelings of exhaustion and/or frustration, felt greater amounts of stress.


These findings are reviewed in the context of workplace interventions that may be considered useful toward increasing recruitment and retention of quality early childhood educators through decreased perceived stress.


Early childhood educator Occupational stress Coping Burnout Attrition 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the participation of the early childhood educators and funding contributions from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant CID/NIC 169809 to REG and the Human Early Learning Partnership to REG. The views expressed in this paper are the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Human Early Learning Partnership.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shannon L. Wagner
    • 1
  • Barry Forer
    • 2
  • Ivan L. Cepeda
    • 2
  • Hillel Goelman
    • 2
  • Stefania Maggi
    • 3
  • Amedeo D’Angiulli
    • 3
  • Julie Wessel
    • 4
  • Clyde Hertzman
    • 2
  • Ruth E. Grunau
    • 2
  1. 1.Health Sciences ProgramUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  2. 2.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Carleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  4. 4.University of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada

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