Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Marianne Larsen


This thesis explores Early Childhood leadership and policy enactment in Jamaican early childhood settings. Propelled by legislative policy initiatives, the study reports on data that investigated the day-to-day practices of early childhood principals. The central question, “How is leadership enacted in Jamaican early childhood settings?”, provided a starting point for critical policy and enactment analysis regarding how early childhood policies and training impact principals’ leadership practices. Also emanating from this inquiry were the supports and constraints EC principals experience as they fulfil their daily leadership roles. Given that Jamaica is a former colonized country, dimensions of the post-colonial theory offered a lens to view EC leadership policies and the practices of EC leaders. The study found that in the face of government-mandated regulatory framework, contextual issues such as historical, economic, social and policy conditions, combined with individual policy interpretations of principals, all impacted leadership enactment. Yet, EC principals committed to executing their duties, aiming to meet the requirements of early childhood policies. This dissertation advances the importance of leadership in Early Childhood Development and promotes leadership capacity through specific early childhood training and preparation. These perspectives serve to deepen understanding of the construction of EC leadership and the enactment of EC leadership policies in Jamaica.