Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Master of Arts




Rezai-Rashti, Goli


This qualitative case study explored the perspectives and experiences of early years professionals engaging in anti-racist practices in Ontario licensed child care settings. Critical race theory and whiteness studies were the guiding theoretical frameworks for the study. The qualitative case study draws from semi-structured interviews with four early years professionals working in licensed child care settings. Based on the experiences of the early years professionals, there seemed to be an overall lack of in-depth continuous anti-racist practices among the participants. The findings highlight that the participants engage in anti-racist work using play materials, videos, and discussion-based learning with children. Some participants noted a lack of deep understanding of anti-racism and, therefore, a lack of engagement in anti-racist practices. The themes that emerged from participants’ experiences helped to serve as recommendations for future directions of research and practice in early childhood education and care.

Summary for Lay Audience

Anti-racism is becoming a more frequently discussed topic in early childhood education and care (ECEC). Going beyond theoretical understanding, it is also important to consider how early years professionals enact anti-racism in their practice. The purpose of this study was to investigate how early years professionals engage in anti-racist practices with children in Ontario’s licensed child care settings. While participants shared their experiences with anti-racist practices and their successes and challenges in doing so, findings showed a lack of deep understanding of anti-racist practices. Amongst all participants, there were barriers to engaging in anti-racist practices due to either a lack of knowledge, funding, time, or support. This thesis thus provides recommendations regarding sufficient pre-service and in-service training on anti-racism, redesigning curriculum, and policy documents to include anti-racism within the early years, and increased government support for educators to engage in anti-racist practices.