This study adopts qualitative analysis strategies to examine how national policies (2010–2020) recognize the professionalism of early childhood education (ECE) teachers in China. The results suggest that ECE teachers have lower status than school teachers, as reflected in the differentiated professional qualification requirements and scant attention in national policies. A managerial view of teachers’ professionalism is currently dominant. The ideas of teacher autonomy and collaboration are still emerging and scattered throughout national policies. This study contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of ECE teachers’ professionalism, which has wider implications for countries committed to enhancing their ECE workforce.
- Early childhood education
- Teacher professionalism