The history of early childhood care and education ECCE refers to the development of care and education of children from birth through eight years old throughout history. Arrangements for fulfilling these societal roles have evolved over time and remain varied across cultures, often reflecting family and community structures as well as the social and economic roles of women and men. After a 20th-century characterized by constant change, including a monumental campaign urging for greater women's rights, women were motivated to pursue a college education and join the workforce.
Nevertheless, mothers still face the same challenges as the generations that preceded them on how to care for young children while away at work. The formalization of these arrangements emerged in the nineteenth century with the establishment of kindergartens for educational purposes and day nurseries for care in much of Europe and North America , Brazil , China , India , Jamaica and Mexico. While the first two years of a child's life are spent in the creation of a child's first " sense of self ", most children are able to differentiate between themselves and others by their second year.
This differentiation is crucial to the child's ability to determine how they should function in relation to other people. Early childhood attachment processes that occur during early childhood years 0—2 years of age, can be influential to future education. With proper guidance and exploration children begin to become more comfortable with their environment, if they have that steady relationship to guide them.
Parents who are consistent with response times, and emotions will properly make this attachment early on. If this attachment is not made, there can be detrimental effects on the child in their future relationships and independence. There are proper techniques that parents and caregivers can use to establish these relationships, which will in turn allow children to be more comfortable exploring their environment. Education for young students can help them excel academically and socially. With exposure and organized lesson plans children can learn anything they want to.
The tools they learn to use during these beginning years will provide lifelong benefits to their success. Developmentally, having structure and freedom, children are able to reach their full potential. Teachers seeking to be early childhood educators must obtain certification , among other requirements. There are also programs now that have a duel certification in pre-K to grade 3 and special education from pre-K to grade 8.
These tracks typically take 4 years to complete and in the end, provide students with their certifications to teach in schools. These tracks give students in the field experience in multiple different types of classrooms as they learn how to become teachers. An example of a school that has these tracks is Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Early childhood educators must have knowledge in the developmental changes during early childhood and the subjects being taught in an early childhood classroom.
Positive reinforcement is one popular method for managing behavior in young children.
In Connecticut, for example, these requirements include a bachelor's degree , 36 hours of special education courses, passing scores on the Praxis II Examination and Connecticut Foundations of Reading Test and a criminal history background check. For State of Early Childhood Education Bornfreund, ; Kauerz, says that the teacher education and certification requirements do not manifest the research about how to best support development and learning for children that are in kindergarten through third grade.
States are requiring educators who work in open pre-kindergarten to have specific preparation in early childhood education. As indicated by NAEYC state profiles NAEYC, , just 14 states require kindergarten instructors to be confirmed in early youth; in the rest of the states, kindergarten educators might be authorized in basic training. Early childhood education often focuses on learning through play, based on the research and philosophy of Jean Piaget , which posits that play meets the physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social needs PILES of children. Children's curiosity and imagination naturally evoke learning when unfettered.
Learning through play will allow a child to develop cognitively. In this, children learn through their interactions with others. Thus, children learn more efficiently and gain more knowledge through activities such as dramatic play, art, and social games.https://senjouin-renshu.com/wp-content/79/3620-rastreador-de-movil.php
Figure 8.8 Measurement of early childhood development index
Tassoni suggests that "some play opportunities will develop specific individual areas of development, but many will develop several areas. Allowing children to help get snacks ready helps develop math skills one-to-one ratio, patterns, etc. Davy states that the British Children's Act of links to play-work as the act works with play workers and sets the standards for the setting such as security, quality and staff ratios.
Margaret McMillan suggested that children should be given free school meals, fruit and milk, and plenty of exercise to keep them physically and emotionally healthy. Rudolf Steiner believed that play time allows children to talk, socially interact, use their imagination and intellectual skills. Maria Montessori believed that children learn through movement and their senses and after doing an activity using their senses.
The benefits of being active for young children include physical benefits healthy weight, bone strength, cardiovascular fitness , stress relief, improved social skills and improved sleep. In a more contemporary approach, organizations such as the National Association of the Education of Young Children NAEYC promote child-guided learning experiences, individualized learning, and developmentally appropriate learning as tenets of early childhood education. This study found that implementing board games in the classroom "helped students develop social skills that transferred to other areas.
Negative outcomes included children feeling excluded and showing frustration with game rules. Piaget provides an explanation for why learning through play is such a crucial aspect of learning as a child. However, due to the advancement of technology, the art of play has started to dissolve and has transformed into "playing" through technology. If we want to develop a variety of skills, we need a balanced media diet.
Each medium has costs and benefits in terms of what skills each develops. Many oppose the theory of learning through play because they think children are not gaining new knowledge. In reality, play is the first way children learn to make sense of the world at a young age. Research suggests that the way children play and interact with concepts at a young age could help explain the differences in social and cognitive interactions later.
When learning what behavior to associate with a set action can help lead children on to a more capable future. They are exploring different roles, learning how things work, and learning to communicate and work with others. These things cannot be taught by a standard curriculum, but have to be developed through the method of play. Many preschools understand the importance of play and have designed their curriculum around that to allow children to have more freedom.
Once these basics are learned at a young age, it sets children up for success throughout their schooling and their life. Many [ who? They can follow through when a task is difficult and listen to directions for a few minutes. These skills are linked to self-control, which is within the social and emotional development that is learned over time through play amongst other things.
The approach focuses on learning through discovery. Maslow's hierarchy of needs showcases the different levels of needs that must be met the chart to the right showcases these needs. Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky proposed a "socio-cultural learning theory" that emphasized the impact of social and cultural experiences on individual thinking and the development of mental processes.
In Vygotsky's theories of learning he also had the theory of zone proximal development. This theory ties in with children building off of prior knowledge and gaining new knowledge related to skills they already have. In the theory it describes how new knowledge or skills are taken in if they are not fully learned but are starting to emerge. Once the skills are starting to be learned they need to be supported and taught to the person.
In each zone of proximal development, they build on skills and grow by learning more skills in their proximal development range. They build on the skills by being guided by teachers and parents. The theory also describes how even with teaching, it can't alter a child's development at any time. They must build off of where they are in their zone of proximal development. Vygotsky argued that since cognition occurs within a social context, our social experiences shape our ways of thinking about and interpreting the world. Although Vygotsky predated social constructivists, he is commonly classified as one.
Social constructivists believe that an individual's cognitive system is a resditional learning time. Vygotsky advocated that teachers facilitate rather than direct student learning. It is important to do this because students' levels of interest and abilities will vary and there needs to be differentiation. However, teachers can enhance understandings and learning for students. Vygotsky states that by sharing meanings that are relevant to the children's environment, adults promote cognitive development as well.
Their teachings can influence thought processes and perspectives of students when they are in new and similar environments. Since Vygotsky promotes more facilitation in children's learning, he suggests that knowledgeable people and adults in particular , can also enhance knowledges through cooperative meaning-making with students in their learning. Teachers can help students achieve their cognitive development levels through consistent and regular interactions of collaborative knowledge-making learning processes. Jean Piaget 's constructivist theory gained influence in the s and '80s.
Although Piaget himself was primarily interested in a descriptive psychology of cognitive development , he also laid the groundwork for a constructivist theory of learning. He said that "if logic itself is created rather than being inborn, it follows that the first task of education is to form reasoning. According to Piaget's theory, when young children encounter new information, they attempt to accommodate and assimilate it into their existing understanding of the world. Accommodation involves adapting mental schemas and representations in order to make them consistent with reality.
Assimilation involves fitting new information into their pre-existing schemas. Through these two processes, young children learn by equilibrating their mental representations with reality. They also learn from mistakes. A Piagetian approach emphasizes experiential education; in school, experiences become more hands-on and concrete as students explore through trial and error. Subsequent reflection on these experiences is equally important. Piaget's concept of reflective abstraction was particularly influential in mathematical education.
This allows children to develop mathematical constructs that cannot be learned through equilibration — making sense of experiences through assimilation and accommodation — alone. According to Piagetian theory, language and symbolic representation is preceded by the development of corresponding mental representations. Research shows that the level of reflective abstraction achieved by young children was found to limit the degree to which they could represent physical quantities with written numerals.
Piaget held that children can invent their own procedures for the four arithmetical operations, without being taught any conventional rules. Piaget's theory implies that computers can be a great educational tool for young children when used to support the design and construction of their projects. McCarrick and Xiaoming found that computer play is consistent with this theory.
David Kolb 's experiential learning theory, which was influenced by John Dewey , Kurt Lewin and Jean Piaget, argues that children need to experience things in order to learn: "The process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.
Knowledge results from the combinations of grasping and transforming experience. As a child explores and observes, teachers ask the child probing questions.
The child can then adapt prior knowledge to learning new information. Kolb breaks down this learning cycle into four stages: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation, and active experimentation. Children observe new situations, think about the situation, make meaning of the situation, then test that meaning in the world around them. In recent decades, studies have shown that early childhood education is critical in preparing children to enter and succeed in the grade school classroom, diminishing their risk of social-emotional mental health problems and increasing their self-sufficiency later in their lives.
There is no subject to be considered taboo, starting with the most basic knowledge of the world he lives in, and ending with deeper areas, such as morality, religion and science. Visual stimulus and response time as early as 3 months can be an indicator of verbal and performance IQ at age 4 years. This allows children the opportunity to build and nurture trusting relationships with educators and social relationships with peers. By providing education in a child's most formative years, ECE also has the capacity to pre-emptively begin closing the educational achievement gap between low and high-income students before formal schooling begins.
Especially since the first wave of results from the Perry Preschool Project were published, there has been widespread consensus that the quality of early childhood education programs correlate with gains in low-income children's IQs and test scores, decreased grade retention, and lower special education rates. Several studies have reported that children enrolled in ECE increase their IQ scores by points by age five, while a Milwaukee study reported a point gain.
Beyond benefitting societal good, ECE also significantly impacts the socioeconomic outcomes of individuals. For example, by age 26, students who had been enrolled in Chicago Child-Parent Centers were less likely to be arrested, abuse drugs, and receive food stamps; they were more likely to have high school diplomas, health insurance and full-time employment. The World Bank 's World Development Report on The Changing Nature of Work  identifies early childhood development programs as one of the most effective ways governments can equip children with the skills they will need to succeed in future labor markets.
The Perry Preschool Project, which was conducted in the s in Ypsilanti, Michigan , is the oldest social experiment in the field of early childhood education and has heavily influenced policy in the United States and across the globe.
The intervention for children in the treatment group included active learning preschool sessions on weekdays for 2. The intervention also included weekly visits by the teachers to the homes of the children for about 1. Initial evaluations of the Perry intervention showed that the preschool program failed to significantly boost an IQ measure. However, later evaluations that followed up the participants for more than fifty years have demonstrated the long-term economic benefits of the program, even after accounting for the small sample size of the experiment, flaws in its randomization procedure, and sample attrition.
Research points to improvements in non-cognitive skills, executive functioning, childhood home environment, and parental attachment as potential sources of the observed long-term impacts of the program. The intervention's many benefits also include improvements in late-midlife health for both male and female participants. Research also demonstrates spillover effects of the Perry program on the children and siblings of the original participants. A study concludes, "The children of treated participants have fewer school suspensions, higher levels of education and employment, and lower levels of participation in crime, compared with the children of untreated participants.
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Impacts are especially pronounced for the children of male participants. These treatment effects are associated with improved childhood home environments. Evidence from the Perry Preschool Project is noteworthy because it advocates for public spending on early childhood programs as an economic investment in a society's future, rather than in the interest of social justice. In the past decade, there has been a national push for state and federal policy to address the early years as a key component of public education.
Head Start grants are awarded directly to public or private non-profit organizations, including community-based and faith-based organizations, or for-profit agencies within a community that wish to compete for funds. The same categories of organizations are eligible to apply for Early Head Start, except that applicants need not be from the community they will be serving.
Many states have created new early childhood education agencies. Massachusetts was the first state to create a consolidated department focused on early childhood learning and care. Just in the past fiscal year, state funding for public In Minnesota, the state government created an Early Learning scholarship program, where families with young children meeting free and reduced price lunch requirements for kindergarten can receive scholarships to attend ECE programs. States have created legislation regarding early childhood education. In California, for example, The Kindergarten Readiness Act of changed the required birthday for admittance to kindergarten and first grade, and established a transitional kindergarten program.
Currently, [ when? Because ECE is a relatively new field, there is little research and consensus into what makes a good program. The American legal system has also played a hand in public ECE. State adequacy cases can also create a powerful legal impetus for states to provide universal access to ECE, drawing upon the rich research illustrating that by the time they enter school, students from low-income backgrounds are already far behind other students.
State have established early but incomplete precedents in looking at "adequate education" as education that addresses needs best identified in early childhood, including immediate and continuous literacy interventions. In the case of Abbott v. Beyond ruling that New Jersey needed to allocate more funds to preschools in low-income communities in order to reach "educational adequacy," the Supreme court also authorized the state department of education to cooperate "with… existing early childhood and daycare programs in the community" to implement universal access.
In the case of Abbeville v. State, the South Carolina Supreme Court decided that ECE programs were necessary to break the "debilitating and destructive cycle of poverty for low-income students and poor academic achievement. The court furthermore argued that ECE was not only imperative for educational adequacy but also that "the dollars spent in early childhood intervention are the most effective expenditures in the educational process.
The department's budget highlights doing away with the pre-school development grant program which aided 18 states in spreading out access to pre-K for 4-year-old children during the last few years. It helped said states in improving overall quality of pre-K programs. This subsidy is estimated to serve around , kids. However, the administration withdrew the requirement that such program started serving children for a longer day and school year due to insufficient funding. Unlike other areas of education, early childhood care and education ECCE places strong emphasis on developing the whole child — attending to his or her social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs — in order to establish a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and well-being.
ECCE begins at birth and can be organized in a variety of non-formal, formal and informal modalities, such as parenting education , health-based mother and child intervention, care institutions, child-to-child programmes, home-based or centre-based [Child care childcare], kindergartens and pre-schools. As research shows, children's care and educational needs are intertwined. Poor care, health, nutrition, and physical and emotional security can affect educational potentials in the form of mental retardation , impaired cognitive and behavioural capacities, motor development delay, depression , difficulties with concentration and attention.
Inversely, early health and nutrition interventions, such as iron supplementation, deworming treatment and school feeding, have been shown to directly contribute to increased pre-school attendance. Quality ECCE is one that integrates educational activities, nutrition, health care and social services. Decades of research [ when? The benefits from enhanced child development are the largest part of the economic return, but both are important considerations in policy and programme design. The economic consequences include reductions in public and private expenditures associated with school failure , crime , and health problems as well as increases in earnings.
The overarching goals of the conference are to:. According to UNESCO a preschool curriculum is one that delivers educational content through daily activities, and furthers a child's physical, cognitive and social development. Generally, preschool curricula are only recognized by governments if they are based on academic research and reviewed by peers. Preschool for Child Rights have pioneered into preschool curricular areas and is contributing into child rights through their preschool curriculum.
The Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden have the oldest tradition of unified services for young children, and more coherence. In Sweden, early childhood care and education services were fully integrated into the educational system in , when the Ministry of Education formally took over all its early childhood services for one-to-six-year-old children, as well as the leisure-time centres complementary to schools for 7-toyear olds.
Most countries seek to universalize services for preschoolers, but usually only in part-time basis, while the access to full-time programs continues to be restricted to low-income families or "at-risk" children. Full-time programs for a wider age range can only be proposed on solid basis where ECEC has the dual purpose of supporting child development and promoting equal opportunities for men and women. This is the case of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and also of China, Czech Republic and Vietnam, despite significant changes in the last three countries due to reduced service for younger children.
The challenge for all countries is to strengthen the early childhood education field by seeking unified objectives and universal provision for all age groups paying attention to the needs of the child and those of their families. An integrated ECEC policy takes into account the entire period during which the children need adults' protection and guidance.
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However, in most countries coverage is much greater for the oldest age group than for youngsters. The growing trend to make services for children over 3 a statutory right contrasts with the limited offer of public services for children under 3. The general justification for such a limitation would be the high cost of services at institutions, which require a high adult-child ratio, equipment, and a different environmental organization than those required for older children. The offer of publicly-subsidized services for children under 3 is larger in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden where the public ECEC system is part of a wider policy of family support and gender equality.
These countries, as well as Norway, have the highest rates of social expenditure, reaching 3. By contrast, in developing countries the responsibility for early years still falls heavily on the families and, particularly, on the women. As Myers observes , government support for families with young children by means of parental leaves, healthcare services, child allowance systems and subsidies for home ownership is scarce in these countries. The challenge is to achieve a unified ECEC view and full cooperation among related sectors labour, health, welfare, and educational system to ensure coherence and continuity of provision throughout the period ranging from pregnancy to far after the child starts primary school.
A strong public commitment is required to make ECEC provision available and accessible to all. At the time the research was carried out , some countries, such as the United States, the Netherlands, Portugal, and the United Kingdom had expanded investment in this area. However, public investment in ECEC is particularly unequal across age groups. In addition, there is a strong tendency to devolve public responsibility upon private enterprise in countries where education and care of young children are considered a parents' task.
It is not surprising that in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, where there are mixed public-private systems, profit-based services for children under five years old prevail, with parents covering most of the costs by paying fees. In developing countries, there is evidence that the ECEC system competes in unequal terms with other levels of education when it is linked to the educational system. ECE is forced to compete with other educational expenses for municipal resources not assigned to this fund. In Kenya, the government allocates less than 1 percent of Ministry of Education funds to preschool.
In this country, most of ECEC cost is covered by parents. Such an increase in funding is mainly due to two reasons: the Jomtien Declaration and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which required signatories to adopt a more comprehensive definition of attention to children Myers, ; and the many arguments in favour of long-term funding of Early Childhood Care and Development ECCD programs, persuasively combined with the belief in the desirable benefits of the low-cost models produced by these programs Evans, An integrated ECEC approach has implications for program implementation, which affect, for example, the types of services offered, staffing, pedagogical approach and parental involvement.
The natural result of an integrated approach that is committed to meet the diversity of needs and interests of both children and families would be a "clientele-oriented" model, which would include a wide range in types of provision, opening hours, fees etc. However, the services linked to the school system services are predominately uniform and limited in terms of objectives, once they follow the model of formal schools, which close during summer holidays and other periods when parents are working.
The resistance within the educational system to recognize ECEC services as a support for working parents indicates a narrow concept of early childhood education and care. Family day-care can be useful for the process of expansion of ECEC system towards universal provision for children and families. But if such arrangements are considered a substitute for centre-based services, this may indicate a return to an ideology that favours family care.
The challenge is to find diversified forms of services with unified philosophy and objectives. An integrated approach conceives and plans ECEC services as an integral part of family and community life, in tune with new realities: families with a smaller number of children; more working couples; increased number of lone-parent families, generally headed by mothers; greater insertion of mothers with young children into the informal and formal labour markets; immigration, and cultural pluralism.
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Even if ECEC contexts have as a long-term goal preparing children for school and for the future, they should be above all spaces for socialization that stimulate children to live the here and now. Instead of uniform and rigid institutional structures, the early childhood education and care environment must help young children to grow and develop in an atmosphere that is both familial and collective; to interact with other children and other adults and learn through these relationships; to feel good, loved and respected, and develop constructive attitudes and thinking patterns; to make choices, carry out projects, engage in enriching and involving experiences with children in their age group and mix-age groups; to communicate their actions, and participate, to some extent, in decisions that affect their lives; to move around and play freely; to take a nap when they are tired; to eat when they are hungry, be alone when they want it; to look for support and protection from adults when they feel insecure.
Programs that aim at compensating for presumed deficiencies of home environments, for fear that unprivileged children will fail at school are just as harmful as those that conform to school agenda pressures by emphasizing the teaching of specific skills to young children. Education should not be seen in a fragmented way or in terms of learning only. Educating is far more encompassing and complex activity. With all this complexity, education must be awarded its due place, with its greatness and worth.
Adults who cannot perceive such dimensions are unable to reach the essence of education; to understand what learning and teaching mean; to grasp the essential value of childhood, of a child's wisdom. Such people will not be able to go beyond an adult's point of view to perceive the child's point of view. The great challenge is to create an ECEC pedagogy without fragmentation by age, one that promotes a culture of childhood, protecting and respecting children as individuals who constitute groups and communities with their own rights, skills, forms of expression and participation.
An integrated approach presupposes well-paid, qualified male and female professional that fulfils both social and educational functions, refusing the idea of early childhood education and care as a female domain where no professional skills are required. One of the greatest barriers to this approach is the diversity of beliefs and expectations about what ECEC professional should offer to children.
The desired profile for the ECEC professional does not correspond to the elementary school teacher model, whose main function is to teach subject matter, nor that of a substitute mother model, who simply takes care of children while the parents are away.
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The desired profile reflects the multiple ECEC functions. The training of those who will provide education and care for young children should not aim at accumulating information only. In addition to deep knowledge of pedagogy and child psychology, childhood sociology, and childhood culture associated with a good deal of practical experience, the initial training of ECEC professional must include the education of the body, of feelings, emotions, the speech, the arts, singing, storytelling, and the ability to enchant.
A fragmented education does not arouse the child's soul. Good training is the most important means to create a workforce compatible with the objectives of an integrated approach. The concept of shared responsibility between state and family implies increased recognition of parents as valuable partners, who have the right to actively participate in the whole program. Such a concept, however, is not as simple in practice as it is in theory.
Experiences show that the relationships between staff and families are often permeated by conflict, ranging from competition to jealousy, guilt and contempt. An integrated approach presupposes solid ECEC staff-parents partnerships based on dialogue, trust, respect, sharing of knowledge and cultural traditions, as well as active and systematic participation of the family in the processes of planning, implementing and evaluating programs aimed to their children.
Much more than a system to support parents who need to work, study or engage in social life, ECEC contexts are important meeting places where families and the community can develop friendship and social protection networks, and where children and adults have interest and voice in decision-making processes.
Deviations from the concept of parents' involvement may include actions such as asking parents to do tasks, or assume ECEC staff's responsibilities; having parents offer regular voluntary help, or considering them a source of financial resources. An ECEC system built on assumptions of quality, continuity, flexibility, diversity, and a socially-inclusive approach ensure many benefits to families, children, women, men, the community and society at large.
Concerning the children, such a system enhances their experiences and widens up their world of affective references, contributing to the construction of their identity and their understanding of the world while reinforcing their learning and communication skills, and their involvement in meaningful activities and relationships.
The system also provides opportunities to socialize with their peers and adults, and learn what means to be a citizen. In addition, the system is an important support for the functioning of the family, increasing the possibilities of socialization and sharing of experiences among family members; helping them to articulate professional activities and family responsibilities and optimizing parents' ability to play their role. It is a mechanism with great potential for promoting social cohesion by providing underprivileged families opportunities to build support networks.
It favours gender equality and the struggle against social inequality. Consolidating ECEC administration under the aegis of the educational system is a growing trend, which has many advantages: it facilitates the development of a coherent policy for regulation, funding, and training, and consistent service delivery across different levels of the educational system, as well as cooperation among early childhood education and elementary school professionals, and continuity of pedagogical approaches for children in the transition from one education level to another.
Furthermore, it increases the probability of making the access to the public school system a right of all children. Nevertheless, this approach implies some risks. As ECEC becomes more fully integrated into the compulsory school system, services may become more "school-oriented" in terms of structure opening hours, staffing, adult-child ratio, physical setting and pedagogical approach, as well as more isolated from other childhood related areas. Fortunately, the risks mentioned above do not seem to threaten the system, according to the country background report Gunnarsson et al.
Moreover, this transfer has raised new issues, such as 'the right for all children from an early age to take part in preschool, irrespective of if parents work or not'" p. The ECEC field is relatively new, and the tradition of services for young children is permeated by unresolved inconsistencies, both in developed and developing countries.
Despite its unquestionable progress, the integration process has barely started: it is still at an identity-building stage, reviewing conceptions of childhood, care, education, motherhood, fatherhood, and social responsibility shared by families and the state, issues that demand a highly complex redefinition of their functional and structural systems.
The commitment to building and redefinition is the point to where all efforts must converge, once this is a necessary condition to overcome tensions between families and society concerning the responsibility for young children. The key issue is to ensure the specificity of the field and the commitment to its dual social and educational role.
The practical implication of this process is ensuring an appropriate locus, which will not pose a threat to the progress that has already been made. If it were possible to establish a hierarchy of priorities for the process of integrating ECEC services with the educational ones, the first step should be ensuring and invigorating the conditions for the building of a specific ECEC culture and identity.
The next step would be the shift to the educational system. And then face the new challenge, which is establishing a strong and equal partnership between the two systems: early childhood education and elementary school. Those were the steps taken by the Swedish government. An effectively integrated ECEC system is a collective building project based on a new concept of extra-familial care and education as a concern that is simultaneously public and private, an expression of responsibility shared between the state and the family. In the realm of policy and program implementation, this project requires careful revision and redefinition of the functions, objectives, and operations of the services that have traditionally provide the care and education of young children.
The central value of this project is a strong commitment to children and childhood. Its success depends on the synergy arising from joint attention to the needs of children and their families, within the perspective of human development. The Human Development Report UNDP, , the first on gender and development, declares that human development is a process to enlarge the choices of all persons, not only for one part of society. It argues that gender issues must be understood as human rights issues, and that "development, if not engendered, is endangered" p. In today's world, the care and education of children require shared responsibility between governments and society.
Without such commitment, one side of the boat - the family and mainly the mothers - will certainly be overloaded.
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