One of the consequences of learning about early childhood in Great Britain is that I learned about issues that we experience similar to the early childhood programs there. This gave me the chance to read about how they handled such issues compared to what we do here in each individual state. I learned a lot about the issues and trends affecting us as well as other countries.
Another consequence of learning about Early Childhood in Great Britain was that I was able to read about many of the organizations they have that support the Early Childhood Field. These could be used in a similar fashion here in the United States and could very easily, through the website, be shared with the appropriate people here.
I learned that teaching has its challenges no matter where you teach. No matter what country, state, county, we experience similar things. It helped me to read that other countries were having similar experiences and that it wasn’t only us. Not that I wish challenges on anyone else but it was comforting to know that it’s happening to others too. It isn’t just me.
My goal for the field of Early Childhood education is to continue to reach out and educate people on the importance of early childhood education. People need to know and understand that what we do is important and deserves to be acknowledged as a professional occupation.
I have not yet received a response to any of my contacts so I visited UNESCO’s “Early Childhood Care and Education” webpage (http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/strengthening-education-systems/early-childhood/). I explored the site thoroughly and the following are the new ideas and insights I have gained about issues related to international early childhood education and my professional goals.
I learned a few things about access and equity, one of which is that the central governments must ensure an equitable distribution of resources among different populations, especially those who live in the most disadvantaged regions. This approach expands access without creating serious regional inequities. However, the policy of universal provision for particular age groups can create inequity.
There are no universally agreed criteria for quantifying Early childhood care and education programme (ECCE) quality but useful factors to consider include pedagogy materials, personnel training, service setting and parental education and involvement. The ECCE workforce is often made up of a diverse group of pre-school teachers, care workers, informal carers and other professionals. Adequate training and work conditions are essential so they can integrate the content and practice of early childhood care and education and address the transition to formal schooling. I believe that this is one of the main problems with the field of Early childhood and the programs with-in it. The differences in quality between programs it partially due to the lack of consistent standards and criteria for scoring programs and professionals for quality.
Where government resources are limited, the last year of pre-primary education is frequently placed in a formal school setting or there may be efforts to lower the entry age. Such trends dilute the importance of holistic development by placing too much emphasis on preparing children for formal schooling. This happens throughout the school years as well because more emphasis is placed on formal schooling and “teaching to the test” than to much of the play and emotional development.
The greatest difficulty faced by countries in their efforts to expand and improve the quality of early childhood care and education is the mobilisation of resources. This is particularly daunting in developing countries, where early childhood may be overshadowed by other pressing priorities, such as universal primary education.
Follow some of the outside links that you have not yet explored. Where do they lead?
Many of the links that I have not explored yet lead to information about different subject areas and the importance of them within the early childhood association in Britain. One in particular (http://www.earlyeducation.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/Making%20a%20noise%20for%20music%20%286%29.pdf ) focused on the importance of music in the program and how to include/use it. Another one(http://www.earlyeducation.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/Young%20children%20and%20technology%20%2813%29.pdf ) discusses the technology age that our children are growing up in and how it can be used to benefit them educationally. Many of the other articles were about current issues in early childhood such as helping children with their behavior and playing and learning.
Thoroughly search one area of the site. What do you find?
I thought I would check out some of the information on the training and professional development of early childhood educators in the UK. They have a section of their website dedicated to it. Early Education supports the training and professional development of early childhood practitioners working in integrated children’s centers and across maintained, private, voluntary, independent and home-based early childhood education settings through its Associates programme. Early Education Associates are all established leading early childhood education specialists, who support both strategically and practically, the training, professional development and mentoring needs of multi-professional teams to work with the parents, families and friends who support each child to learn effectively (BAECE, n.d).
Does the website or the e-newsletter contain any information that adds to your understanding of equity and excellence in early care and education?
I was unable to find any information about Availability, Accessibility, and Affordability as I navigated the website.
What other new insights about issues and trends in the early childhood field did you gain this week from exploring the website and/or the e-newsletter?
Early Education is currently supported by the Department for Education 2011-2013 Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) Grants programme. As a part of this funded work, Early Education was commissioned to produce Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage, new non-statutory guidance that supports all those working in early childhood education settings to implement the statutory requirements of the EYFS Framework 2012 (BAECE, n.d). You can read more about the ways that this framework expresses importance of development and how it is all connected here in this download: http://early-education.org.uk/sites/default/files/Development%20Matters%20FINAL%20PRINT%20AMENDED.pdf