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It's an older catchphrase but worth repeating - we don't care for DAYS. We care for CHILDREN.
The fact that the POTUS used the language of "daycare" leads me to question whether he is receiving input from child development experts or is his advice primarily coming from the education/school field.
I have been in the Field of Early Childhood for 37 years!
I have been teaching in a High School CTE Early Education and Care Lab setting for the past 15 years.
Recently, I finally realized my dream and opened my own Child Care Center (and Covid -19 Struck!)
Now I am hearing our field is getting noticed by the new Government Elect, which I believe could be a wonderful partnership in helping families with young children, as well as, the hard hit private child care community.
These early childhood educators offer amazing programs all over the country to our young children.
I firmly believe for this partnership to become a reality EXPERTS from Early Education and Care need to be driving the conversation with the importance of what Quality Child Care is, and MOST IMPORTANTLY respecting that Early Childhood is a period of time in a child's life, where their work is PLAY!
Child Development cannot be pushed or ignored!
Over the past 37 years I have worked in ",Day Care," "Preschool", "Nursery school" as well as "Child Development centers".
A name must carry out the mission of what young children need.. Quality care that offers age appropriate activities, nurturing caring, educators, grounded in Child Development. All children deserve this!
I know as a Early childhood Educator it would be a very moving experience for me, when we hear our government and others understand and advocate that children .. young children, belong enjoying learning through play as a strong foundation to their educational journey.
I am very concerned and worried about this. In California, the state added a two year kindergarten program for those children who turn 5 years old between September 2nd to December 2nd. And, that is exactly what it is, 2 years of a kindergarten curriculum that is done at a slower pace than the typical kindergarten. The program is not developmentally appropriate, there is little time for play, and the teachers have a minimal background in early childhood education/development. I do not think early childhood educators were involved in the decision and design process.
Also, once you have programs in the public schools, outcomes will need to be measured through some type of standardized assessment process. We need to look at what the brain research says about how 0 to 8 years old children learn; exploration, child-centered play, games, active movement, uninterrupted time, etc.
I am so very happy at the thought of ALL children ages 3-4 being able to receive quality childcare! The one concern I have is that educators and providers understand and implement developmentally appropriate practice in their Early Childhood environment and curriculum! We MUST remain vigilant in protecting children and providing developmentally appropriate activities, curriculum and expectations!
My first reaction was exactly what the article stated at the end - school vs daycare still haunts us as a profession. I am sure that non-educators do not realize what that particular word means to ECE, but it still hurts. However there is a huge difference in the quality of early care and that is where the difference lies. No matter what you call it, high quality care for young children will make a difference throughout their entire lives. Conversely, care of poor quality will also impact them. It means a lot to hear the President of the US make a statement of this kind, but I also wonder how programs like these will be funded? The system as we now know it is so broken, it will take an enormous effort to follow through on these ideas. I am hopeful for the future, but will take his words with a grain of salt.