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Early Childhood Learning and Development - Essay Example

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Early Childhood Learning and Development

France and Belgium adapt an organized childminding system because most parents admit their two-year-olds to nursery schools. In contrast, Britain's situation is a bit different. There are no parental leaves and an explicit rejection of any public responsibility to support working parents and their children. This can be attributed to the widespread view in Britain that early childhood care and education are treated as private matters.
As a resolution, policies for early childhood services were passed and implemented. One of them was the Children Act 1989 which was implemented in 1991. The Children Act 1989 emphasizes that our actions support the best interests and welfare of the children and highlights the role of parental responsibility and the partnership between professionals and parents in child rearing (Pugh, 1992). It replaced parental rights with responsibility as it places paramount importance in the vital roles that the parents assume in the development and learning process of their children.
Children since birth live with their parents. Their immediate environment is with their parents in a place they call home. Children have gained confidence, trust, and love for their parents and treat their family and home as their comfort zone. The biological and physiological needs of the children, as well as, their proximity with their parents allow the latter to share many experiences that influence and shape the development of the children. Because of this, parents are considered as the prime carers and educators of their children (Braun, 1992).
Professionals in early childhood work, on the other hand, have gained formal education and training about children and their development. They have been exposed to caring for children with varying age, different behaviours and schemas or learning patterns, and different orientation, beliefs, culture, and social status.
Parents' in-depth and intimate relationship and detailed knowledge of the experiences of their children and professionals' formal and technical know-how of child care and development should converge and be utilized at the optimum level in terms of children's learning. Working with parents has proven to be effective especially in ensuring that the child is given maximum opportunity to develop his/her schemas at home and in school, whether learning is structured or unstructured and setting is formal or informal.
There are several ways to work with parents during early childhood care and education. Dorit Braun in Contemporary Issues in Early Years discussed that parents' room can be set up where parents can meet and chat with each other, parents can serve as helpers on trips and parenting groups to support parents can be established. Furthermore, Margy Whalley (2001) discussed how the Pen Green Centre encourages participation among the parents. The Pen Green Centre for below 5s in Corby, a multidisciplinary service financed by ...Show more

Summary

There are several provisions offered for early childhood learning and development. Examples of these are state nursery schools and classes, reception classes, combined nursery centres, playgroups or pre-schools, and childminders. Each of these provisions is provided by different agencies with different objectives, and area of development competency, has different levels of trainings and qualifications, and follows different sets of standards instituted in the educational legislation and in welfare tradition as shown by the Children Act 1989 (Abbott and Pugh, 1998).
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