We All Must Value Early Childhood Education

The Observer (Gladstone, Australia), September 22, 2010 | Go to article overview

We All Must Value Early Childhood Education


Byline: Dr Ali Black

EARLY childhood matters. Early childhood services matter. Early childhood educators and professionals matter.

Parents and teachers have a big role in terms of giving children their best possible start in life. We can work together to provide high-quality care and education, valuing and nurturing our interactions and relationships with our children, and providing environments that are safe, supportive and responsive.

Research shows that early access to high quality early childhood education and care services provides children with valuable early experiences and supports a good start in life. High quality early childhood education and care programs support the healthy development of young children, including healthy brain development. As parents we need to understand what underpins quality early environments and we must be advocates for high quality early childhood services and programs.

Quality in early childhood is evidenced by strong attachment relationships and responsive interactions. It is evidenced as young children experience warmth, trust, consistency, interest and enjoyment during everyday interactions and play. When looking to early childhood services, a fundamental factor underpinning quality in early childhood programs is staff qualifications.

As a society it seems we are yet to value the work of our early childhood educators and professionals. Most staff who work in early childhood education and care services Co including teachers Co are poorly paid. If the first five years of life are the most important years in a person's life, so much so that they can determine one's life trajectory, how can this be so? …

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