First blog post

Hello, I would like to talk about the trends in my field. I have been working with infants/toddlers for 27 years, I currently work at a Montessori School where I have been for 12 years. I also instruct adults [part time] to care for infants/toddlers. My goal is to finish the Adult Instruction Diploma Course and then Instruct Adults full time rather than doing both. So I have done some research on the tends in my field and they are as follows.
1. New research and technologies have determined that the years from birth to five are the most important for a humans development. These years create the persons future. Therefore, there needs to be more respect given to the people caring for the young child and so governments are working towards focusing more funds towards the care of the young. In fact the organization for Economic and Co-operative Development says “Canada spends the lowest amount [of money] per child on early year programs among all industrialized countries”. We have some work to do. In fact education is viewed to be an individuals right and it does not appear when a child reaches the age of compulsory schooling but at birth.
2. The other trend involves governments becoming aware that programs for poor children become poor programs. There is a study that states children from poor families who went to pre-school with middle-class children did better that those who were educated in social economics isolation. The space between middle-class to affluent is big. So then the higher the quality care then the better the academic skills and the higher the language skills, also lower quality care is linked to more behaviour problems. Going to pre-school actually increased the probabilities of good educational qualifications and employment and better earning.[bird 2013]. The Early Childhood Education report of 2014 notes that provinces have been making progress but overall Canada still lags. Spending on E.C.E. is now .6% of the countries gross domestic product far behind the average of Developed nations 1% but up from .25% in 2006. This leaves too many families on wait lists and for E.C.E. teachers they are in split shift dead end jobs. {E.C.E. report 2014].
3. The final trend is the increase in Reggio Amelia centres. The Reggio Amelia approach has four keys components.
-Students follow their own interests
-Students environment is tailored to what they are learning
-Input from parents and other students is encouraged and immediately acted upon.
-School creates student portfolios
This approach is based on the principles of respect responsibility and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive environment based on the interests of the child through self-guided curriculum. [Wikipedia] This sounds similar to a Montessori environment but, it is also very different.
References:
Bertand, Jane, McCuig, Kerry, Shanker, Stuart, [2012] Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development. Trends in Early Education and Childcare.
Himama.[Nov. 1/2016] Podcast#16. Association of Early Childhood Educators, Ontario

Discussion, I find it very interesting that the focus of many studies has now decided that the first three years of life are vital to our development as a person. I have felt this very many years and have seen it with each child I have taught. I am very hopeful that our government will begin to appreciate this and will dedicate more funding to ensure that these young children receive the best care and the hard working teachers receive better pay for this very difficult work. I find that many of the students I teach want to work with this age group but also know that the pay will not support them. As a single mother I always had to work two jobs to support me and my son. I have enjoyed learning about the Reggio Amelia philosophy and I feel it is good for young children. I do prefer to work and teach the Montessori method though.

 

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