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Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 Children 2020 – developing a 10-year national plan for ECEC in Ireland Dublin, 17 November 2010 John.

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Presentation on theme: "Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 Children 2020 – developing a 10-year national plan for ECEC in Ireland Dublin, 17 November 2010 John."— Presentation transcript:

1 Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 Children 2020 – developing a 10-year national plan for ECEC in Ireland Dublin, 17 November 2010 John Bennett Visiting Fellow, Thomas Coram Research Unit For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com

2 Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 Quotation from Children 2020   Investing in young children will lay the foundations for growth in the future, both for the economy – with high economic returns to such investment – and for our children, whose well-being and development must be a central priority in policy-making.   Our immediate priority, given today’s economic climate, must be to preserve the current level of expenditure on services and supports for young children and their families. The progress that has been made in the last decade must not be lost. For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com2bennett.paris@gmail.com

3 Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 The American Business Round Table 2008   “Environmental, financial, health and nutrition factors influence significantly a child’s early development and school readiness.”   “Investments in high-quality early education programs have the highest rate of return of any social investment.” James Heckman, Nobel Laureate Economist : Lessons from the Technology of Skill Formation, 2005… the evidence base   Children in poverty, from single-parent homes... face additional challenges. “Kids who start behind, stay behind.”   “In today’s world, where education and skill levels determine future earnings and national growth, the costs of NOT taking action on early childhood education are far too great to ignore, especially when the benefits far outweigh the costs.” For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com 3

4 Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 Québec   11 years ago, Quebec created a $5 dollar a day system of early childhood centres. Its goal: to give some respite to families, who were paying very high fees for child care   Eleven years later, the cost has increased to $7 a day child care, but women’s labour market participation had jumped by 30%.   The effects on family poverty has also been significant. In 1997, nearly 60% of single mothers raising young children living below the poverty line. Seven years later (in 2004), this proportion had dropped to 30%. And it continues to decline…   Obviously, early childhood services were not the sole factor in this improvement, but “the creation of nurseries at the reduced contribution was one of the determinants of the influx of women into the labour market", says economist Pierre Lefebvre, author of a series of studies on the presence of mothers on the labour market. For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com 4

5 Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 The economic arguments are clear... But we need to renew again with the best European traditions 1.That future Irish policy will place the child at the centre  “We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot answer “tomorrow," his name is “Today!” Gabriela Mistral  For this reason, even in harsh economic situations, the State needs to maintain resources adequate enough to meet the developmental needs of children, particularly disadvantaged and at-risk children. Without sustainable supply-side funding, the public and non-profit providers will not be able to expand access or provide the range of services or the kind of quality that families in poverty and their children need. For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com 5

6 Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 2. That children are not young professionals in business suits In many societies, education is increasingly seen as knowledge for employment, that is, literacy, numeracy, technical and professional skill predominate. Achievement in education is often seen as competition with others, first at the personal level and then among nations. The goal of education is also to prepare children for life and living The UNESCO Delors Report describes the aims of education as: oLearning to be oLearning to do oLearning to learn, and oLearning to live together  These goals are admirably suited to young children... For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.comFor comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com 6

7 Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 3. That education should promote democracy  A fundamental goal of education is to model and teach democracy (Dewey, Freire, Malaguzzi...). This may seem strange when speaking of early childhood centres:  Democracy forms the foundation of the pre-school. For this reason all pre-school activity should be carried out in accordance with fundamental democratic values. Each and everyone working in the pre-school should promote respect for the intrinsic value of each person as well as respect for our shared environment…  The attitudes of adults influence the child’s understanding and respect for the rights and obligations that apply in a democratic society. For this reason adults serve an important role as models. Upholding these fundamental values requires that the attitudes from which they are derived are clearly apparent in daily activity. Swedish Curriculum for pre-schools (Lpfö, 1998) Source: Swedish Curriculum for pre-schools (Lpfö, 1998)  The three ‘transformative (democratic) principles’ of early childhood work:  Staff and parents promote the agency of the child  Staff work collegially, that is, as a democratic and specialised team  Staff consult with and work daily with parents...community services Source: Aldo Fortunati, Director, San Miniato For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com 7

8 Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 4. That early childhood services would restore and enhance the notion of care in education  The task of EC pedagogy is understood in much of Northern Europe as an equal balance between the upbringing, care and the education of young children  The need to give greater attention to an ethic of care – not childcare as a commodity to be bought in order to facilitate the labour market, but a service that includes real caring for children, for parents (mothers) and the women // professionals who look after children in the services:... Kindergartens shall promote fundamental values such as a sense of community, care for others and joint responsibility, and shall represent an environment that supports respect for human worth and the right to be different. Human equality, equal opportunity, intellectual freedom and tolerance are important social values that shall provide foundations for the care, upbringing, play and learning in kindergartens. The equality of the genders shall be reflected in the education provided by kindergartens. Kindergartens shall bring up children to relate to and create an equal society. Source: Norwegian Framework Plan for the Content and Tasks of Kindergartens For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com 8

9 Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 5. That care and education together would address the long term future of children  Leaving a world fit for children: Underlying all this is the duty of adults to leave behind us a world fit for the children. Our record so far is a matter for concern:  Can we address these issues appropriately in early childhood policy and in public education? e.g.  To take a long-term view and seek to predict what will help the young children to survive and achieve well-being in the world they will inherit;  To invest more in young children and protect them, at least, from the ravages of extreme poverty in the here-and-now;  To reinforce certain themes in early childhood curricula, e.g. fairness and learning to live together; the outdoors and respect for nature - to awaken in young children an interest in the natural sciences.  No doubt, everyone will have their own idea, but here we return to the question of democracy in education and community-based early childhood services... For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com 9

10 Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 The songs are many…  National Policy Documents:  Strengthening Families for Life – 1998  Ready to Learn - White Paper on Early Childhood Education, 1999  National Childcare Strategy -1999  National Children’s Strategy - 2000  POLICY REPORTS on ECEC: NCCA Framework 2004; NESF Report 2005; NWCI 2005; DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools ) Report 2005; The Developmental Welfare State 2005 ; Revised preschool regulations 2006; The Agenda for Children's Services: A Policy Handbook 2007  POLICY REPORTS on ECEC: OECD 2004 ; NCCA Framework 2004; NESF Report 2005; NWCI 2005; DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools ) Report 2005; The Developmental Welfare State 2005 ; Revised preschool regulations 2006; The Agenda for Children's Services: A Policy Handbook 2007  CECDE publications: 2004 Insights on Quality; 2004 Review of International Policy, Practice & Research; 2006 ; Síolta: National Quality Framework. (+ the NCCA Framework for Early Learning 2009)  CSER publications: 2006 A Decade of Reflection; 2008 Getting it Right for Children  International Reports: UNCRC Committee – Irish Reports 1996, 2005, For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com 10

11 Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 Let us take THIS report seriously and act on it  Children come first: All children have rights. Children’s well-being and development should be the driving force in early childhood policy.  Aim for high quality: The quality of young children’s experiences in all settings – both in the home and in services outside the home – is critical to their well-being and development. The Government must prioritise quality in services and supports for young children and their families.  All young children matter but especially the disadvantaged: High quality services and supports should be universal – provided for all children, affordable and accessible – with additional supports for those who need them.  All families need support and information: Families are central in young children’s lives. A wide range of mainstream supports and information should be readily available to all families.  Link governmental and private services. Promoting children’s well-being and development requires well-coordinated services and supports for families across the complex early childhood field. Allow me to add one other item:  Provide work-life balance to Irish parents: Ireland could improve itsgender equity reputation by promoting a better work-life balance for parents with young children. For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com 11

12 Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 Some resources  http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/spsi/docs/social_inclusion/data_overarching_en.xls Europa press release: Social situation report 2007 – social cohesion through equal opportunities http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/spsi/docs/social_inclusion/data_overarching_en.xls  http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/rc7_eng.pdf UNICEF: An overview of child well-being in rich countries, 2007 http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/rc7_eng.pdf  http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/44/17/41733586.pdf Moss, P. and Korintus, M. (eds) (2008) International review of Parental Leave Policies http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/44/17/41733586.pdf  http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-EI-08-001/EN/KS-EI-08-001-EN.PDF Eurostat: Key Figures on Europe, 2009 http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-EI-08-001/EN/KS-EI-08-001-EN.PDF  http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/about/eurydice/documents/098EN.pdf Tackling Social and Cultural Inequalities through Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe, Eurydice 2009 http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/about/eurydice/documents/098EN.pdf  http://www.oecd.org/document/12/0,3343,en_2649_34819_43545036_1_1_1_37419,00.html Doing better for children, 2009 http://www.oecd.org/document/12/0,3343,en_2649_34819_43545036_1_1_1_37419,00.html  http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/publications.php Prosperity without Growth? - The transition to a sustainable economy, Tim Jackson, 2009 http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/publications.php  http://www.unesco.org/new/en/world-conference-on-ecce/reports/ Early childhood care and education regional report: Europe and North America, 2010 http://www.unesco.org/new/en/world-conference-on-ecce/reports/  http://www.eurochild.org Ending child poverty within the EU? A review of the 2008-2010 National Strategy reports on social protection and social inclusion, 2010 http://www.eurochild.org  Wilkinson & Pickett: The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, Penguin Books, 2009 For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com 12

13 Start Strong: Children 2020 Dublin 17 November, 2010 THANK YOU ! For comments: bennett.paris@gmail.com ‹#›


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