Majority of children did not start formal education until they were in their 5th year. Mothers stayed at home, there were accepted differentials between parenting and education. Teachers were there to educate and inform, parents, usually the mother were there to instill respect, good behaviour and manners. The last 30yrs or so we have seen a huge decline in stay at home mothers, we have also seen a huge decline in the behaviour of children. The two are directly linked in my view, no teacher, however well qualified, can replace the mothers role in the early learning years. Children feel abandoned, the bond is broken, rather than being nurtured they are now being "educated" en masse, and with an alien concept to such a young mind. Any child psychologist worth their salt will tell parents the importance of getting their 1st child to accept a new sibling, "the seperation theory", imagine asking the same child to accept that they are now one of 20/30 others but without their mother being there, no wonder our children are confused, times may have changed but the needs of children have not.
A young child needs to be with it's mother, whether she be good bad or indifferent, a controversial statement I know, but one I have found to be true, time and time again.
The answer? Stop pumping money into what is, effectively, an ineffectual "babysitter", spend the money on helping mothers stay at home and doing their job. This is not a slur on those who work in childcare, I am sure they believe in what they do, but infants do not need "education" and we are talking infants here, early education is both a misnomer and a "sop" handed out to working mothers who would rather be at home with their children.
Their is a need for recognition and motivation for the work being done by early childhood workers. That is, appropriate pay for their work, they are clearly underpaid. A national standards for all early childhood sectors and accreditation processes for same. Presentlyt, certain services are accredited whilst others are not. Their would be consistency and validation of registered training organisations who provide early childhood training. The inconsistencies are glaring particularly at Certificate III & Diploma level. Their is a Costly of early childhood education. In some case it is prohibitive for parents. the definition of early childhood education. In the UK, early childhood education incorporates any early childhood service prior to school, in Australia we tend to focus on pre-school or kindergarten and forget childcare centres.
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