EI is set to implement its new strategy for the development of Early Childhood Education (ECE). The Strategy Paper, adopted by the EI Executive Board early this year and endorsed by the 6th World Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, spells out concrete actions to promote holistic and quality services for young children.
Advocacy, research and information sharing are key components of this Strategy Paper. EI and its member organisations will continue to lobby governments to expand public provision of ECE and remove physical, socio-economic and other barriers that might hinder access to services for young children.
EI and its member organisations will also advocate for an ECE curriculum or framework that is holistic and designed to meet the educational, developmental, nutritional, health and individual needs of children. Such a curriculum should be flexible and put the child at the centre of the learning and developmental process, valuing all kinds of activities that contribute to physical, psychomotor, cognitive, social and affective development. Play, creativity and exploration should be valued and promoted as important means of learning and development, while ensuring the prevention of risks and ensuring safety of all the children.
Investment in teachers, their training, professional development and conditions of service, is also a key issue tackled by the Strategy Paper.
Modalities for implementing the Strategy Paper were discussed by the EI Task Force on ECE, which met in Washington D.C., U.S.A., from 24-26 October. The Task Force recommended the setting up of regional and sub-regional working groups spearheading and coordinating the implementation of the Strategy Paper at those levels. More attention will also be given to country-level activities, including recruitment and organising.
Speaking at the Task Force meeting, National Education Association (NEA) Vice President, Lily Eskelseen, paid tribute to Maria Montessori and other thinkers who pioneered teaching and learning in ECE. She urged the Task Force to ensure that the Strategy Paper was implemented.
To read the ECE Strategy Paper, please click here