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Take back the language: Appreciating the culture of early childhood education

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McKinlay, Linda; Leone, Linday & MacDonald, Margaret
Publication Date: 
1 May 2005

Excerpts from the position paper:

In May of 2004, members of the British Columbia Early Childhood Education Provincial Articulation Committee were apprised of the Central Okanagan School District No. 23 initiative called Preschool Partnerships. Committee members representing early childhood education training programs from throughout the province discussed the goals and potentials of this initiative. Members also shared that school districts in many of their own communities throughout the province were looking with great anticipation to the Okanagan initiative&em; as they, too, consider the advantages of renting empty school space to preschool operators. As well, this project has attracted funding and attention from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry for Children and Family Development, responding positively to an initiative that appears to link programs in early childhood with the kindergarten and primary school years. Apprehension was voiced amongst ECE instructors regarding this and other recent projects initiated by the Education sector and focused upon enriched early learning with the ultimate goal of kindergarten readiness.

As greater attention is directed towards projects not well informed by full representation from the ECE sector, there is grave concern around the overwhelming effect that a focus upon kindergarten readiness will have upon the practice of early childhood education and the public's perception of the actual work of our profession. What follows is a position paper endorsed by the Early Childhood Education Provincial Articulation Committee in May of 2005. This paper represents informed early childhood practice in its response to projects circulating the province of BC under the guise of healthy early childhood development. This position paper is yet another reminder of the rich history of the field of early childhood education and childcare and the well-researched developmental theory that has been the hallmark of its practice. The paper ends with heart felt recommendations that should build the foundation of a more collaborative, better researched and mutually respectful partnership that includes the early childhood education sector in the pursuit of healthy early childhood learning and care.