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Happy Leap Year for Wednesday 29th February!
In this week's update:
- Abecedarian Project Shows Benefits of ECE Programme 30 Years On
- Ministerial Inquiry into How a Convicted Sex Offender Came to Be Working in Schools: A Wake-Up Call
- Solo Parents on Benefits to be Required to Engage in Paid Work When Child is As Young As 12 Months
- Engaging in Research When Working in a Tertiary Education Environment
- Shared Understandings and Reflection on Wairua
- Policies Needed on Employing Men in Early Childhood Education
- Upcoming Celebrations: Children's Day and St Patrick's Day
Next week look out for our weekly update which will feature information articles and critiques on assessment including Learning Stories and alternative methods of assessment, self-review, and doing action-research to improve practice.
1. Abecedarian Project Shows Benefits of ECE Programme 30 Years On
A highly regarded study is providing a clearer scientific understanding of how early childhood education can be an important contributor to academic achievement and social competence in adulthood 30 years on.
Adults who participated in the ECE programme in the 1970s are still benefiting from their early experiences in a variety of ways, according to the latest findings to have come out of the Abecedarian Project, conducted in the United States.
The project was a carefully controlled scientific study (experiment) of the potential benefits of early childhood education for children from low-income families who were at high risk of developmental delays or academic failure
* READ THE FULL STORY: Abecedarian Project Shows Benefits of ECE Programme 30 Years
2. Ministerial Inquiry into How a Convicted Sex Offender Came to Be Working in Schools: A Wake-Up Call
Education Minister Hekia Parata has announced this week a top level Ministerial inquiry into the employment of a convicted sex offender in schools.
Could a convicted sex offender gain employment in the early childhood sector? If it's possible in the school sector it is possible in the early childhood sector.
3. Solo Parents on Benefits to be in Paid Work When Child is 12 Months of Age
In the Government's announcement concerning the first round of welfare reforms this week, one change in particular will concern advocates of young children and those working to encourage good parenting skills and family wellbeing. Solo parents on a benefit will be required to work part-time when their child turns 5-years, while solo parents who have another baby will be required to return to work when the youngest is 12 months. This will likely involve finding and paying for childcare for the baby (childcare for under-3s is considerably more expensive on average than over 3 year-old care), or leaving children with another family member or friend, plus managing care arrangements around school holidays and outside of school hours for older siblings. There is a strong economic argument for the work requirement but what will the health and emotional consequences be for parents and their children? And is this the right approach for the government to take if it also wishes to tackle such things as child poverty and parenting support?
When you get time to read and think about this policy change, you might find the following three articles helpful in highlighting some of the relevant issues to consider.
1. Ella Kahu with Mandy Morgan examined the interface between government policy for women and work and the views and needs of first time mothers. In an article published from the research, Kahu and Morgan propose that "what is needed is a more complete breakdown of the public/private divide: a society which values care and work, both as responsibilities and rewards of citizenship, and which will therefore allow both women and men to construct more balanced lives and identities". Read what the mothers' say and Kahu and Mogan's analysis - click here to go to the full article.
2. Alan Johnson provides a brief and thought-provoking review of political ideology, noting that in NZ "financial assistance to families is delivered in three principal ways – through income support policies such as welfare benefits, through tax policies such as the "Working for Families" packages and through subsidies for childcare and early childhood education." Analysis points to the failure to place children at the centre of decision-making as being in part because of NZ's "present policy paradigm which sees parents primarily as employed or unemployed workers rather than as the carers and nurturers of our greatest treasure – our children". Click here to read the full article.
3. John Pearce recently completed a 2-year study estimating the national costs of child poverty in NZ, and the potential benefits of reducing child poverty through social welfare, education, justice and health. About 200,000 New Zealand children are suffering from lack of sufficient food, warm housing and adequate health care with the kids not reaching their potential in school. Children's poor educational performance can lead to higher risk of unemployment, more ill-health, attraction to alcohol and smoking and greater likelihood of involvement in crime, However, the answer might not lay in requiring parents to engage in paid work. "How well parents interact with their children in those early years – while talking, listening, educating and caring for them - is the most important element in the child's development" John Pearce says. Click here to read more about "Unravelling the Costs of Poverty, Strategies to Help Children Educationally Under 5 years, and Policy Choices".
4. Manukau Institute of Technology Staff Show Commitment to Keeping Up with ResearchAlthough a necessity, engaging in research and maintaining currency in one's knowledge base is fast becoming a luxury for tertiary educators with high demands on their time for teaching and shrinking department budgets. However, early childhood staff at the Manukau Institute of Technology are successfully navigating around the obstacles.
5. Ko Tau Rourou Ko Taku Rourou ā Kua Mārama Shared Understandings and Reflection on Wairua
Te Whāriki speaks of wairua and the need for holistic development but what does this mean and what does it look like?
Ngaroma Williams and Michelle Anderson came to write an article about this through asking questions, seeking clarification, providing each other examples of their own experiences, and then highlighting what these experiences look like using teaching and learning narrative approaches. They then reflected and considered deeply what was shared, leading them closer to a shared understanding of wairua.
6. Policies Needed to Employ Men in ECE
A new article published in EDUVAC outlines reasons why more men are not employed in early childhood and what employers and others may do about it.
"Despite a slight upward trend in male teachers since 2007 – a TVNZ documentary following a ChildForum report and the organisation's first national summit to bring men in ECE together outlined the issue and sparked political commitment at the time – NZ still compares badly to other countries. Denmark, Sweden, Scotland and Norway are world leaders in the field, with 10 per cent of Norway's ECE workforce being male. The countries have policies and targets in place, and funding is put aside to recruit men in ECE. Since 2008, the Men in EC (NZ) network provides regional support groups for male early childhood teachers. Numbers are increasing, largely due to the support of men providing for one another."
* READ MORE: EDUVAC Article on Employing Men in ECE
7. Children's Day (4th March) and St Patrick's Day (17th March)
Children's Day is an opportunity for parents, grandparents and other family members to celebrate the special day with their children. It is also an opportunity for early childhood centres and home-based services to get involved and do something to mark the day and celebrate how precious and important our babies, toddlers and preschoolers are.
* GET SOME GREAT IDEAS FROM THIS ARTICLE: Ways to Mark Children's Day
St Patrick's Day is coming up. Teach children about Ireland, the history of St Patrick's Day and learn a lot through engaging in the celebrations. You never know you might just come across a mischievous little Leprechaun!
* READ MORE: St Patrick's Day - Mischievous Leprechauns & More
Learn more about children's care and teaching, managing an ECE service, research on early childhood, and education policy.
Go to our website by clicking here: http://www.childforum.com
No responsibility is taken for any errors. If you spot an error please inform us so that it can be corrected.
Write to: ChildForum, PO Box 58-078, Porirua 5245, NEW ZEALAND
Being Informed - for the week of 18th June 2012 (1 match)
Guys find their Niche at Centre (1 match)
When a Child Tells: Responding to a Child’s Disclosure of Abuse (1 match)
Volume 12 (2009) and full-text copies of papers (1 match)
Men in Early Childhood Teaching - An NZCER SET Research Paper by Sarah Farquhar 1999 (1 match)