ERIC Number: ED417855
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Why Do Children of the Caribbean Need Programmes of Early Childhood Education and Development?
This paper examines the needs of young children in the Caribbean region with an emphasis on early childhood development programs in addition to early childhood education. The paper maintains that the first 3 years of life are critical for brain development; parents and caregivers should be enabled to provide appropriate experiences, and children have a right to develop to their fullest potential. Early intervention prior to entering school has long-term effects, and the results of research in the United States and in Turkey are cited. The paper also points out the moral and social values connected with early childhood intervention, and the role of early intervention in helping children benefit from primary education. Additionally, a wealth of research points to links between improving the levels of schooling and economic productivity, especially by enabling increased labor force participation by women. The paper notes that early childhood education and development (ECED) reduces social, economic, and gender inequalities, and is especially important in Caribbean countries, where one-third of all children live in poverty and fall quickly and progressively behind more advantaged peers. Additionally, ECED may enhance social equity through improving boys' school preparation and improving expectations for girls' achievement. Early education and development can also provide a focus to mobilize poverty eradication efforts. The paper cites increased child survival rates, changing family structures and childrearing practices, rural-urban migration, growing participation of women in the labor force, the challenge to men to participate equally in nurturing and household contexts, and the relevance of schooling content and methodologies all as reasons for increased investment in ECED programs. (KB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A