ERIC Number: ED463079
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
An Integrated Approach to Early Childhood Education and Care: A Preliminary Study. Occasional Paper.
This paper reflects upon the policy development and implementation of integrated or coordinated services of early childhood education and care (ECEC) within a systemic perspective, focusing on issues of relevance to both developed and developing countries. The paper is divided into four parts: (1) issues related to ECEC's cultural and historical background; (2) the paradigm shift toward integrated or coordinated ECEC systems; (3) practical issues of coordination and integration related to policy and program implementation; and (4) trends, benefits, and concerns regarding the process of integration. The paper illustrates the historical context that creates in most countries a split provision between the welfare and education systems, with child care the responsibility of the family and education provided by the state for children over 3 years of age. The paper maintains that in most countries the current ECEC status reflects a transitional phase calling for a reexamination of the public/private tensions in this policy area and making their way toward a view of ECEC as a shared responsibility. A model is proposed based on a partnership between families and the state as well as a new definition of integration in ECEC highlighting the attitudinal changes regarding the state's role in educating and socializing children. The paper calls for universal ECEC provision integrated under one auspice and built on the premises of quality, continuity, flexibility, diversity, and an inclusive approach. Such provision requires cooperation from ECEC practitioners, an integrated curriculum, qualified staff, a centralized implementation framework, parent involvement, and strong public financing. Ways for avoiding the risks associated with reforming ECEC are explained. (Contains 17 references.) (KB)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Day Care, Developed Nations, Developing Nations, Early Childhood Education, Educational Change, Foreign Countries, Government Role, Integrated Services, Partnerships in Education, Public Policy, Socialization
Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto, 455 Spadina Avenue, Room 305, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2G8, Canada. Tel: 416-978-6895; Fax: 416-971-2139; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.childcarecanada.org.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Human Resources Development Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: Toronto Univ. (Ontario). Centre for Urban and Community Studies.