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In this issue:
Creating Conditions for Reflective Practice in Early Childhood Education
Tuulikki Venninen, Jonna Leinonen, Mikko Ojala, and Lasse Lipponen
Abstract: In this study, we describe the development of working practices in Finnish day care centers within the Helsinki metropolitan area, which has 500 day care centers. Every two years, 21 of them are selected for a study to be included in a development network. The Development Unit of Early Childhood Education (VKK-Metro), which includes the University of Helsinki and four municipalities in the metropolitan area, coordinates the development of working practices. The objective is to collaborate on the development of day care pedagogy. The objectives and operating structure of VKK-Metro and the principles of developing practices included within it are described and the operation itself is illustrated in the context of the research results. The leading idea is the development of working practices and pedagogy through a reflective and open dialogue. Research results will be utilized in the development of the day care network studied and in workshops arranged for educators in the region.
Getting Early Childhood onto the Reform Agenda: An Australian Case Study
Rachel Flottman and Jane Page
Abstract:Many Governments around the world turned their attention to early childhood policy and service provision throughout the early 2000s, and the Victorian State Government within Australia was no different. Over the past six years, the Victorian Government has reformed the early childhood education and care system substantially. The factors leading to this emphasis on early childhood reform were not straight-forward. This article adapts Richmond's and Kotelchuck's (1983) model for examining the interacting forces shaping public policy to make sense of how early childhood so successfully found itself at the centre of the Victorian Government's reform agenda. It concludes that far from being random, it was a combination of political will, a rich, expanding and interdisciplinary knowledge base and a well-developed social strategy for the application of the knowledge base that led to early childhood being at the centre of the reform agenda. It concludes that much of the evidence by which the reform agenda was informed came from studies conducted internationally and that more Australian research is needed to investigate early childhood program effectiveness in our own local context if the momentum is to continue.
Development and Pilot Application of an Integrated Support Model for Disadvantaged Young Children in Poor Rural China
Liyan Huo and Minyi Li
Abstract: As the biggest developing country in the world, China is now tackling the pressing problems of child poverty, whilst facing the increasing aging population at the same time. In August 2009 and April 2010, the China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) officially launched the Project Equal Start: Program of Early Childhood Development in Poor Rural Areas in Qinghai Province and Yunnan Province, which aims at enhancing early childhood development and tackling poverty in poor rural areas. In this article, we described the development the pilot programs' sites, objects and phases, and also evaluated the significant improvement in multiple dimensions such as children's early development, education attainments, and parental involvement. At last, it analysed the CDRF'S pilot programs' policy advocacy, and prospected its influences over how to universalize early childhood development and education in poor rural China.
Family Day Care and the National Quality Framework: Issues in Improving Quality of Service
Karin Ishimine and Collette Tayler
Abstract: Family child care, or family day care (FDC), as it is known in Australia, is an important early childhood education and care (ECEC) option, as it offers unique services compared with other ECEC services such as greater flexibility, wider children's age range (0-12 years old) and differential operation procedures. In Australia, however, a new National Quality Framework (NQF) is in the process of being implemented in Australia. This will affect all ECEC services, including FDCs, through the application of National Quality Standards (NQS). How will FDCs respond to the major changes ensuing from introducing the NQF and NQS? We argue that there are several factors impacting on the quality of provision by FDCs over the longer term. These include workforce qualifications, carer-child interactions, systemic implementation processes and measures of quality. This paper will discuss the impact of NQF and NQS on FDC and will address issues where no specific quality improvement strategy is applied.
Policies and Practices for Promoting Multicultural Awareness of Indigenous Early Childhood Education in Indonesia
Aliah B. Purwakania Hasan and Eny Suwarni
Abstract: Unlike other countries where indigenous people constitute the minority groups, in Indonesia majority of the population (about 95%) are natives (pribumi). There are over 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia who live side by side and in some cases form blurred inter-ethnic boundaries. In addition, Indonesia has unique indigenous Early Childhood Education model that is different from other countries. Indigenous Early Childhood Education in Indonesia is stated in the national laws and government regulations local contents curriculum in education. Local contents defined as educational programs, substances and media transfers, which are related with the natural, social and cultural environments and the needs of regional development being taught to students. The objective of this paper is to describe the implementation Indigenous Early Childhood Education for promoting the physical, intellectual, social, emotional growth of young children aged under three years in Indonesia. The paper also intends to explain the barriers encountered and recommend remedial measures.
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