Introduction to Early Childhood Education

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As a parent choosing an early childhood education service can be a daunting process. There are many types to choose from, many methods and philosophies to be aware of, and a range of quality indicators to consider. This paper will identify three indicators in childcare centres that helped with my decision and relate to my personal values and beliefs associated with early childhood education.

The first indicator is an effective and relevant curriculum and how it is applied into the policy and procedures of the centre. New Zealand has its very own early childhood curriculum and framework specifically designed for our children, whānau, communities, and cultures. The introduction in the Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education [MoE], 1996)
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“It is important for teachers to use developmentally and individually appropriate strategies that take into consideration children’s differing needs, interests, styles, and abilities” (Ostrosky & Jung, 2004, p. 2) is a truthful and respected statement for teachers and parents to clearly understand how the quality of teaching holds the key for a child’s future. What a teacher brings into the room, being a matter of mood or approach, can undeniably affect the child in a positive or negative sense. This is my child’s life, their future, and their well-being that I am responsible for and entrusting this same responsibility to another, to be pursued faithfully. Dependent on the relationship and trust the teacher develops with my child can ensure a positive holistic outcome. This leads me back to the Te Whāriki and the principles, strands, and goals that form the curriculum and how the teacher must obey and implement these for the holistic wellbeing of my child’s life.

I found choosing a centre that abided by the Te Whāriki curriculum assured and supported my personal values and beliefs about early childhood education. Valuable facts replace quality indicators supporting my views towards early childhood education and believing it is crucial for a child’s happy future.

Reference List

Brown, L. J., & Pollitt, E. (1996). Malnutrition, poverty, and intellectual development. Scientific American, 274(2),
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