Write a presentation of personal reflections on the political influence on the field of child care and education………..
Early childhood education and care lays a critical foundation for the young child’s later success in school, citizenship, work and personal fulfillment. This paper is a presentation of personal reflections on the political influence on the field of child care and education. Further reflections on the connection between the concepts of administration, leadership and management in childhood services have been provided in this paper. The issue of whether children are competent to participate effectively in research on early childhood education and care has also been reflected upon in this essay. The personal reflections also links the issues from the weekly reading to a case of a talented child whose early education and care was affected by policies that affect funding in the field of child care and education.
Education and care of children below school age is an area that has received intense public debate in many countries, (Brennan, 2007, p 213). The profession of child service is a sensitive area and many leaders have given various views about the best practices that stakeholders of early childhood services should cultivate in child education and care. The policies that govern child care have experienced many innovations to suit the needs and interests of those who are involved in providing these services. Innovations in this field include amendments to legislation that concern child education. Policies have also been changed due to influence from political leaders. This is so because child care raises complex policy and philosophical issues which include the relative responsibilities of the state, family and market in child care.
The number of families that need child care services has grown and the needs of the growing population must be satisfied. The national policies that need to be reviewed include those that concern service quality and standardization. Child care needs to meet international standards so that parents get satisfied with the care provided. Education of young people has a large impact on the growth of a nation because early childhood education moulds the young people into becoming responsible leaders in the future, (Sumsion, 2006).
Expenditure on the field of child health and education has grown rapidly and therefore issues of taxation have been raised in national contexts. Parents and child care institutions have collective responsibility of sharing the taxes levied on child care. Issues arise when the parents are unable to meet the expenses of their children’s education, a situation that gives the state the responsibility of financing this education.
Issues of curriculum development and the role of the state in the children curriculum have been addressed differently in various states. The curriculum of growing children must be designed following intense research in child development, the needs of children and the roles played by parents and professionals in promoting proper education and growth of young people. The political influence on curriculum development has greatly determined the kind of care children have received in education institutions.
Planning for child care and education and the role of the state especially in funding these programs is another political issue that affects the field of child care and education. In the state expenditure, there is need to allocate funds for promotion of child care activities through provision of infrastructure to facilitate child education and care, (Brennan, 2007). Some state policies accommodate the need for setting up public institution for child care services. The necessity of proper strategic plans on the area of child care is important considering the sensitivity of child development and education and its future implication on the state. Children comprise of the future professions of a state in the various sectors of the economy. This makes it necessary for good planning to be provided to promote the institutions of child care services. The plans include expansion of childcare services to meet the growing demand and budgetary allocation of funds to cater for expenses associated with these services.
Political, economic and social changes affect the education and services offered to children. Economic issues such as inflation affect the funding of child care services by governments. The emergence of the community childcare movements has promoted education and care of the next generation. Economic policies of states such as increased funding in supporting children and families in disadvantaged communities is affected by economic changes in society, (Rinaldi, Dahlberg & Moss, 2006).
The leaders of early childhood professional organizations have influenced the national policy on matters pertaining to child care and education. Advisers to the government on issues related to early childhood education have also contributed to the state policies on the education of the next generation, (Brennan, 2007). Fragmentation amongst childcare advocates has resulted to conflicting values and interests in child care and education. There is therefore a need to change community attitudes towards child care services so that the interests of all stakeholders in this field become the same in providing quality services to the next generation.
Conservatism of early childhood leaders is needed to ensure that the objective of childcare in public and private sectors is to provide adequate care and quality education to the next generation. There is need to develop a state legislative proposal by the child care advocates to give the state direction in laying down policies and legislation to prevent commercialization of child care and education, (Sumsion, 2006).
Connection between the concepts of administration, leadership and management in childhood services is an issue in the weekly readings that were not clearly understood. The issues of leadership administration and management play a critical role in childhood education because of the active role that childcare professionals play as mentors of the next generation. Children spend a lot of time with childhood education professions hence they look forward to these professionals by emulating their behavior. The educators of growing children must therefore play their leadership role effectively and manage the next generation as a way of setting an excellent example to these children. This is important because mentorship acts as a leadership strategy of positively shaping the character of young people, (Ebbeck & Waniganayake, 2003, p 134).
The changing early childhood work place needs good leadership qualities to enable the professionals to accommodate such changes. Changes in technology in child care may make training to become necessary so that the professionals can be good managers of infrastructure that is used to promote quality in child care and education.
The concept of administration in childhood education and care is necessary so that children are helped to become what they are capable of becoming, (Danby & Farrell, 2004). The child care professionals must be good administrators to set goals and objectives of using available resources in meeting the needs of young people and cultivating their talents so that they are given the opportunity to become what their abilities would enable them to become in future.
Functioning as skilled leaders, administrators and managers enables the representatives of the field of early childhood to fulfill their responsibilities effectively. Leadership involves responding to change by the early childhood professionals and helping the staff and clients in this field to adopt the inevitable change.
Administration, leadership and management are concepts related to childhood education because a professional who is good at what he does will provide quality care to growing children. Inspiring status of professionals and their flexible leadership abilities will make them available to the needs of every child so that they meet these needs effectively. Good management in child care will also enable collaboration with the children’s families so that the gap between the services and the homes of the young people is bridged, (Brennan, 2007).
The role of good leadership and administration of childhood services is important in creation of plans that are based in the individual needs of children, their interests and abilities. This will ensure that the next generation is given the opportunity to exploit their talents to become meaningful members of society in future. Accountability and service satisfaction is also possible through good leadership so that quality is achieved in teaching children the meaning of becoming a member of society, (Sumsion, 2006).
The assumptions of that surround the issue of whether young children are competent in effectively participating in research on childhood services needs to be given more thought. Children are viewed as competent interpreters of their everyday worlds, (Dahlberg & Moss, 2005). On the other hand the child’s experiences at home and at school have regulatory influence on the manner in which these young people interpret issues, (Danby & Farrell, 2004, p 35).
Competence in children can be understood as ability of these children to develop social skills and build friendships. Social interaction has a large impact in the perceptions of children and the interpretation of children on their daily experiences is affected by the people around them such as parents and educators, (Sumsion, 2006). The potential of children to accurately inform a research team on matters related to the child’s education and care may therefore raise questions. Gaining the child’s consent to participate in the research is an issue which needs an evaluation on the competence of the child in giving consent for a research conducted with the child as a respondent. Decisions of consent are usually reached by the parents of children who participate in research. The responsibility of the parent in such research therefore needs to be defined after thorough evaluation.
Listening to children in early childhood poses many challenges in research. The question here is whether these children are reliable informants of their own experiences. There is a great difference between children and adults in the level of participation in research. Researchers in the field of early childhood education and care therefore need to evaluate the reliability of the information they obtain from children since they may not express themselves fully as adults.
In conducting research on childhood services, adults may perpetuate stereotypical, normative views of children as ignorant, capricious and untrustworthy but this may not be always the case since child education trains young children to develop linguistic and cultural skills to communicate in a diverse society, (Rinaldi, Dahlberg & Moss, 2006).
Researchers must include ethical considerations in conducting research with young children. Young children should not be held accountable for their views because they may be unduly open to adult pressure or too young to be able to competently communicate their perceptions, (Dahlberg & Moss, 2005). There is considerable resistance to children’s human rights in research in national contexts hence there should be adequate support to children’s rights in research. A model of parental decision making for children in research that involves children should be designed to regulate the level of parental involvement in the child’s decisions and views in a research. Young people learn best where their psychological needs are being met because they feel safe and valued as unique individuals is such environments. Creativity, curiosity and persistence promote learning in children making them able to participate in a research by giving their own views of the issues presented to them.
A case of a talented child from a poor background leads to the link of the impact of state policy on early childhood services to the possibility of such a child receiving education and care. Policy design aspects such as the interaction of child care subsidies with income support, taxation and family payments have raised concerns in national contexts. The policies designed on the responsibility of parents in child care have raised issues on the cost of such care and if parents from various economic background are able to afford the care. The role played by the child care professionals has also resulted to issues of debate since some venture into this area as a business with intentions of making profit being their priority, (Sumsion, 2006). Countries are finding new ways to meet the growing needs of child care.
Daily experiences of children with various talents and abilities lead to the question as to whether the state is responsible for shaping the lives of the next generation. There is a lot of commercialization of child care services in the modern economies. This is due to changing priorities and attitudes in child care. Parents are now seen as consumers of child care services making the major interest to be that of making profit (Danby & Farrell, 2004). Privatization of child care has made it hard for some families to afford these services. Issues of regulating the number of private businesses in this sector have become a concern. The quality standards of the private sector as compared to that of the public sector in child care and education has varied depending on the priorities given to their objectives. The state should provide high quality child care and education at subsidized prices to enable parents from poor background afford educating their children. This is necessary so that talented children do not miss the opportunity of exploiting their abilities in developing the economy of their country in future.
There is need for proper planning and policies that regulate the standards of care and education of the next generation. The state plays a role in regulating privatization and preventing commercialization of early childhood services so that talented children are accorded the opportunity of exploiting their skills. The representatives of the field of child care services also need to be good leaders and managers to contribute positively in educating the young people by acting as mentors and involving the children’s families to ensure that the individual needs of the young people are met.
Brennan, D. (2007). The ABC of child care politics, Australian Journal of Social Issues, 42(2),
Danby, S. and Farrell, A. (2004), Accounting for young children’s competence in educational
research: new perspectives on research ethics, Australian Educational Researcher, 31(3), 35- 49.
Dahlberg, G. and Moss, P. (2005), The preschool as a site for democratic politics, Ethics and politics in early childhood education London: RoutledgeFalmer, 56-57-58.
Ebbeck, M. & Waniganayake, M. (2003), Pathways to policy: Influencing and achieving positive outcomes (Chapter 5: pp 134 – 160), Sydney: Elsevier.
Rinaldi, C., Dahlberg, G., Moss, P. (2006). In dialogue with Carlina Rinaldi: In Dialogue with Reggio Emilia: Listening, researching and learning. Oxon: Routledge, 86-89.
Sumsion, J. (2006). From Whitlam to economic rationalism and beyond, Australian Journal of
Early Childhood, 31(1), 1-10.
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