Sunday, July 16, 2017

Parents: Early Childhood Educaation vs Babysitting!

Recently, I read an article in the New York Times called "Do Pre-school Teachers Really Need to be College Graduates?" . It is something those in the early childhood industry have struggled with a lot over tne years. Why? Because we know in order tohelp young children grow in each domain (social/enotonal, mental, physical/motor/ and languag) and to be properly prepared for school and ultimately for life we need trained educators who understand each of the four domains individually, how they work together, and to be able to identify if a child is progressing well along the developmental scale or needs help to develop coping skillls different than those used by their peers. Yet, paying a teacher with these skiill minimum wage and expecting them to stay in a child care setting when they could make a salary and have benefits in a school district or private care setting such as nanning it is difficult keeping a well trained staff. As an infustry this conundrum makes it difficult to because we are constantly lossing well qualifued taff to better paying; yet equally satusfying jobs.

Ultimately, this is the real difference between "babysitting/daycare" and erly childhood education. Brain research has come to light to show what we have known for years, thoses of us in ECE teach. How we teach is different because those we teach are not yet ready for the traditional learning method of Elementary School which most of us think of as education. I first really began to understand this when I found out therte are 90-semester hours difference between yhe two forms of education. I was shocked to learn they were so different they literally only share general education requirements in their degree areas.

In my teen years I was a babysitter extrodinaire. I made $4300 dollars babysitting between my junior and senior year of highschool. I think of of the reasons the kids like me is because I usually made the time all about them. I found out the things they really liked and made a plan for the time to be about them. I never had trouble getting them to go to bed because they were usually exhausted from doing what we did.  I loved spending time with kids and having fun with them. I can tell you there is aserious difference between what I did as a teenager and what I do now.

 Although, I am no longer in an early childhood classroom, I still occasionally train early educators and I can say  it is undoubtedly mentally and emotionally more draining work in a way babysitting is not. It requires observation, interaction, changing the classroom environment as needed, then being sure the enviornment is meeting the educational needs of each child each. Then revisitin the enviornment every day and being able to think on your fwt to change it; if it is not. It talkes listening to children as they interact with the materials to learn what they are thinking and figuring out what questions to ask to help them to expand their toughts and create a new concept to explore. Then ensuring tomorrow this particular child gets materials which will aid them in exploring the new concept as they begin to engage on the new and different concept. Babysitting requires noe of these skills or abilities!

The brain research shows a child's brain develops the most duruing the first five years' of life. There are experts  who know and understand what it takes to support that nrain development, early childhood educators. There are also those who will care for and keep your child safe and happy babysitters/daycare workers. Which do you prefer for your child's furst fuve tears?

Believe in Parenting

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