PosterPDF Available

EU and USA early childhood education systems: Working toward unified systems

Authors:

Abstract

This poster presentation offers opportunities to explore and analyze the boundaries between education and care, and to map state policies on early childhood education in different European countries, including Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Italy, and the United States.
EU AND USA EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION SYSTEMS:
WORKING TOWARDS UNIFIED SYSTEMS.
Konst ant i na Rent zou,European University of Cyprus, ntinar@hotmail.com;Danie la Fe nu Foe r ch,Flori da Inte rnational University, dfoerch@fiu.edu;Jesus Pa z-Albo,
Universidad Rey Jua n Carlos, jesus.pazalbo@urjc.es;Ruslan Slutsky,The University of Toledo, ruslan.slutsky@utole do.edu;Elena Zapico,Atlanta Inter nat ional
School, ezapico@aischool.org
1. Introduction
Although the qual ity of EC EC is on th e sp ot l igh t,
both research and policy have failed to highlight
that ‘care’ and ‘e d uc a ti o n ’ are inseparable
concepts and to work towards establishing
services th at provide abroad, holistic vie w on
learning, caring, up b ri n gi ng and social support
for children.
As are s ul t, systems of ECEC vary con siderably
between and within countries.
2. Objectives
The ACEI ECEC in EU SIF aims to interrogate
boundaries between ed u c at ion and care, and to
map state policies on early childhood ed uc at io n
and care in different Europ e an countries and in
the United States.The presentation provides a
platform for exploring effective systems an d the
components of the se systems.The ultimate goal is
to create aclear picture about ECEC in Europe as
well as ensuring that preschool ch i ld r en re ce i ve
ECEC of the highest quality.
Figure 1: Organisation of cen tre-based ECEC in Greece.
Figure 2: Organisation of ECEC in Cyprus.
4. Conclusions
1. Two-ti er systems
2. Younger childrenmay lack educationalstimuli
3. Old er childrenmay lack care stimuli
4. Discrepancies in quality espec i ally to se ttings for
younger children
5. Professional gro ups seem unready.For instance in
Greece,al t h o u g h apublic debate ab out unified
ECEC has taken place, kindergarten teachers in
an announcement are in favor of 2ye a rs of
compulsory education provided in kindergarten
school, but suggest that unified ECEC is against
quali ty and will create achaos.
5. Recommendations
1. Need for unifi ed EC EC systems
2. Unification under the auspices of the same Mi nistry
3. Higher education quali fications must be re qui red for all staff
4. Staff graduates of th e same department.No dichotomy in HE
(e.g. as in Greece)
5. Rai se awareness ab o u t the importance of EC EC among
parents, educators and stakeholders
6. Expl or e societal attitude s about the role of EC EC
7. Undertake researchespecially with infants/toddlers
8. El evate early childhood teache r salaries to: 1) Attract
potentially more me n into the profession 2) and to begin to lower
the negative impact high te ache r turnover rates have on
children’s learningand development (e.g. as seen in the U.S.)
3. ECEC organization in Greece,
Cyprus, Italy, Spain and the USA Figure 3: Organisation of ECEC in the USA.
Figure 4: Organisation of ECEC in Spain.
Figure 5: Organisation of ECEC in
Italy.
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