OPED NEWSPAPER & MAGAZINE ARTICLES
Good care includes educational activities
By David Fetterman
Our children bring joy to our hearts and a spark of life to everything we do. They are our best and only hope for the future.
During the hours we’re away from them. we need to ensure that they receive care that addresses all their needs: a safe and protected environment; warm, caring and creative care givers; and, lust as important, education.
One after-school program I visited recently - in a wealthy community in a state with high child-care provider standards - offered no education activities. When I suggested linking activities to the school’s curriculum, one response was: We don’t know anything; we’re not teachers.
National studies have linked the education of child-care providers to the quality of care provided to children. An initiative by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City provides a model for the, rest of the country.
The foundation set a goal of seeing 90 percent of all children in child care settings cared for by at least one staff person with a two- to four-year degree in early childhood education. It provides scholarships to providers to pursue the degrees.
Its efforts also include the creation of an early childhood higher education consortium to improve training and institutes for child-care program directors to improye the stability of the early care and education workforce.
The foundation is also committed to in-creasing the awareness of policy makers and employers that good child care helps prepare children to enter school as eager learners and reinforces learning if they were already enrolled in school It is time for us to learn from Kansas City and begin to help all children.
-- David Fetterman is a Consulting Professor and Director of the Policy Analysis and Evaluation Program in the School of Education at Stanford University.
Fetterman, D.M. (1997). Good care includes educational activities. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Saturday, May 31, p. A 11.