Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I thought you were looking after the kids?

The news around early childhood centres and the care they provide is thought provoking.

"New Zealand has among the highest rates of early childhood education participation in the world.
According to Unicef, 32 per cent of Kiwi children under three are enrolled in care, compared with the OECD average of 24 per cent."

That's ONE IN THREE under 3-year olds in childcare!

An important point first. I don't point any blame at parents for trying to do the best they can do, by working and putting their children into childcare.

My question is, "Why is our society set up so that parents have to both work to survive?"

It really is the opposite of the way it should be.

The ERO says,
"Concerns about aspects of compliance in about half of the 74 centres checked. These included the monitoring of sleeping children, hazard management systems and some aspects of record keeping for excursions."
"Where routines were not well managed, children often spent too long waiting for food to be provided, to be put to bed or have their nappies changed.
In some centres, resources were stored out of reach and there were barriers between play areas. Inflexible routines stopping children from having independent access to play equipment.
In nearly two-thirds of the centres, the outdoor environment was not set up to encourage children's physical development and exploration.
ERO had concerns about the quality of interactions in some centres, such as teachers not interacting with children at meal times because they were focused on cleaning tasks."

Unless you are there all day, how do we know what is happening with our children.

So two big questions - Why are we leaders of the world in getting other people to look after our children, while we slave like dogs to make ends meet? and How can we ensure that our children are protected, and properly looked after when they are in the care of early childhood centres?

1 comment:

HappyzineCharlotte said...

It's said that the first three years of a child's life set them up for life. This is a crucial time and it's been proven that those kids who start life in a loving, happy, secure enviornment tend to thrive later in life on all levels. It would be great if parents were completely supported to remain with their children so that they can do what really, truly is one of the most important jobs ever. Until I had my own child I didn't realise the huge responsibility that comes with being a parent. I feel like standing up and announcing to thousands (how many hits does this blog get??): I'm raising a happy, healthy, emotionally secure, amazing little tama, therefore I am doing this world a great, great service - all I need now are my servants, baby-sitters, councellors, mentors and wise elders! Now's a good time for you to turn up please! Great parenting requires great support - that old saying 'it takes a village to raise a child' is true - our culture just needs to remember this.