Child Care Education: The Story Behind it All

Andrew Silva, 05 Nov 2018

In terms of educational hierarchy, there is little regard for the importance of childcare. Throughout educational history, childcare has often been regarded as a workplace for ‘glorified babysitters’. Today, this stereotype can no longer be relevant. As learning has evolved, so too has the facilitators of education. There is less focus on authority, and more focus on responsibility. For educators, this responsibility means to encourage and then to enhance skills to assist in character building.

Once upon a time…

The first daycare was established in France during the early 1840s. During this period, referred to as the second Industrial Revolution, history saw the emergence of an urbanised world, an abundance of factories and a revolution in technological advancements. Because of such technological advancements in the manufacturing industry, domestic work in agriculture declined rapidly. For many families who relied on their land during this period, this meant that income was affected drastically.

As a means of survival, many women sought for factory work in addition to their domestic duties. This meant that, possibly for the first time in history, men and women sent their children to be supervised by daycare institutions, whilst they both work.

Alas, daycare was born! Thanks to France, these day care facilities, referred to as ‘creche,’ were established as a haven for supervision and care of infants and young children, whilst the parents were away at work. Slowly adopted by other European countries, and then the USA, the epidemic of daycare and education came to surface, and was grounded upon what many things were centred on during the Industrial Revolution; memory and recital.

The ordeal: how has it evolved over time?

Alike all levels of education prior to the 21st century, most learning was focused on memorisation and recital. What was learnt was to be remembered. There was minimal focus on skills, but rather robotic-like efficiency, mirroring the emerging factory-line systems of the Industrial Revolution. Today, learning has taken a new turn:

Then Today
Shorter school year (132 days per year) to focus on the harvesting year outside of school days On average, students spend approximately 200 days at school per year.
Grades 1-8 were in one classroom, taught by one teacher Each grade is separated and taught age-appropriate skills
59% of children attended schooling 85% of children attend school up to year 12 (ABS, 2017)
Equipment included slate and chalk All resources and equipment are shifted beyond the textbook; technology and ICT are key to teaching skills for the 21st century
Subjects taught: reading, writing, arithmetic, history, grammar, rhetoric, and geography Subjects taught: 50+ including courses focusing in practical skills
Learning meant memorising and reciting in front of class Learning means experiencing through age-appropriate skills
Education programs came from occupations and professions outside of the education domain Specialised teachers and education experts articulate teaching methodology through theory and research
And they learned happily ever after...

The early childhood curriculum is now, more than ever, differentiated; it focuses on the teaching of skills through the context of subjects.

It starts with the child and not with the subject.

This basically means that everything is taught with understanding ‘how to’ rather than ‘what.’ Education is articulated through skill and experience; no longer is the textbook the fountain of all knowledge.

This is evident in early childcare learning programs where subject matter is no longer important, but rather self-fulfillment in personal and skills terms. Quality early childhood education is the magic carpet towards adult success. Although seemingly farfetched for little ones, promoting these schools can assist in the refinement of skills for school, the workplace and, eventually, in the real world.

This shift in learning can be accessed through the National Quality Standards set out by the Australian government, who now, more than ever, recognise the interlocking of education, skills and experience through each of the 7 standards:

Quality Area 1: Educational Program and Practice

Quality Area 2: Children's Health and Safety

Quality Area 3: Physical Environment

Quality Area 4: Staffing Arrangements

Quality Area 5: Relationships with Children

Quality Area 6: Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities

Quality Area 7: Governance and Leadership

These outcomes are important in terms of child development. Australia sees the importance of daycare, and through these standards, exemplifies modern-day learning as a multifaceted platform of skills, experience, and playful moments, using the right resources, the right environments and the right people.

The ‘autonomous’ teacher is history. Today, educators are facilitators of modern-day learning. Call Young Academics now to see how modern day learning really works.

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