Preschool Kids Left Behind

You will undergo a lot of workshop before you get your cert 3 in childcare Sydney. Montessori course recently released a report stating what early childhood professionals have long known The shift from focusing on social and emotional development to school learning in preschool has had an overwhelming effect on a number of kids. Although a number of 4- and 5-year-olds walk away from preschool as strong pre readers, many kids are simply walking away – or, more precisely, they are being shown the door. According to the nursery teacher training study, “Prekindergarten Left Behind,” the number of young kids excluded from early learning programs for different behavioral issues is three times the exclusion rate of K-12 students. Exclusion rates were also higher in private and faith-based preschools than in programs run by Head Start or other organizations, though the report highlighted that center-based admission to a behavioral advisor cut the exclusion rate by nearly half.

Teachers, caregivers, and parents are all discussing the latest report and its suggestions. Why are preschoolers being excluded at such a high rate? Is the dilemma the kids, the family or the staff? Maybe the problem is not one of out-of-control kids or poorly set teachers; maybe the problem is the way preschools are presently structured. The recent focus on meeting school standards at the preschool level – a focus that now outshines the development of social and emotional skills – is like constructing a house without a foundation. In order to be ready for play school, a child needs to learn more than her ABCs and numbers.

The original objective of preschool, after all, was nurturing self-mastery and developing the skills needed to enter a school setting. Preschool staff expels kids not just because they can, but because teachers have school objectives that must be met and group dynamics that must be maintained. Managing a room of 20-plus 3-year-olds is almost impossible when dealing with a troublesome child who needs the concentration of every adult in the room. Limited support options are easily worn out. Exclusion is a last, sad option, and never a easy choice. Where do we go from here? Teachers need help. They are being asked to do too much to meet the goals of literacy, language, and mathematics development.

They are being asked to teach basic socialization skills as part of the universal “school readiness” prospectus. They are sometimes asked to take the place of family in that socialization process. They are doing all of this, yet they’re being paid on regular less than half of what a public kindergarten teacher makes. For the majority of these teachers, that wage puts them – and often their families – below the poverty line or in the low-income group. There is no structure or financial motivation in place for early childhood care educators to learn about communal and emotional strategies when dealing with harsh behavior. They don’t make sufficient money, in most cases, to follow additional education which might give them those skills. And even if they do manage to earn that higher degree, they’re doubtful to see a major rise in their salaries. Kids need help.

Parents and teachers must better appreciate the emotional landscape of childhood development; they need training and resources to help them know how to adapt behaviors and how to make a decision when intervention is needed. As it is, most two-income families are stressed to pay the cost of child-care; can we ask them to pay more so that teachers can be better trained? Many preschool teachers are managing too much with too little support; can we ask them to work harder? The direction of early childhood education may have lost its equilibrium between academic development and social and emotional development.

Can we – as legislators, as educators, as parents and early childhood advocates – work for that balance? Can we step up to improved provide the resources and training that teachers and parents need? Social and emotional development for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds should be given an equivalent priority alongside literacy, math, and language development. We are asking of kids and of many early childhood educators to bring too much too soon, and often without sufficient resources.