1. Increased standards and professionalism
As more and more parents, regulators, researchers, and the general public understand the importance of early childhood education, facilities are increasingly working towards achieving higher standards of quality. The notion of childcare serving the purpose of “babysitting” or child-minding services where parents can drop off their children is challenged. Childcare facilities are working towards offering and showcasing improved and progressive early learning programs. In providing a stimulating learning environment for children, there is also a greater demand for highly qualified educators, so we are also seeing increasing minimum requirements for early childhood educator positions. Hopefully, this move towards higher standards and qualifications will mean an increase in wages for educators as well!
2. Emergent curriculum
Another one of the major trends in early childhood education has been the move towards adopting an emergent curriculum. A number of countries are moving away from child assessments, testing, and teaching with a prescriptive curriculum and lesson plans. Rather, they are shifting their focus to emergent learning models, in which educators take cues from the children and their interests to create a personalized curriculum. This style of pedagogy has shown better results in developmental outcomes for children during their early years. Emergent curriculums offer more flexibility, but also must be implemented by educators who are highly skilled and capable of delivering this type of learning plan to their children. This need for well-trained educators who can create and deliver a required emergent curriculum is also reinforcing the trend towards professionalization.
3. Innovation and technology
Over the last few years, there has been a wider and increased acceptance of innovation and technology in early childhood education settings, just like our HiMama app. Educators, parents, child advocates, and regulating bodies alike are starting to embrace that not only is technology essential to progress but also there is a severe lag in the adoption of these innovative solutions across the early childhood education field. However, great strides are being made, which makes technologies for the classroom more accessible and affordable. For example, tablets have made it much easier and more affordable for early years programs to explore apps, software, and other technologies that can help them create a higher quality learning environment for children and empower their staff.
Now that you know more about the current trends in early childhood education, you might be interested in reading about the history of ECE.
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