Is there a moment in time when we feel that all our love and well-intentioned efforts make a difference in making a life? Early childhood is a complicated time and all we want to know is, are we doing it right? Hard to know, and oh, boy, is it hard to wait 15 years, 20 years or more before we see the fruits of our labor and good intentions…
I am a mom of two children, ages 22 and 20 years old. I am still holding my breath, waiting to see, whether or not I was successful in making a life. I have been fortunate. I am well educated and versed in the research on child development; I have access to a network of personal and professional resources, and two wonderful children who seemed to have sidestepped the tantrum and oppositional phases most dreaded and talked about by parents and professionals, alike. Instead of basking in that success, the research scientist in me asks, why?
As a leader in the early care and education field, I ask, what do we need to be doing for you, our workforce, to insure that children grow up to be healthy, happy and productive members of society? Although, each of us thinks we know best- as we point to the one piece of research that supports our beliefs, or to the routines we employ based on the fond memories of our own childhoods, we are a field, divided for many reasons: love, competition, funding, pride, beliefs, culture, professionalism, power and public policy. What we do know is beliefs shape practice. How can we follow the trends or systems being built in good conscience, when we have doubts, fears or just plain don’t believe the policies and practices are in the best interest of children?
In the weeks and months, ahead, I make a promise to you that this forum is a place of integrity, where we can hold these issues in the light, ask the questions we dare say out loud, and get real about what science tells us and what we wish the science told us about early care and education.
One thing is certain, time is precious and in good conscience none of us would want to miss out on making a difference in even one life in our care.
We say what you are thinking and would love to hear your thoughts!