On behalf of the board of the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Newfoundland and Labrador (AECENL), I would like to comment on the article “More than a babysitting service” published in The Telegram on Saturday, June 7 and “Not enough child care spaces to Meet Demand” published on Tuesday, June 10, both by Bonnie Belec.
Our profession is one that is not widely understood, and by publishing the article you have helped to inform your readership of the importance of the work we do with children and families.
We make significant contributions to the economy. Without child care, parents would not be able to access work or education. With our knowledge and skills we can provide information, advice and support to parents to help them in their parenting role. There is a significant body of research confirming that the experiences a child has in the early years affects the child’s success in school and beyond.
By providing age-appropriate experiences that maximize each child’s potential, we prepare them to be productive future citizens of our province. As reported in your article, significant knowledge of human development, how children learn and how to support that learning in all areas of development is essential to provide a quality program at this critical time in a child’s development.
AECENL strongly believes that a minimum of a two-year program in early childhood education is needed to gain the knowledge and develop the skills to deliver a high quality program.
At this time, only one person in a centre is required to have completed a two-year program although many centres have more than one. New child-care services legislation is imminent and we anticipate that the minimum level of education in early childhood education will be raised. Our recommendation to government is that all those responsible for program development and delivery be required to have completed at least a two-year program in early childhood education by 2022.
There are significantly fewer regulated spaces than required at this time and government is putting a plan in place to increase the number of spaces. This is a direction our association supports as long as quality is not compromised. We believe that the quality that is needed requires that those who develop and deliver programs for children hold a two-year program in early childhood education.
Association of Early Childhood Educators
of Newfoundland and Labrador