Betsy van de Grift blog – Why, equal opportunity for all children…

In November, the report “preCOOL up to and including group 8,” written by Leseman and Veen, was published. That should answer the question of whether VVE works. The answer is not so simple yet.

Betsy Vandegrift

In summary, my impressions of this report:

  • Short version: preschool education works, kudos to the kids!
  • But also: half of the target group of children with preschool education do not receive a follow-up offer in kindergarten groups 1 and 2 and the compensation rate drops between the ages of 6 and 12.
  • So why: a “continuing learning path” or “opportunities for all children”?

There is a great deal of interest in the Netherlands in reducing or limiting learning disadvantages in education through pre-school education. That is why a lot is invested to reach the target group and improve the quality of the offer. Equal opportunity for all children is the motto. Even the childcare system has to adapt to it, some say.

Against this background, I have thoroughly studied the latest pre-COOL report. The special thing about the pre-COOL study is, after all, that it relates to measurements of two-year-olds with the same children in Group 8 of primary school. We can therefore expect her to make a statement about the effectiveness of preschool education over the entire primary school career among ‘target group children’.

The report is 204 pages long and the main question is: “Does early childhood education work?” I see three sub-questions in the report: 1. Are there differences in the school career path of target group children compared to other children? 2. Will the incubation facilities reduce the differences? What differences will be reduced next and for which children? and 3. What characteristics must this preschool facility meet in order to minimize differences? Read carefully.

Yes, kids with a target group background often fall behind by the age of two. They usually make up a large part of this backlog in primary school, but there is still a big difference between children of the target group and other children when they leave school.

Yes, preschool education has been successful as childcare shows from the very beginning, and especially young children are catching up. Later in elementary school, the catch-up effects decrease, but the differences are still less than they would be without preschool education.

The quality of a preschool education is crucial to its effectiveness, but the child’s background also plays a role. It is remarkable that, according to the criterion “a child of a poorly educated mother,” it is those children who belong to the target group who benefit little or not at all from preschool education. It is also remarkable that in addition to quality, continuous supply in early childhood education is important. But research shows that half of the children of the target group go to a regular nursery group after pre-school education, and thus receive no early childhood education at all.

“There is clearly work to be done in primary schools, where as childcare we have our own mission.”

The latter, my thoughts are still running about him; I can’t reach him with my hats on.

Now there is a great temptation to spit on education again when it comes to early childhood education and the continuing learning line. There is clearly work to be done for primary schools. But as a child care center we have our own mission. If we are to take the report’s conclusions seriously, we must continue to commit ourselves to “doing the right things right”, while controlling the professionalization of preschool education.

We must see and support all the children who need it so we can recognize the effects of catch-up on them and their families. Yes, together, because this is where the strength of childcare lies. We must assure municipalities and educational partners that it is now their turn when it comes to reaching pre-school children with quality early childhood education and thus maintaining the profitability and effectiveness of pre-school education.

opportunities for all children? Babysitting is on its way!

The education backlog policy is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. This is where you start. ‘Normal’ childcare falls under SZW. Despite the ‘Harmonization of Childcare and Preschool Play Act’ (2017), this legal flaw has not been fixed and this breaks us in preschool education (VE). Read this blog from Betsy

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