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What’s in a Name?
November 22, 2021
Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and a talk beside the fire.
-Edith Stilwell, British poet
A few weeks ago, many readers of ExchangeEveryDay shared comments about what our field should be called. Here’s a small sampling:

"A name must carry out the mission of what young children need...Quality care that offers age appropriate activities, nurturing caring, educators grounded in Child Development. All children deserve this!"

"It's an older catchphrase but worth repeating - we don't care for DAYS. We care for CHILDREN."

"I remember years ago a professor asking our class of graduate students what we called the place young children (under 6 yrs.) attended for care and learning. As we called out, she wrote on the chalk board: nursery school, preschool, childcare center, daycare center, lab school, home care, infant crèche, even nanny and baby sitter…Her point was it didn’t really matter what you called that place as long as the children were well cared for, the parents were respected and the environment was developmentally appropriate and fun."

"Universal early care and education are important to all children regardless of where they attend. My concern is that we need to continue to allow children to be children and learn in the best way possible, through play."

Carol Garboden Murray, in her popular new book, Illuminating Care, makes the point that we cannot separate care from education, and that indeed, care IS education. She writes about all aspects of how adults consider programs for children. In an article that provides the basis for an Exchange ReflectionsThe Soundscape of Early Childhood Education,” she explains how important it is for adults to consider what sounds children hear all day:

“I am noise sensitive and did not like school. The cafeteria and hallways were painfully noisy places, but I loved my first-grade teacher’s voice…It was the tone of her voice that anchored me and made me feel safe in a big public school. I still have a hard time being in crowded noisy places, so as a teacher of young children…I have thought a great deal about how to create pleasant soundscapes for young children.”


Illuminating Care:
The Pedagogy and Practice of Care in
Early Childhood Communities

Use coupon code CARE at checkout
for 20% off this wonderful resource

Illuminating Care: The Pedagogy and Practice of Care in Early Childhood Communities is a powerful exploration of caregiving as a vital component of education and child development and a crucial building block of human community and society.

Carol Garboden Murray meaningfully invites educators, parents and caregivers to experience the essential strength and value of their care for young children, the artistry and integrity of it, in the routines of daily life.

Offer valid through November 23, 2021, at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. May not be combined with any other offer. Not valid on past purchases or bulk purchase discounts.


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Comments (3)

Displaying All 3 Comments
Tiffany Peckham · November 23, 2021
Lincoln, NE, United States

Sylvia, thank you for your 45 years of working with young children! That is a huge accomplishment. I loved reading your comment!

Amy, yes! Truly :)

-Tiffany at Exchange

Sylvia Velasquez Lawrence · November 22, 2021
Pacific Sage Preschool
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, United States

In my 45 years of working with young children, I find that more often than not, “teachers” want to “teach”. This perspective at its worst creates passive education with children waiting to be told what they should be learning rather than wondering and discovering.

Rachel Carson wrote, “If a child is to keep alive his unborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.”

When I tour new families in my Reggio-inspired program, I refer to I and my staff as Early Childhood Companions and Collaborators. This perspective helps us keep equity and respect in our relationships. We are trained and experienced. We are clear about our role in the life of a child.

Amy S. David · November 22, 2021
Kingswood Christian Preschool
Crozet, VA, United States

We are engineers of child development. :)

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