Have we sacrificed care for the sake of “education”? Why don’t we view them as equal and inseparable? Why is childcare viewed as “less than”?
As the conversation centers around universal pre-k, I have heard many say they support the education portion of it, but not the childcare aspect of it. How are these two different? How can they be separated? During the pandemic, many elementary and middle school teachers felt disheartened at the perception of being viewed as “mere childcare”. Why is this a bad thing? Aren’t you caring for the children in your class?
The shame in this dismissive perspective is care is the core of education. Without it, children’s basic needs are not met, and relationships are not built - both essential to children learning. As educators, it is a privilege to care for children. It is a wonderful part of our profession. So, let’s have a paradigm shift and embrace that care and education are intertwined and cannot be divided!