“Boys and girls can choose what they want to do”: Children’s right to participate in ECE

“Boys and girls can choose what they want to do”: Children’s right to participate in ECE

This blog post was contributed by Nadine Correia (ISCTE-IUL). “This classroom is so beautiful because the teacher listens to children. Boys and girls can choose and do what they want to”(A., 5 years old). Children’s right to participate has gained

Three reasons to value the first languages of all children in the classroom

Three reasons to value the first languages of all children in the classroom

Not all children attending early childhood education classrooms speak the same first language. What to do when children express themselves in their mother tongue, and not in the language of instruction? If we invest in the first language (i.e., the mother tongue), can we delay learning the language of instruction or, conversely, can we foster the successful development of the two languages? How to respond to immigrant or ethnic minority parents when they ask what they should do at home to promote language development in general or to promote the learning of the language of instruction?

Helping refugee children by helping their parents

Helping refugee children by helping their parents

This blog post was contributed by Annemiek Hoppenbrouwers (Fontys hogeschool). “Did you have a nice holiday?” I ask my colleague. She starts telling me about the activities she and her children did together and how much fun that was. “So

“What does the child have?” – 6 questions about the meaning of a child’s diagnosis

“What does the child have?” – 6 questions about the meaning of a child’s diagnosis

“We still don’t know what the child has…”, told me a teacher about the difficulties she was experiencing with a child who demonstrated behavioural problems. That sentence kept me wondering. Gathering information about what the child “has”, i.e., trying to know “his/her” diagnosis, underlies a genuine concern. But are those difficulties due primarily to something he/she “has”? To what extent knowing the diagnosis is essential to plan interventions at home, daycare or kindergarten?

How come our preschoolers do not move enough? And what should we do?

How come our preschoolers do not move enough? And what should we do?

“Ooh, too little exercise? No, my preschoolers move more than enough and can hardly sit still!” This is how teacher Nathalie describes her 4-year-olds during my class visit. However… recent research in Flemish preschoolers reveals a completely different picture. Slightly less than 90% of the preschoolers do not reach the international guidelines for physical activity on weekdays.