Occasional Paper Series #42
Promise in Infant/Toddler Care and Education
The way that infants and toddlers are viewed and treated reflects a society’s values. The first three years of life are a canvas upon which a lifetime will be painted, a period of enormous potential and promise to families and communities. However, frightening inequities frame the landscape of infant/toddler care that can interrupt the everyday lived experiences of very young children and impact their future development.
Issue 42 of the Bank Street Occasional Paper Series will highlight the lives of infants and toddlers in early care settings who are living across a range of inequities. While we are interested in submissions that underline such inequities, we are especially interested in projects and practices that bring to light issues in early care and education that talk back to these realities.
Nationwide, there is growing attention to the need for quality infant/toddler care in both center-based and home-based care settings. Formal centers and more informal home-based care in under-resourced communities share some tremendous challenges. Multiple and changing standards and licensure requirements by accrediting local and state bodies direct provision of care in ways that can be insensitive to community knowledges. The poorest communities bear higher environmental health risks such as lead and poor quality air and water. Inequitable funding structures and growing cutbacks in government support result in the lack of mental health and early intervention consultants, as well as family support and community building services. In the face of these challenges, home-based and center-based care providers and programs work to offer high quality care to our youngest citizens.
This call seeks papers that address the following kinds of questions:
- What are the issues facing infants and toddlers and the practitioners who care for them that are currently unaddressed?
- How are local knowledges being elevated to support education and training as collaborative, community-based endeavors?
- How is the standardization of infant/toddler care impacting very young children and the adults who provide for them across a range of early care and education programs?
- In what ways are providers and advocates for the young working effectively to address structural inequities at local, state, and national levels?
- What kinds of programs are being implemented to support or enhance care provided in 0-3 programs (home- or center-based) in under-resourced communities?
- What kinds of professional development and preparation opportunities are being implemented with practitioners working in infant/toddler care and education, especially those that seem “successful”?
- How do differences in understanding about early learning pedagogy affect education and training of infant and toddler practitioners?
While we welcome program descriptions, authors are encouraged to take a critical stance on their struggles and limitations as well as successes. We are especially interested in papers that include personal and care based narratives, graphic essays and multi-media methodologies, as well as research studies.