Right now, I am trying to maintain patience and understanding with my state. I am trying to understand it takes some time to do things right, and they are attempting to help so many people and deal with so much change and new programming. However, as an Early Childhood Professional, I am concerned about the lack of talk there is surrounding Early Childhood education at this time. Did everyone forget about all of the little people? This is not something new; it is something the Early Childhood Professional deals with every day. It is a constant fight to try and get others to understand the value of what we do, and not only that to see us as professionals.
Advocacy is hard; it is so frustrating. I keep writing to my representatives, but I have to backtrack and make sure my words don't sound like I'm scolding them, or flat out calling them idiots. I just want the changes. I want my state to become a leader in what Early Childhood Education should look like, and right now, I feel my state is the most behind.
For the other advocates out there, I want to know how you got started. What change have you seen?
It's time for ECE to change from the inside out, providers in the field need to change their mindset and start referring to themselves as professionals because they are.
They should believe in the importance of what they are doing each day. Perhaps this will change how others view us. We need to take charge of our paths towards change.
We need to all work towards a collective purpose. I am happy with NAEYC taking the initiative to help lead the profession towards doing that. However, each state and all of the ECE professionals within that state need to get on board. This is a substantial undertaking, especially when states like mine do not even have NAEYC Affiliate.
What's the answer? Where to we start? Or is that the problem we can't get to the answer because we keep asking questions rather than getting started? Are we waiting on someone else to get started to be the one to begin the work?
Abby Lazarus, M.Ed.
Early Childhood advocate,Doctoral student. Bachelors in Child Development, Masters in Early Childhood Studies. Over 15 years in the Early Childhood Profession.