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The Care and Education Dichotomy in Early Education

             The care/education dichotomy in early education (birth to 5 years context) has its roots in the late 19C and early 20C. Describe what is meant by this dichotomy and how it developed. Then, discuss recent changes to early childhood policy and practice that aim to improve quality education and care for all young children and to better integrate 'care' and 'education'.
             In her Australian Education Review, Elliott explicitly shows a divide between the knowledge of the importance of the early years to children's lives and the lack of actions taken in policy and practice in early education and care in Australia.
             By exploring the care/education divide and the recent changes aiming to improve quality and practice I plan to describe the history relating to this dichotomy; then I will look into quality and practice research as well as staffing profiles and qualifications and how the recent changes would improve its quality; finally I will show the difficulties and challenges posed by the National Quality Framework in improving their standards and strengthening the quality of early childhood education in Australia.
             History of the Dichotomy.
             Early childhood education relies on educational programs that focuses on a child's learning, while early childhood care relies on care programs that focuses on a child's development, having said that, these two are inseparable; although "Contemporary research has established what philosophers have long known: a good starts count" (Elliot, 2013) and even though the importance of a child's development and learning as he grows either at home or at school is known, the need for a focused and integrated approach is still very much necessary to fill the gap in policy and practice of early childhood education and care in Australia. (Alan Hayes in (Elliott, 2006).

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