Which are the effects of the children school starting-age?
In France, nearly all youngsters already start school at the age of 3, so the latest shift is really about moving up the starting line by a year for the kids who need it the most.
The government does not have comparison figures from to show the precise rate of growth. Advertisement In the United States, by contrast, the percentage of 2-year-olds enrolled in educationally focused preschool programs is negligible, and about a third of American 3-year-olds attend such programs nearly percent of French 3-year-olds do.
France may be able to provide more government-based care to its toddlers, but it still grapples with many of the same challenges and questions that plague early childhood education in American cities and states, including debate over the best age for young children to start school; how to train a workforce of qualified educators to manage the smallest pupils; and how, with limited resources, to ensure that existing programs target the children who need them the most.
But the country is much further along than the United States, particularly when it comes to 2- and 3-year-olds, and it provides a more accessible, realistic model for American cities and states that are actively trying to strengthen their early childhood offerings, including New York CityBostonDelawareand Colorado.
American 2-year-olds may never eat three-course meals of ratatouille, whitefish, fresh bread, and fruit with knives and forks, like the classroom of French 2- and 3-year-olds I observed. Hamarat, whose husband is Turkish, was nervous initially about sending her son, Lucas, off to school by himself Lucas speaks Turkish at home.
But she hung around the classroom for the first few days and felt comforted by the warmth of the teachers, the cleanliness of the classroom, and the emphasis on language instruction, so in the fall ofat the tender age of 2, Lucas started attending school five mornings a week. The municipality then pays for most everything else, including classroom space and supplies.
And the French government has no plans to rapidly scale its new school-based programming for 2-year-olds.
From the start, the French government knew that it could not feasibly reach all or even most 2-year-olds anytime soon, so instead it decided to take incremental steps that over time might add up to something more sweeping. And indeed, the language and, of course, culinary component is a critical part of the program, with not only the toddlers but any non-French-speaking parents encouraged to learn the language of Proust and Voltaire as quickly as possible.
The parents passed around homemade Middle Eastern snacks one mother had brought. Like the highest-performing charter schools in different U. When I asked about this, local officials in the Parisian suburbs said they are convinced they are reaching the most disconnected families through a combination of newspaper advertisements, informal networking, and referrals from social service and medical personnel.
Indeed, Hamarat heard about the 2-year-old program through a social service agency; Nawal Kadizi, a Moroccan immigrant, got word through a friend; Dieganayaguy Kalaiarasi, a mother from Pondicherry, India, learned of the new classroom from officials in the municipality; and Ali Kerrach saw an ad in the local newspaper.
The schools I visited seemed genuinely eager to reach the neediest families with their new 2-year-old classrooms, but whether they can successfully execute on that desire remains a core challenge of just about any poverty alleviation effort anywhere that targets the most vulnerable.
The toddlers learn largely through play—gaining vocabulary as they describe the photos in their albums to classmates and teachers, and motor skills as they fashion clay into different shapes. The 2-year-old classrooms offered a stark contrast to one 5-year-old classroom I poked my head in down the hall, where children sat at desks in rows and were engaged in much more rote, traditional academic instruction.
Yet the proliferation of classroom-based learning for kids this young has still concerned some early childhood experts in France who say that 2 is simply too early for children to start school. In fact, there is a lack of consensus around what age is most suitable for youngsters to enter traditional school environments, and the answer depends largely on context: What we do definitively know is that in America the test score achievement gap between low-income children and their wealthier peers correlates closely with inequities youngsters experience before they even start school.
That makes it all the more urgent that we work to get disadvantaged toddlers access to safe, healthy, educationally stimulating environments—whether in child care centers or school buildings. Based on my on-the-ground observation, the answer to where 2-year-olds can best be served depends almost entirely on implementation: Meanwhile, schools serving 2-year-olds need to remain vigilant about keeping staff-to-student ratios low.
The programs I visited all relied on supplementary funding to add extra staff in the 2-year-old classes for additional support. In France, officials agree that training opportunities for the growing fleet of 2-year-old classroom teachers could be significantly expanded and customized to the age.
While 2-year-olds are capable of learning a great deal, they are also still very much babies. The new French 2-year-old classrooms are not dissimilar to smaller efforts in the United States to reach the most financially disadvantaged preschoolers through programs like Educarewhich relies on a combination of private and public funds to help youngsters start traditional school on a more equal footing.
A key difference, however, is that in France, the government, both national and local, is leading, and funding, the charge.Children Should Start School Younger Than They Do Now There is no doubt that parents want the best for their children. Some of them believe that children should stay at home or go to kindergartens until they are seven years old.
Others think that it is important for kids to go to school as soon as possible. The researchers point out that kids’ sexuality and gender identity typically begin emerging during “very young adolescence,” defined as the period between the ages of 10 and When are children “ready” for school?
There is much debate about when the transition between play-based pre-school and the start of “formal” schooling should begin. AT WHAT age should children start formal schooling? England is one of a few countries to say the answer is as young as 4 years old.
A long-running debate on this question has been reignited by a letter, signed by about early childhood education experts. Nov 30, · Yet the proliferation of classroom-based learning for kids this young has still concerned some early childhood experts in France who say that 2 is simply too early for children to start school.
Those who support that children should start younger say that starting before means finishing school at a younger age and so to have more opportunities to work.
Furthermore, they say that the younger the child is, the more easily he can learn, because his brain is .
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