By: Rhian Evans Allvin
Over the past few weeks, I’ve followed the news about the more than 200 Nigerian girls who were kidnapped in April, and participated in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign on my personal social media account. I've reflected on what this event means to early childhood educators and NAEYC.
At its core, the work NAEYC does is about promoting and supporting developmentally appropriate, intentional early learning experiences for all young children. All young children should have access to safe, quality learning environments. It’s what our association and our members work so hard to do - give the children learning experiences that will help them grow and thrive.
NAEYC created an international department in 2013 to meet a growing interest worldwide in NAEYC membership, conferences, standards frameworks, publications and resources. It’s been humbling to have countries from across the globe interested in working with us to promote developmentally appropriate early learning and teacher preparation worldwide. We’ve been encouraged that so many countries are investing energy and resources in early learning.
And yet as the crisis in Nigeria underscores, so many children face a childhood with incredible barriers to a safe, quality education.
Our goal in our international work is to engage with the global early childhood development community to strengthen international early childhood systems as a strategy to improve early care and education for all children.
As we embark on our international work we hold in mind two guiding principles: We must be sensitive to the nuances of varying contexts as we collaborate with our international partners to ensure that our global reach is culturally appropriate. At the same time we must also maintain the integrity of NAEYC’s core principles - that all young children should have access to safe, developmentally appropriate learning environments.
It is our intention that the work we're doing at NAEYC will have a positive impact long term on children, families, and society. It is our deep hope that the current international efforts focused on these girls will have an immediate impact and bring these girls home and make it safe for them to go to school. #BringBackOurGirls