Elliot’s Provocations unpacks current events in the early learning world and explores how we can chart a path to a future where all children can flourish. Regarding the title, if you’re not steeped in early childhood education (ECE) lingo, a “provocation” is the field’s term—taken from the Reggio-Emilia philosophy of early education—for offering someone the opportunity to engage with an idea.
We hope this monthly column does that: provocations are certainly not answers, but we hope Elliot’s Provocations helps you pause and consider concepts in a different way.
The U.S. child care system falls deeper into crisis with every passing day. The sector is still missing 100,000 educators compared to before the pandemic, and amid a competitive labor market, the staffing recovery has slowed to a crawl.
Linking early child care and school-aged care is a good idea both on the merits and the politics. I’m hardly the first one to point this out, but I want to highlight the opportunity here as we head into summer break and the acute headache it causes for many families.
For my last column of the year, I want to touch on a less-discussed but not-unimportant question: what in the heck should we call the care and education of children during the first five years of their life?