Early childhood education and care in Chile: An overview of preschool education
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Early childhood education has become a key issue during the last years in Chile. The recognition of the relevance of providing quality early childhood education has led to several changes and reforms in public policies and even to the creation of a sub-secretary of early childhood. Despite these changes, there is still a strong debate about what constitutes quality in early childhood education. Different actors involved (educators, parents, policy-makers, etc.) do not agree on what the role of early childhood education is or should be. For example, is early childhood education expected to contribute to later learning and development? What is the role of play in early childhood education? Do preschool centres need to be subject to accountability? Together with that, there is a critical issue regarding preschool teacher training, and teacher training in general. Currently, the provision of quality teacher training is being criticized, and there is a social questioning of the teachers’ role as professionals and experts in their field. The previous issues will be discussed, explaining their roots, current status, and what is being done to improve them in the near future.
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