Social Work & Society


Early Childhood Education and Care

NEW: SW&S Special Issue on

Early Childhood Education and Care”

From an early childhood education and care perspective the 20th century can be framed symbolically by positions like those of Ellen Key on the one side and Gøsta Esping-Andersen on the other. Ellen Keys book Century of The Child (1902) can be read as an opening of the school and pre-school critique and the search for child-centered approaches in education and social work (or social pedagogy) in the 20th century. In the first decades and again in the 1960th and 70th we had that struggle for educational alternatives in the face of the institutionalisation of education and care – in different steps and transformational periods.

The struggle for child-centered approaches always had been a background music in the fields of education policy in the last century, but never became a main point on the political agenda till the end of the 20th century. Different to Keys perspective, but also from a Scandinavian point of view – which is known as a social democratic one, Gøsta Esping-Andersen stated at the turn to the 21st century the relevance of focussing childhood, for any societal development in a specific way. To invest in children seems nowadays to be the most efficient and relevant investment current societies can think about, following Esping-Andersen and others.

So, following the political agenda, childhood education and child care seem to be more relevant than ever before at the beginning of the 21st century. At the same time, poverty of children and their families are growing in most of the OECD-countries, the urbanisation of the world is often shrinking spaces for families and their children, and not at least the human capital approach on investing in children is often totally in contrast to a child-centered approach. And not at least, in contrast to the declaration of its relevance, child care provision tend to be a poorly paid and sometimes also badly trained area of work. On that background it is of major need to reflect the relation between early childhood education and care on the one side and the driving factors in both areas on the other. Therefore we are more than happy to present our readers the current SW&S Special Issue on Early Childhood Education and Care, edited by Linda Houser (Chester), Jessica Kahn (New York) and Corey Shdaimah (Baltimore).

The SW&S Special Issue includes seven very stimulating and exciting papers on different aspects and on different areas of early childhood education and care: Susan Roll (Chico) article on Examining the Child Care Cliff Effect in a Rural Setting; Elizabeth Palley (Garden City, NY) and Corey Shdaimah (Baltimore) on Provider Perspectives on Child Care in the United States; the paper on Distributed Leadership: A framework for enhancing quality in early learning programs by Heather Beaudin (Guelph); the article by Jennifer J. Otten (Washington) and others discussing the phenomenon of an Increased Minimum Wage in the US: A Mixed Methods Study of Child Care Businesses during the Implementation of Seattle's Minimum Wage Ordinance; I-Hsuan Lins paper (Indianapolis) is focussing the Ranking Work-Family Policies across OECD Countries and therefore asking for Implications for Work-Family Conflict, Gender Equality, and Child Well-being; in theier article Nicole Robinson (Milwaukee) and Aleyamma Mathew (New York) are Examining the Role of Social Justice Grantmaking on Childcare Advocacy and Community Organizing Among Women of Color;; not at least Jing Guo (Honolulu) and Hua Zan (Honolulu) are reflecting the relation of Policy Development and Advocacy: The Analysis of a Paid Family Leave Bill in the Hawaii State Legislature.

SW&S Forum

In our new issue of SW&S we are also very happy to be able to present five fascinating papers on other topics in the area of Social Work and Society – from four different continents: Valerie Gant (Warrington) can show empirical results on Siblings of Adults with Learning Disabilities: An Empirical Study in her paper; Onno Husen and Philipp Sandermann (both Lüneburg) are arguing for Connections, who do matter in their paper on Family Centers and German Social Policy; Margaret Pack (Wellington) has evaluated the Field Practicum Experience in Social Work Fieldwork Programs Using an Online Survey Approach, what enables her to present Student and Supervisor Responses in her article; Building capabilities in disabled job seekers has been the topic of a qualitative study Peter J. Robertson (Edinburgh) has done on the Remploy Work Choices programme in Scotland, and so this is also the topic of his paper; the paper of Pius T. Tanga (Alice), Magdaline Tanga (Alice) and Perpetua L. Tanyi (Bloemfontein) is closing the current SW&S Forum. The authors are discussing Child Rights-Based Analysis of Children without Parental Care in Lesotho.

We are more than sure that I will be more than worthwhile for you to have a look on the new issue of Social Work & Society.

The SW&S Co-Ordinating Office