ISSA Endorses Position Statement on Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education
Early childhood education settings offer important contexts for children’s learning. They should be environments in which children learn that they are valued by others; learn how to treat others with fairness and respect, and learn how to embrace human differences rather than ignore or fear them. That is why ISSA supports the new position statement from its member NAEYC and embraces all efforts to advance equity in early childhood education.
NAEYC’s newest position statement asserts that 1) all children have the right to equitable learning opportunities that help them achieve their full potential, 2) all early childhood educators have a professional obligation to advance equity, and 3) early childhood educators need support to fulfill their mission.
From the learning environments they create, to the policies they support, to their willingness to reflect on and address their own beliefs and teaching practices, early childhood educators working with children birth through 8 have the power to change children’s lives. Working together across states and settings, they can enrich children’s social, emotional, and academic development and lay the foundation for their future success.
To do so, however, they need support. This includes work settings that honor their professionalism; equitable access to higher education; and increased compensation that reflects the value and complexity of their work. Further, educators, employers, families, policymakers, and community members and leaders must embrace each child’s unique set of strengths, uphold fundamental principles of fairness and justice, and work to eliminate structural inequities that limit equitable learning opportunities.
This statement describes the changes in research, policy, and practice that are needed to advance equity in early childhood education. Everyone has a role to play in achieving our goal, which is nothing less than eliminating the differences in educational outcomes as a result of who children are, where they live, and what resources their families have.