Chapter

Equity for Indigenous Children in Early Childhood Education

Jessica Ball

in Lessons in Educational Equality

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199755011
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918867 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755011.003.0013
Equity for Indigenous Children in Early Childhood Education

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Globally, Indigenous and ethnic-minority populations and the children of immigrants are less likely to participate in early childhood care and education (ECCE) than the average child in their country. These disparities persist despite increased recognition of the benefits of ECCE for all children and its equalizing impact for those who are disadvantaged. This chapter demonstrates the potential for targeted investments in culturally-based, family-involving ECCE to increase Indigenous children’s readiness for sustained and successful engagement in education. Research findings and promising ECCE practices from around the world are highlighted. The Canadian government’s long-term investment in Aboriginal Head Start is described as a successful example of the kind of flexible, community-driven, holistic approach that enjoys high demand and involvement from Indigenous parents and appears to increase Indigenous children’s educational engagement in the first years of schooling.

Keywords: Early childhood care and education; early childhood education; Indigenous children; Aboriginal Head Start; school readiness; educational equity

Chapter.  13938 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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