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Inequality in Early Childhood - Term Paper Example

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This paper "Inequality in Early Childhood" seeks to address the inequalities that children in their early childhood face during this crucial developmental stage. It identifies three aspects of inequality that children go through. The aspects are disability, religion, and race…
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Download file to see previous pages Early childhood is the period between prenatal development up to the age of eight years. This period is very crucial in development and is also considered to be highly sensitive to external factors. It is at this point where the foundations for mental and physical capacities are laid. This influences how the child grows and their health too. Socio-economic factors are especially influential at this stage in life and can have a negative impact on child development, psychologically and developmentally. Debates on childhood development insist that there should be a balance in educational programmes for this age group. For children under the age of five, education should be centered on the development of the child. Above the age of five, academic subjects are introduced in a planned curriculum that is directed by a teacher (European Commission, 2009). A significant influence on inequality is the distribution of household income. The family is the plays the most critical role in influencing the child outcomes. This, in turn, is influenced by the social and policy outcomes that address the family and their interactions with others. There are substantial developmental differences between children from disadvantaged homes and those who are from well-to-do families. In the UK, it is estimated that 87% of children between the age of three to four spend most of their time in formal education (DfE (Department for Education and Employment), 1997). Unfortunately, the United Kingdom does not offer publicly funded education for children under the age of three years. Additionally, nearly 20% of households in the United Kingdom are living below the poverty threshold. A study revealed that children who participated in pre-primary care and education had a positive effect that extended to primary school. In essence, this means that daycare is beneficial to the child’s growth. Centre-based quality day-care improves the cognitive and language skills of disadvantaged children. However, due to financial difficulties, low-income and disadvantaged families tend to choose lower quality daycare. The United Kingdom has made a few strides in providing better developmental chances for children in their early ages. This includes programs that support preschool children. Mothers are allowed up to a year of maternity leave that is job-protected and nine months of paid leave. Families from low-income households can benefit from the universal child allowance program and free universal health care. Preschool is free at the age of three. Since inequalities in early education are recognised worldwide, some laws address this. The Equality Act 2010 addresses against discriminations based on disability, gender, race, and sex. Although it does not explicitly address the issue of early childhood, it does address the fact that everyone is equal, no matter their background. It addresses direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation of children in schools or other public areas. The Act also makes certain public institutions, such as schools, treat everyone fairly. Extra protection is given to disabled persons, compelling public institutions to cater for those who are disabled so they can have equal access (Legislation.gov.uk, 2010). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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