In this video, Dr. Heidi Harju-Luukkainen discusses her new book, International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Care: Early Childhood Education in the 21st Century, which she co-edited with her colleagues Drs. Susanne Garvis and Sivanes Phillipson. Dr. Harju-Luukkainen, a visiting scholar, earned her PhD from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden but is originally from Finland.
“We [took] a closer look at 19 different nations across the globe and their education systems… their quality goals, regulations, how their curriculum [were] built, how they use their curriculum and what type of constraints and gains they have with their education system,” said Harju-Luukkainen. She noted that early childhood education is diverse internationally, from the degree of access to the level of education required of teachers.
In Finland and the Nordic countries, you have a subjective right as a parent to have early childhood education and care for your child at a very early age.
“In Finland and the Nordic countries, you have a subjective right as a parent to have early childhood education and care for your child at a very early age… so it’s more or less like you just inform the municipality that you need a place for your child in their early childhood education facility and you receive that. And then in other countries, you do not have the similar type of universal access.” Luckily, Harju-Luukkainen observed, more countries are paying attention to the importance of early childhood education and increasing access to these programs.