Study on the Training Needs of Teaching Staff to Provide Quality Early Childhood Education Services
Early child development is related to early education, health, nutrition, and psychosocial development; therefore, the holistic concept of early approach combines elements from the area of stimulation of the child, health, nutrition, speech therapy, psychological counselling, physical development support, etc. The need for the development of integrated early education services and their extension to the area of 0-3 years are priorities of the European strategies assumed through a complex of educational policy measures, having as a priority the development of quality early education services for the benefit of all prerequisites for lowering the schooling rate (Strategy for early childhood education, Strategy for parental education, Strategy for reducing early school leaving in Romania, Study on the evaluation of public policies in the field of early childhood education - Saber Early Childhood). In this context of the development of early childhood education, numerous inequalities are identified in the implementation of European and national strategies and programs in the development of early childhood education services, supported by economic, political, social factors, etc. In order to make them compatible at European level, we consider it necessary to support training and development programs for staff providing educational services in early childhood education institutions. The purpose of this study is to acknowledge the opinion of the bodies with attributions in the pre-kindergarten and preschool education in Romania, as well as of the civil society and public opinion, as a prerequisite for identifying school policy measures and developing programs for training the teaching staff so as to be able to provide educational services in early childhood education (representatives responsible for early childhood education in school inspectorates and Houses of the Teaching Staff, teaching staff in preschool educational institutions, representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, representatives of the Social Assistance Directorate, managers of nursery schools, representatives of NGOs and other categories of organizations with experience in the field, parents and interested representatives of the civil society and public opinion). The present study is a qualitative research based on the focus-group method, but also a quantitative research by using the questionnaire-based survey, being carried out on a representative sample of 100 persons (2 focus-group of 25 persons, respectively 50 persons involved in the survey-based questionnaire). The conclusions of this study highlight the need to restructure the system of early childhood education in Romania through interventions at the legislative level and ensure a unitary system of policy and intervention in early childhood education. Also, we believe it is imperative to reorganize the training system of the human resource, by developing complementary competences of the teaching staff, adapted to the training needs of the early childhood population, ensuring a valuable inclusive and integrated intervention.
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