April 22, 2021
Sustainability has become one of the key concepts of the 21st century. Yet, World Earth Day reminds us that it carries an essence beyond its purely economic surface. In early childhood education, sustainability means creating paths for learning and growth that raise our children’s awareness for present and future global challenges. Hence, if we want to add long-lasting meaning to the concept of sustainability, we need to make it a top priority in the development of our children.
But – how to start?
1. Start early!
UNICEF states that concerning the fulfillment of its Sustainable Development Goals, one important aspect to keep in mind is that “learning begins at birth” (Britta 2015). That’s because early childhood education has “proved to be the foundation for later learning, academic success and productivity” (ibid.). A child-friendly focus on sustainability early on thus makes sure that choices later in life will be based upon a solid foundation of sustainable core values and knowledge (ibid.). At Kinderjahre we wholeheartedly agree with UNICEF’s take on the importance of early childhood development. If you are thinking about implementing early childhood care offers into your organization, we can therefore provide you with an extensive pool of knowledge that might be a great fit for your company’s goals.
2. Re-think curricula!
Making sustainability a top priority in education starts with curricula. Why? Because re-thinking what children learn is a sure-shot way to shape a more sustainable future. Care organizations may start with implementing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on economic and ecological principles as well as on human rights and gender equality (Matlala n. d.). If you, too, are planning to put a bigger focus on sustainability in your organization, why not start with education and care offers? At Kinderjahre, we are happy to assist you with any change processes, building on years of experience.
3. Focus on community connections!
Making early childhood education more sustainable is an endeavor that must reach beyond one teacher, one classroom, or one care center – community connections are key (Davis 2010: 35). Do you want to make sustainable community-building a reality? Different approaches have proven to be successful, ranging from collaborations with local sustainable food stores to initiatives that offer child-friendly workshops centering around ecological issues. Here, too, we can help you with our experience and extensive network.
Britta, P. (2015). Why early childhood development is the foundation for sustainable development. New York: UNICEF.
Davis, J. (2010). Early childhood education for sustainability: Why it matters, what it is, and how whole centre action research and systems thinking can help. Journal of Action Research Today in Early Childhood, April, pp. 35-44.
Matlala, S. (n. d.). Bringing Sustainable Development Skills to Early Childhood Learning. Melbourne: World Literacy Foundation.