Tuesday, April 21, 2020

RECE Steering Committee Update

Dear RECE Members,

We hope that you, your close ones, and your community are doing well in these difficult times. We know that many of you have been active in your communities, supporting early childhood workers and others in need.

As the governing body of RECE, we have been meeting often since the beginning of the year to monitor the Covid-19 crisis and its impact on our conference schedule in 2020 and beyond. We are considering both online alternatives to the 2020 conference as well as information about sites for the 2021 and 2022 meetings. We hope to communicate our new schedule soon.

We have also been working on a revised long-term governance plan for RECE. Our goal is a plan that is open and transparent, one that formalizes RECE membership and clarifies the roles of the Business Meeting and the RECE Steering Committee. In addition, we are preparing a proposal to revise and expand membership of the Steering Committee.

We will be providing regular updates on our work here on the RECE website and look forward to conversations about the best ways to insure the viability of RECE in the coming decades. As always, we invite you to be in touch with us by using the Contact form provided on our website.

Very best wishes,

The RECE Steering Committee, April 2020

Marianne N Bloch, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Tomas Ellegaard, Roskilde University
Janice Kroeger, Kent State University
Colette Murray, Technical University Dublin
Michelle Salazar Perez, New Mexico State University
Jonathan Silin, University of Toronto
Beth Blue Swadener, Arizona State University
Marek Tesar, University of Auckland
Mathias Urban, Dublin City University

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Now is the Time

Source: Adobe Stock

The RECE Steering Committee expresses solidarity with our international community who serve children, families and educators. The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges in the lives of children, their families and the professional care/education staff who work with them. The pandemic has heightened awareness of the central role of child care /early childhood services in the social fabric of society.
RECE international colleagues represent unique early childhood care and education traditions and structures and reflect the variety of supports appropriate to children and families around the world. It is important to acknowledge not only the critical nature and importance of early childhood but also the precarious and inequitable circumstances of those working in this sector across the world.

During this unprecedented crisis, child care/early education workers are vulnerable because of their working conditions, both financially and structurally, in most counties. We at RECE wish to add our voices to those calls in individual countries to support early childhood workers whether their services remain open or are closed by the state. When remaining open, staff must have access to information and equipment to keep them safe as they care for children of essential personnel including medical staff and first responders.

Even when services are required to temporarily close, they need increased support and individual workers need to continue receiving their salaries and basic benefit packages so that they remain in the sector and are ready to take up their jobs as soon as is practicable.

Now is the time to maintain stability and ensure that early childhood (infant through school-age) services which have had to close will be able to re-open once the pandemic is under control. Children need consistency and quality care and education. Families will need to return to work confident that their children are well cared for, and early childhood educators will need to find their jobs awaiting them. We cannot afford to lose our qualified early childhood staff. Now is the time to show early childhood education and care personnel that they are an integral and respected workforce.

The future of early childhood services is in the present and what actions are taken. It is incumbent that we all — early childhood educators, scholars, families — speak out for local and national policies that assure children’s rights to quality and continuity in care and education and staff rights to job security and well being are protected.