Sometimes it’s good to change a long held tradition. Anyone working in infant classes will see that their job is completely different to that of someone in another class. The way the curriculum is going, with Aistear encompassing much of what infant teachers do these days, is it time to simply use infants as a transition between pre-school and primary school?
For me, I think the time is right for pre-school and infants to join together as one.
It makes a lot of sense in many ways when you look at almost every other country. Children generally don’t start school until they are 7 years of age, around the time Irish children hit 1st class. It’s as if our system is set up for it!
I believe that the qualification for being a primary school teacher cannot encompass both the job of an infant teacher and the job of an older primary teacher. I believe they should be separate qualifications.
The current childcare degree might be a good place for would-be early years educators to start.