THE CRITICAL WINDOW : EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION IN THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA

DR. CAROLYN VICTORIA UY RONQUILLO

Based on the 2010 World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), almost all countries have adopted a broad and holistic concept of ECCE as the provision for education, care, health, nutrition and protection of children aged zero to six years old. This period is known as the “critical window of opportunity” for optimizing their development. Faced with problems of a low birth rate, an increase in multicultural families, the parental burden of education costs and an increase in the number of women entering the work force, a discussion on how the government of the Republic of Korea supports the families in educating and caring for its young citizens will be undertaken. In addition, this presentation will describe the evolution of laws for children, specifically those on early childhood development, education and care. The Nuri Curriculum was created as the national plan to integrate early childhood education and care in Korea and was aimed to promote the holistic development of children ages three to five and to establish overarching principles for becoming responsible citizens of its society. As a final point, the Woosong Kindergarten School (which is the laboratory school of Woosong University Department of Early Childhood Education) and its curriculum will be presented.