To subscribe to ExchangeEveryDay, a free daily e-newsletter, go to


The Power of Words

Personally, I’d be thrilled if some policy makers and advocates would quit pitting child care against early education (preschool). Good care is always educational. Good education is always caring. (I think that pretty well sums up 60 years of developmental research.)
Walter Gilliam, Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology, Yale University

“The current hodgepodge of terminology in our field promotes utter confusion,” writes Kelly M. Campbell, in an online opinion piece in The Hechinger Report.

“Here’s a thought experiment,” she proposes. “Replace the recent headline, ‘Democrats Aim to Dramatically Reshape Child Care, Preschool,’ with ‘Democrats Aim to Dramatically Reshape Support for the Foundational Years.’ Which one might be more appealing to the parent at home or the legislator in Washington, D.C.?... Indeed, foundational brain connections for complex language, math and social emotional skills form during this time.”

Over the past few months, readers of ExchangeEveryDay have offered many thoughts on what to call our important work. We wonder what you think of Campbell’s proposal to call it “The Foundational Years.” We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

In addition to what we call our work, how we describe our program and its culture is vitally important when it’s time to advertise for new staff (an activity that has become increasingly challenging). So write Margaret Leitch Copeland, Susan Gimilaro, and Nancy Sullivan in the Exchange Essentials article collection, “Strategies for Promoting Your Program.” They explain:
“Unfortunately, few ads for early education and care positions take the applicant’s view or address the applicant. They emphasize the number of ECE credits needed, the hours, and sometimes the salary. Some do not even mention the name of the program or its location, so the applicant is left to guess by the phone number. When ads are written in haste or without mission statements in mind, the job postings can lead to unintentionally negative impressions.”

For more information about Exchange's magazine, books, and other products pertaining to ECE, go to

© 2005 Child Care Information Exchange - All Rights Reserved | Contact Us | Return to Site