“You are the only you there ever has been or ever will be. You have so much to offer……Wherever you go, take your hopes, pack your dreams, and never forget – it is on journeys that discoveries are made.” (Maybe: A Story about the endless potential in all of us, Kobi Yamada, 2019.)
This inspiring quote from the beautiful children’s book prompted my reflection on the infinite potential that each year brings for hopes, dreams, journeys and discoveries in early childhood.
‘Maybe‘ was shared with all our Ambrose Early Years Education teams last year as part of our end of year reflection and celebration. This was a valuable reminder of the important role of early childhood services to build communities that support the potential of the children, families and early childhood educators and teachers.
I am excited when thinking about the year ahead for early childhood – full of infinite potential to navigate as families, children, teachers and educators are welcomed into early childhood communities. Previously, I have set a word intention for the year ahead to focus upon. This year my one word is Effect.
“Effect” Definition Meriam Webster Online Dictionary.
What does this mean for me in 2023?
“1. to cause, to come into being.” To have a positive effect on others, being an agent for children’s rights, welcoming and partnering with families and children, strengthening early childhood and school communities.
“2a. To bring about (effect) often by surmounting obstacles: Accomplish effect the settlement of a dispute.” To create opportunities and engagement in professional dialogues and to build communities of practice. These dialogues should provide the opportunity to listen to alternative perspectives and to plan together how to surmount obstacles.
“2b. To put into operation.” The NSW Early Years Commitment and federal commitment to the Early Years Summit presents opportunity to put into operation (effect) support structures and reform for early childhood communities to be strengthened and extended, opening opportunities for universally accessible early learning.
In Reimagining Early Childhood: The inspiration of Reggio Emilia education principles in South Australia (2013.) Carla Rinaldi writes
“An educating community is a community, a city, where early childhood centres and schools, play a key and crucial role. The role they play is not only for learning formal knowledge by children, but for learning values on which the community itself bases its identity and can reflect on the moral aspect of becoming a citizen and a worker in, and of, a society. A school that gives time to all expects time to be given by all to the society.“
Early childhood services provide space and time to wonder, create, innovate for all – children, families and teachers as citizens of these communities, connecting and sharing ideas for individuals as they ‘come into being‘ with each other.
“In the circles all around us everywhere that we all go there’s a difference we can make and a love we can all show. As our circles grow and grow and we watch them wonder-eyed…remember the first circle started with just the love you hold inside.” Circles, Brad Montague (2021)
Through extending our ‘circles’ and building communities, early childhood services play an integral role to support curiosity and wonder in children’s play and inquiries, to provide avenues of support and welcoming spaces for families, as well as opportunities for building professional dialogues and opportunities for early childhood professionals.
The effect of this will be exciting to watch.