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Parents remain the single most important influence on their children, for better and for worse. As the adults vested with legal and moral responsibility for the raising of their children, parents have a formidable task in shaping the character of their offspring. Sadly, too many parents are simply not up to that task, but it would be wrong to suggest that the responsibility has shifted from them to early childhood professionals, most prominently preschool, kindergarten and elementary school teachers and coaches. Except for those parents who concede an inability or unwillingness to parent their children, placing them up for adoption instead or allowing for the introduction of foster parents, and those who refuse to concede such a situation but away from whom the decision is taken by the courts, parents are the principle role models for their children, teaching them right-from-wrong and how to function at home and away. Responsible parents read to their children starting at a very early age, and instruct them in object and color recognition, introduce their children to nature, and teach them how to act. Not only has "full responsibility" for child guidance not shifted toward professionals, but partial responsibility has not shifted, either. The role of parenting remains as primal and important as ever, and no amount of arrogance on the part of so-called professionals can change that.
No, the full responsibility for child guidance has not shifted from parents to early childhood professionals. Nothing can take away the influence and the role of a parent. The nature of the relationship with a parent is such that it is impossible to project that onto a professional advocate for children. Children view parents as their primary caregiver and respond to them in that fashion. Parents have not abdicated their rights by enrolling their children in Early Childhood programs much like parents do not abdicate their responsibilities when they enroll their children in elementary schools. In addition, our state and federal laws advocate responsibility to the parent not the Early Childhood Education professional. Early Childhood Educators and centers are regulated by rules and laws that permit a certain amount of interaction with a child but does not give them full authority. There are limits set that give a certain amount of responsibility to the Early Childhood Education but does not grant them full authority. Early Childhood Centers and Educators are responsible for ensuring that the environment of the centers promote healthy development of the child
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