Pedagogical staff and teachers are professionals who provide education in childcare and preschool groups. They face an important task as they have to give all children a good start to their school career. There is no national curriculum but there are only attainment targets in the Netherlands. SLO developed a framework for early childhood education (2 – 7 years). Professionals can use this framework as a tool for developing their own learning objectives. To achieve this, they have to face five challenges: Working together from a shared vision (challenge 1); Responding appropriately to children’s development (challenge 2); Maintaining dialogue (challenge 3); Formulating learning objectives and developing well-reasoned activities within meaningful themes (challenge 4); Optimal learning opportunities for all children (challenge 5). In this chapter, we discuss these five challenges, provide tools and guidelines and describe some good practices from the Netherlands.
Professional is here taken to mean: a pedagogical worker or teacher for Group 1 and/or 2. In some situations we use educators instead professionals, when the situation is directly related to upbringing children.