‘Early Childhood Policies in Countries of the South – Open Lecture

Professor Helen Penn
University of East London

Wednesday 9 April 2008 6 – 8 pm Stratford Campus Room: RB1.16 Education Building ALL WELCOME

Helen Penn is Professor of Early Childhood at the University of East London and Co-Director of the International Centre for the Study of the Mixed Economy of Childcare, based in the School of Education. While her research was initially concerned with UK policy and practice in early years and she still undertakes some local and national policy work, in the last 10 years she became involved in comparative policy work, mostly in the South (developing countries) especially in central Asia and Southern Africa. She has undertaken consultancies for a number of international agencies on evaluating and costing systems of early education and care, both in the North (developed world) and in the South. These include studies of early childhood provision in Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa, as well as a critique of the dismantling of kindergarten systems in ex-Soviet countries and their satellites. She has also been a rapporteur for the OECD study on early childhood education and care. A key focus of her work is on the relationship between childcare for time poor working women, the eradication of child poverty and early childhood development programmes. She has written a number of papers and articles on these issues including: Unequal Childhoods: Young Children’s Lives in Poor Countries (Routledge, 2005). She is currently working on a review for CfBT on rethinking early childhood programmes in Southern Africa provisionally entitled “Do charities do more harm than good?”
In this Open Lecture Professor Penn will explore the processes by which early childhood policies get formulated and implemented in countries of the South.

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