Subject: Early Childhood Education Academic director: Giladi Ayelet, Dr Funding: The Hadassah Foundation and the Institute for Innovation in Education
In recent times, we have witnessed in Israel the increase of the ultra-orthodox men and women seeking higher education and entrance into the workforce. The reason for this surge is manifold and touches upon aspects of social and political forces in Israel and of current socio-economic-political development in the Haredi community in the last decade.
Approximately one third of the families that participate in the early childhood programs “From Birth to University” are from the Haredi segment. The Institute enriches, guides and supervises some 50 Haredi working women in these programs. In the course off work there is a constant need to enrich more of these women to join the workforce in early childhood programs in general as well as in the Institute’s programs.
In view of that, the Institute’s academic director, Dr. Ayelet Giladi initiated the program of enrichment for Haredi women by means of a course specializing in early childhood. The first course began in December 2013, its first goal was to open up a window for Haredi women to learn academic material, and to enrich and support them as knowledgeable role models in their own communities.
The length of the course is 15 weekly meetings, 75 hours total. Course content is based upon a diversity of subjects: emotional development, forms of communication, social development, empathy, bibliotherapy, decoding children’s drawings, group counseling, representing the Institute’s programs and more.
The main goals of the course are:
Enriching Haredi women to be aides in early childhood programs
Imparting tools necessary for professional work or for paraprofessional work in early childhood education in their personal lives, communal lives and professional lives.
Secondary goals are:
To increase the number of Haredi professional women working in early childhood education.
To impart knowledge about emotional, cognitive and motoric development and promote readiness in early childhood education.
To impart professional skills and tools for working with young children.
Gearing the program to the Haredi community with its unique culture.
Integrating the women in to the workforce in early childhood programs, and into the workforce of the early childhood programs of the Institute for Innovation in Education.
Initiating and utilizing the diversity of tools learned in the course in their field work.
At present the third course is in progress and we are getting many requests from the field that express the wish that more such courses be made available.