Research reveals inappropriate practices in early childhood education

Screams, threats and insults to control children’s behavior are still a practice that occurs in day care centers and preschools that serve infants and five-year-olds. A study conducted by the Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation (FMCSV) on 1,800 schools in 12 Brazilian cities found that 10.8% of classes were visited, meaning that this practice was found in virtually one in ten classes.

“This data is a warning and very worrying. These are unacceptable situations, both verbal and physical violence, “said Beatriz Abuchaim, FMCSV’s applied knowledge manager. “It simply came to our notice then. There was an outside agent who was watching and he did not feel censored for this behavior, for this attitude, ”he said.

The survey was conducted in 2021 in 12 municipalities in all regions of the country. A total of 3,467 classes were visited, including 1,683 kindergartens and 1,784 preschools, in 1,807 schools, all of which are run directly by City Hall, whether public or contracted.

The purpose of the study is to collect information about the quality of early childhood education in the country. Although the data is not national, according to the FMCSV’s applied knowledge manager, they show the trend of early childhood education in Brazil. According to him, unlike other levels of education like primary and high school, there is still no official information about the quality of day care centers and pre-schools.

The study sought to observe the educational practices of the schools and concluded that, in general, the education imparted is considered regular, i.e., what is being given is minimal and action is required so that officially available documents, such as Common National Curriculum Base (BCNN), satisfactorily. Is implemented.

Researchers have found that, for example, only 10% of children in class have access to free books. In addition, in 55% of the classes, not a single moment of reading story books for children was observed in the routine.

“This information worries us a lot because we know from other studies that reading is fundamental to children’s reading and writing process. We got books at school. They have programs that buy books and distribute them to schools. Books are available in schools, but it does not seem to be a daily activity in the classroom under observation, “Beatriz said.

Among other results, the survey also found that 67% of the class had no experience with nature. 27% of children have no experience in theater, music or dance. Of the 38%, kids even have this experience with these industries, but without the strategies that allow them to play a leading role in these activities.

Child education

Beatriz further explains that early childhood education is one of the most important stages of education because it lays the foundation for human development, both educational and cognitive, as well as in emotional and social relationships. “Having a good experience early in life makes all the difference for these adults that this baby will one day”, he noted.

The study aims to serve as a subsidy for municipalities, which are responsible for early childhood education in Brazil. One of the issues raised on the basis of information is the need to train educators to better fill the stage.

Beatriz also highlighted the need to implement the National Curriculum Common Base, whose implementation schedule was delayed due to the epidemic. The BNCC is an official document, provided by law, that sets out the minimum that should be taught in both public and private institutions across the country.

“The BNCC is developing a lot of early childhood education, setting a precedent for more traditional education. It manages the curriculum through areas of experience. It is not a disciplined argument, it is a more traditional argument of education, it is a guarantee of the right to learn, “he argued.

BNCC provides early childhood education, for example, children can spread knowledge about movement, gestures, sounds, shapes, textures, colors, sounds, emotions, transformations, relationships, stories, objects, elements of nature, at school and beyond. About culture in its various ways: art, writing, science and technology.


The National Institute of Educational Studies and Research (UNICEF) has included early childhood education in the primary education assessment system (SAEB). The phase was analyzed on a pilot basis in 2019 and in 2021, it was evaluated on a sample basis. Early childhood education should be assessed every two years through the application of electronic questions of a non-cognitive nature. The results have not been released yet.

Education is compulsory from the age of four in pre-school in Brazil. Day care is not a mandatory step. The decision on enrollment depends on the family. But the state must ensure that there are vacancies for those who wish to do so.

By law, Brazil will have to serve at least 50% of three-year-olds in day care centers by 2024. The target is set out in the National Education Plan (PNE), Act 13.005 / 2014. According to the latest available data, since 2019, 37% of children of this age have been enrolled.

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