Interculturality or Government of Childhood? Challenges of Indigenous Child Care in Colombia

  • Vivian Lissette Ospina Tascón
  • Tatiana Calderón García
  • Martin J. Packer
Keywords: childcare; institutions; young children; government; Indigenous


A global phenomenon is the reorganization of care for very young children. Institutions are replacing the context of family and community. Increasingly in Colombia young children spend hours each day in institutions directed by public policy and administrative guidelines. We explore, first, how research on this phenomenon adopts a reductionist perspective, a focus on “quality” and “outcomes” measured in ways that assume a Western axiology. Second, we consider how the institutionalization of childhood amounts to a “government” that imposes Western individualism. Third, we illustrate the tension created for childcare professionals and for Indigenous communities as their rights to make decisions about the best ways to care for children are threatened.

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