VSCode is much friendlier to beginners, uses a UX language that is more modern with more modern shortcuts, and it plays well with Windows.
I never liked Emacs’ parallel universe of short cuts. A couple of decades growing up on windows, using C-x, C-c, C-v, C-z, for cut, copy, paste, undo (especially after writing many many papers…). So the first think I do when working with folks coming to Emacs from a windows background is have them turn on CUA-mode, which turns emacs into more-or-less an advanced notepad for them. Then instead of flailing around trying to learn new shortcuts and avoiding the mouse via the “Emacs way” (which is honestly weird), they can immediately apply what they know and get to work (similar to what you get with VSCode or any other typical editing environment). Use familiar keyboard/mouse interactions and emacs feels far less alien. Migrate toward keyboard only if you want/need to later (extremely advantageous when accessing remote machines via terminal).
it is unclear to me which editor
Spacemacs + Clojure layer (includes Cider) + CUA-mode is my go to. I am fascinated by the growth in usability of the VSCode world though; the out-of-box experience is pretty excellent, and probably welcome for beginners. I think the emacs setup will grow with your for the long haul, since you can use emacs seamlessly for everything (e.x. editing org, latex, html, whatever…). Any time I have needed to edit something, I find a spacemacs layer or an emacs package for it. So the “ecosystem” is incredibly robust IMO, even without all the customizations you can apply.
I am unsure about the debugging situation in Calva, but Cider’s debugger integration and inspector are really nice. I tend not to use them a lot, but when I have needed them they were invaluable.