Am I Raising Lazy and Entitled Kids?

“You have to do your own growing. No matter how tall your grandfather was.”
-Abraham Lincoln

Ouch! Wake up call! This is a question perhaps many parents have asked time and again. How do I avoid raising the local neighborhood brat? How do I build empathy, respect and a spirit of sensitivity in my child?

This week after bath time in preparing for our upcoming Spring Break trip to Mexico, Daddy was showing the two older boys photos of the pool at the resort where we will be staying. Keep in mind, this is not Disneyland or a massive waterpark by any stretch of the imagination. It is a modest, family hotel with a separate adult and kid section. According to the photos it has a nice kiddie slide with water features and areas on the equipment to squirt each other, dump water and play. About halfway through our family conversation together perusing photos one of my children said to the other.

“That does not look like fun at all, how boring…”

Continue reading Am I Raising Lazy and Entitled Kids?

Exposing Preschool Philosophies- Play Based vs. Academic

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood”
-Fred Rogers

It’s not a surprise to say that parents do the best they can to provide for their children’s futures. I had my first child during the hype of Baby Einstein, Black and White Genius Baby Toys, Gymboree Classes and Mommy Play-Groups starting at 6 weeks old. I belong to the parenting era of endless waitlists and mommy coffee/yoga-pant conversations. I remember pushing my stroller into a play-group with a Starbucks in hand. It didn’t take long to realize that my son had a very full-schedule pretty soon out of the womb. How did I get here?

Continue reading Exposing Preschool Philosophies- Play Based vs. Academic

Choosing a School for your Child

“Parents are grasping at every straw to maximize their children’s chances to do well in the world.”
-Malcolm Gladwell

If you have been on a play-date or attended a student athletic event; if your child is nearing or is of matriculation age and you have spent considerable time at Preschool or been on an Elementary, Middle or High School Campus and chatted with other parents in Southern California you have likely been exposed to the anxiety surrounding the private school admission season among us.

This season, while it begins at any time in the calendar year (depending on who you consult and the institutions for which you are interested) typically heats-up each January of your child’s application year, usually beginning with early education. Acceptance, wait-pool and regret letters begin the distribution cycle and responses are expected from parents thus the question and cycle begins “where should I send my child to school?”

The admission series again rises-up in March with the independent school admissions announcements informing students of their future with each institution. This process does not wind down  until spring when the wait-pool is exhausted. Again, parents are introspective, digging deep, looking inward and as Gladwell quotes “grasping at every straw to maximize their children’s chances to do well in the world.”

Applying for an independent school where the best, brightest and top students are selected in a highly-competitive environment such as Los Angeles, or other competitive areas in Southern California where demand is high and supply is low can be a jarring journey. If accepted then parents ask now what? Where is the best place for my child? Where should I send my student? How do I make this decision?

Choosing a school is selecting a course that sets your little one on the route of life-long learning. So how do you select the right school for your child amidst the pressure and anxiety of this season?

 Tips on Selecting the Right School for Your Child

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Christmas is a Time to Love

Everybody knows
A turkey and some misletoe
Can help to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight

Amidst the hustle, honking, smells, shopping; the UPS deliveries and Amazon. Among all of the sights and sounds of this busy season. During Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and bringing in the New Years festivities, Christmas is about so much more than what we make it. For many people especially with children the holidays can be difficult to manage just due to schedules, holiday programs and parties.

For others, there may be grief or pain. The holidays, for some people may remind us of loved ones lost; or of the struggle of being a single parent- perhaps this is the first year? Maybe there is a conflict in an important relationship? Imaginably, the holidays can possibly bring back tough memories of moments in our own childhoods that may not have been pleasant.

If these memories exist for us as as adults it could conceivably be difficult to persevere in making new memories for children while teaching them about the real meaning of Christmas. Even if your childhood Christmas memories were filled with gumdrops, candy canes and the love of family; teaching your children realness and truth can still present a challenge for any parent.

The hopes and fears of all the years, are met in thee tonight

What is the realness and truth of Christmas that we can teach our children? It is that Christmas is about love. Children need to be shown and taught genuine love and affection from the adults in their lives, not just at Christmas but also, all year long. The best way that we can teach this to our children is to model it for them. We can show love in our relationships with them and also in the relationships we have with other people in our lives. The relationships we have with each other (as husband/wife, mother/father, aunt/uncle, etc.). We model love in how we treat other people and how we treat them as children everyday, how we talk with people and about people. How we talk with them and to them; when they are in the room and when they are not in the room. It is all a model and example of love. Continue reading Christmas is a Time to Love

Home & School Partnerships that Engage, Equip and Empower

When parents and teachers experience disequilibrium and do not feel understood in an educational environment it can be frustrating. At times there can be a pervasive perception on both parts of teachers and schools of not feeling heard and thus allowing communication to breakdown. For example; if a parent doesn’t feel that their student’s teacher appreciates their child’s uniqueness and specialness- this can lead to roadblocks in future conversations. If a parent’s communication style is overpowering or even if a parent, for some reason isn’t available to dialogue with a teacher – these are relationship circumstances that can appear to be overwhelming to overcome – for both educators and families.

I have been on both sides of the educational partnership gamut as a teacher/administrator and today- I have grown to learn my role in the relationship with educators being a parent myself. Becoming frustrated or feeling that communication has broken down with a child’s teacher or school administrator can happen in the best of schools and with the greatest communicators. I have seen this disequilibrium surface, on occasion no matter what hat you wear in the relationship.

I believe that the most impactful strategies to combat irritation and interruptions in the education environment are though home and school partnerships that seek to engage, equip and empower people into effectual communicators for the benefit of students.

 What is a Home and School Partnership

Simply stated- one of the most authentic ways to advance student development academically and socially is through a partnership that links the home/school bond. When parents, teachers and administrators are able to share openly/honestly about a student there are opportunities for greater student advancement in both settings.

 Looking Way Back

When I was growing-up if something happened at school I remember my parents would ask my opinion and we would have a discussion. If more information was needed they would talk to the teacher and together- my parents and the teacher would make a plan and let me know the solution. My parents and the teacher were going to make a plan together.  I always knew (my) home and the school were on the same side (even if internally they weren’t for one reason or another- I never knew).

And, by the way this was not something unique to my family of origin. Many families adhered to this ethic. There was an unspoken partnership and trust where the school (administration/teachers) and parents worked in harmony together.

 Today

Today it seems, in many situations educational partnerships between families and schools is something to be sought or yearned after. When  I look around at various educational environments, listen to political speeches, Home and School Partnerships are becoming something to be campaigned on a poster or listed in a school’s statement of philosophy as opposed to an ethic that is intrinsically driven as a natural way of functioning? Comprehensive partnerships that are meaningful and life changing; supporting students, families and schools are meant to be individual and unique to each community driven by school’s and parents natural desire for effectual communication.

 Partnerships Have Problems Too

As a former teacher and executive director I was always eager to build a partnership with parents. Over the last 18 years that I’ve worked with parents- I believe building relationships is the key to getting to know the children parents tuck-in at night. I believe strong educational connections are the glue to getting to know the little people parents soothe and comfort when they have a fever.

Continue reading Home & School Partnerships that Engage, Equip and Empower

The Battle to Slow Down…

I hear my children call for me, they need me. I put down the shiny screen, end a much needed conversation and my thoughts come to an abrupt conclusion for now. I drop what I’m doing and tend to their needs. The battle within me beckons to multitask because there never seems to be enough time.

“Mommy I need you, I’m sad, please help me.”

I walk in the room and my children naturally fall into my arms. I can provide calm and comfort. I am naturally able to talk through their concerns and comfort their fears.

My one year-old cries in the night because we are visiting a new place.  I hold him swaying back-and-forth rocking his body back to sleep. I look into his heavy eyes, my fingers are brushing his red hair and thoughts are racing through my own sleepy mind.

I think to myself...

“He is comforted by me.  He is still so small and yet growing-up so fast. This past year is already gone. He is my last baby. Am I doing a good job?  Am I a good mother? Do I appreciate him enough? What is enough?  Do I appreciate all of my children enough in this fast-paced life?” 
 
 

I look at this resting gift, a baby in my arms. I say a gentle prayer for this darling child and snuggle him back into his crib.

I am a mommy.  I make every effort to fix what is broken in my children’s lives. This is my calling and my work- it is natural. My instinct is to protect and resolve but my job is to guide and prepare.

Someday- I’m reminded by those who are wiser and have gone before- there will be “a last cry in the middle of the night, a last tear for mommy to help and a last sneak to sleep in the middle of our bed.

And when these days come, how then will I feel? Part of my heart aches when I contemplate these thoughts.

As my kids grow-up I pray they become strong, loving, giving men. And I know that as they mature my kids will naturally need me less and less. If I’m blessed I will have a lifetime of memories; bon fires, Disney Junior, waffle Saturday, soccer games, cowboy dress-up, Christmas morning, homework fights, long talks and of course my own middle of the night crib side thoughts, praying over my children.  

This journey is not coming, I’m in it right now. It is here. Being a parent is being present and real, it is hard and heartfelt. Many times my watch is conflicted because of time, resources and the demands of the world but my emotions always pull me in the direction of home.

When I look back on these years will I have any sense of regret?

Should I have said and done things that I never did? What should I have given that I never gave?

The last two years I’ve worked hard to be a reformer of seeing my children. To know them and relish in true appreciation of moments that I know I will never have back. The truth is, like most parents I have success and failure everyday. And each day I’m growing and transforming my own life to delight in every stage of childhood as it mixes and molds with a growing family.

I’m becoming cured of passing by worms, neglecting the specialness of choo choo observing and dandelion picking. Instead when a little voice calls me, I try and stop to study these mysteries with the little people in my family. I negotiate with Netflix binges, adult conversations and work schedules in exchange for fort building, wrestling matches, longer baths and requests for extra stories.

With less regard for schedules I take my child’s hand and I try. I do my best to make time to see what my children need. To smell, taste, hear, feel, hug and kiss because someday soon these will only be memories in my mind and I will be reminding another young mother of all the things I did and all the things I didn’t in the battle to slow down. 

Continue reading The Battle to Slow Down…

Nurturing a Habit of Gratitude… Not Just an Attitude

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love holiday time. For the celebration, tradition and connection to my faith and roots. The acquaintance with old and new friends through cards, letters and gatherings.  It brings me joy to hear my kids sing a song, laugh endlessly and see the sparkle of hope in their eyes.  I anticipate all year these precious moments with family, friends and the people I cherish the most.

These are memories I know will forever imprint themselves in the consciousness of my children. These are occasions to be embraced, they are special and set aside.  I do my very best to make them different from any other day.

I’m reminded with the hustle of the holidays, giving thanks and advent, getting family organized, turkey, travel plans, holiday programs and gifts that this season is about more.  It’s about giving and gratitude.

I stop to ask myself as I unpack a box of decorations or make another shopping-list…do my kids understand why we do all of this? Do my children grasp the real meaning of giving? 

I wonder sometimes if we are so busy putting on the holiday for our children to experience that we forget to teach them what the celebration is about and what we value?

The reality is that learning gratitude is not just a holiday virtue. It is a yearlong and life-long lesson that begins at birth. Teaching gratitude begins and is modeled at home. It continues to evolve far beyond teaching the words to our babies “please” and “thank-you.”

For all of us gratitude allows perspective and encourages healthy relationships. It enables us to live a genuine, sincere life free from arrogance. Teaching our children to be grateful will plant seeds of humility.  How does a child internalize appreciation? Teaching gratitude is a strategic and age-appropriate investment in your child’s understanding of what the world has given to provide for their needs. The most important facet to cultivating habits of gratitude is developing a relationship with your child to explain and demonstrate teachable moments throughout each age and stage of their life.

Continue reading Nurturing a Habit of Gratitude… Not Just an Attitude

Promoting Social Acceptance & Self Esteem in our Children

It seems that every phase of our kid’s development has brought its individual set of opportunities and challenges. Jason and I have 3 boys and each are different with their own unique dispositions. But just like all families it has been with our oldest son Dylan where we have experienced all of the “firsts” as parents.

Like a typical first born Dylan had the benefit of being our only child for four and a half years before his brothers came around. And because he is my son, I naturally knew “everything textbook about child development” (tongue-in-cheek) and Jason followed willingly. Dylan became a bit of an experiment, combination of trial and error mixed with a bit of book knowledge, history, advice from well-meaning others and natural instinct. So far he has turned out pretty good.

Dylan has developed a pretty classic first-born personality which was a contribution of overly doting on him and being excessively neurotic about things like organic food, anti-immunizations, germ-a-phobia and over-scheduling his activities from toddlerhood on up. And every parent of a first-born can likely relate in one-way or another regardless of their parenting style. Dylan didn’t necessarily come out of the womb with the disposition to take the lead or to set the pace; he has been conditioned since birth to walk a straight line and has learned to expect undivided attention in both positive and negative situations. As a first-born Dylan is a pleaser, perfectionist, confident, organized, cautious, and a high-achiever.

Continue reading Promoting Social Acceptance & Self Esteem in our Children

Looking at Program Philosophies- A Parent’s Journey

“How does a Parent begin to know the type of learner their child is when they are so young?
That is a really tough question.
But,  I wonder….is this even the right question?
Should we be asking instead, as Parents and Teachers…
What is this young child’s disposition?” 

Lillian Katz a professor and researcher has been studying dispositions of young children for over 30 years. “…a disposition is a pattern of behavior exhibited frequently . . . in the absence of coercion . . . constituting a habit of mind under some conscious and voluntary control . . . intentional and oriented to broad goals.”  (Katz; 1993b, 16).

Whatever the specific question, parents typically begin the process to find the answer and they start by looking at their child because they are searching for the educational environment best suited for their little one.  Whether it be Preschool or Elementary School-  as parents,  you might begin navigating this road, seeking advice from those in your community. Your immediate family, your child’s Teachers, the Director of your child’s Preschool, Grandparents.. .perhaps close friends?

This quest might be compared to the chasm of asking 100 doctors for their opinions… if you did this you just might get 100 different answers. Asking for opinions coupled with every person’s personal ‘birth stories’ and the individual ‘Tales of Preschool or Kindergarten Expeditions’. These stories are either helpful or horrific and contribute to your personal journey in building confidence or anxiety and thus preparing you and your child- at least in part for the first expected formal transition(s).

And then there is us. Educators in some form. We are Educational Consultants, Therapists, Social Workers, Teachers, Administrators- all professionals. For those educators who invest in supporting parents and for parents who desire companions on the journey to find answers to these perplexing questions with their children-  I believe this. Partnerships between educators and parents empowers confidence.  When a parent seeks support in knowing their their child’s dispositions, gifts, talents and needs it transforms futures.

(Quote Reference: Katz, L.G. 1993. Dispositions: Definitions and Implications. In Talks with Teachers: Reflections on early
 childhood education, Washington, DC: NAEYC)

 An Answer

I Believe in Empowerment. I believe in parents and that you truly know what is best for your child. How do you find that answer? Through knowledge, power, information, support and searching your spirit and soul to enable you to make informed, healthy and honest decisions.

Continue reading Looking at Program Philosophies- A Parent’s Journey

Evidence of Quality

As Parents we want the best for our children…

 Evidence of Quality

As Parents, we want the best for our children.
From the moment we learn of our newfound journey, we begin reading books, visiting doctors, taking classes and curtailing our lives around these tiny people to expand our knowledge and glean all we can to provide the best possible outcome for our little loves. And truthfully- does this ever stop?

When it’s time to prepare for their education, we similarly look for, talk to and research the best environment for our kids to thrive. Whether it is a Parent-Toddler Class all the way to their college applications we feel it our mission to support our kids from cradle to career.

We use the term “quality” about schools and educational environments. But what does that mean? What does that look like? From my perspective it means many things and can be looked at from a variety of angles. One blog post can’t begin to dissect the entirety of this word from the perspective of preschools, independent schools, public, private, and charter. But it can shed a bit of light on the fundamental basics.

 How Shall We Define Quality? 

For this purpose it is the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind, the degree of excellence of something.

Therefore, quality in school programs is typically objectifiable and measurable. We see this in our public and private school systems when we look at how schools measure their achievements. Private and independent schools are recognized through memberships, accreditations, associations, awards and through the standards to which they adhere. California public schools are recognized through their API (Academic Performance Index) scores, Blue Ribbon and as California Distinguished Schools, for example.

There may be some schools, in particular, elementary or early education programs that do not regularly subscribe to particular standards yet they are (or consider themselves) quality. While this may be a more qualitative approach, it is truly up to the individuals involved, (attending and assessing each program) to determine quality if no such quantitative measurement system exists. The absence of standards of measurement does not necessarily or automatically disqualify a program from being quality.

Parents getting started in the school search process can look to some basic and foundational universal signs for which quality early education and elementary schools are usually consistent. Parents can become aware of indicators and what to look for when seeking quality programs for their child.

 Indicators of Quality: Relationships 

“Programs promote positive relationships among all students and adults. They encourage each student’s sense of individual worth and belonging as part of a community and foster each student’s ability to contribute as a responsible community member. Warm, sensitive, and responsive relationships help students feel secure and supported in all areas of their development and achievement. The secure environment built by positive relationships help students thrive physically, benefit from learning experiences, and cooperate and get along with others.”

 What to Look for in a Program?

Students and adults feel welcome when they visit the program. Teachers help students in all areas of their development (not just academically). Relationships focus on the whole child.
Teaching staff engage in warm, friendly conversations with the students and encourage and recognize students work and accomplishments.
Students have time for play, and this is encouraged. Students are invited to work together.
Teachers help students resolve conflicts by identifying feelings, describing problems, and trying alternative solutions.
Curriculum

“The program implements a curriculum that is consistent with its goals for children and promotes learning and development according to the age and stage of the program. A well-planned written curriculum provides a guide for teachers and administrators. It helps them work together and balance different activities and approaches to maximize student’s learning and development. The curriculum includes goals for the content that students are learning, planned activities linked to these goals, daily schedules and routines, and materials to be used.”

Ask about the program’s curriculum and how it addresses all aspects of student development and achievement. The curriculum should not focus on just one area of development. Children are given opportunities to learn and develop through exploration and play, and teachers have opportunities to work with individual children and small groups on specific skills. Materials and equipment spark children’s interest and encourage them to experiment and learn. Activities are designed to help children get better at reasoning, solving problems, getting along with others, using language, and developing other skills.
If looking for a Preschool, Infants and toddlers play with toys and art materials that “do something” based on children’s actions, such as jack-in-the-box, cups that fit inside one another and play dough.
Teaching

“Programs use developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and effective teaching approaches that enhance student learning and development in the context of the curriculum goals. Students have different learning styles, needs, capacities, interests, and backgrounds. By recognizing these differences and using instructional approaches that are appropriate for each student, teachers and staff help all students learn.” NAEYC

  • Teachers carefully supervise all children
  • Teachers provide time each day for indoor and outdoor activities (weather permitting) and organize time and space so that children have opportunities to work and play individually and in groups
  • Students recent work (for example, art and writing, stories) is displayed in the classroom to help students reflect on and extend their learning
  • Teachers modify teaching strategies and materials to respond to the needs and interests of individual children, engaging each child and enhancing learning
  • Assessment is a part of the program and curriculum is adjusted to support students in reaching assessment goals

“The program is informed by ongoing systematic, formal, and informal assessment approaches to provide information on student’s learning and development. These assessments occur within the context of reciprocal communications with families and with sensitivity to the cultural contexts in which children develop. Assessment results benefit students by informing sound decisions, teaching, and program improvement. Assessments help teachers plan appropriately challenging curriculum and tailor instruction that responds to each student’s strengths and needs. Assessments can also help teachers identify students with disabilities and ensuring that they receive needed to support”

The program supports student learning using a variety of assessment tools. Assessment methods are appropriate for student age and level of development and encompass all areas of development and learning, including math, science, and other cognitive skills; language; (social-emotional (classroom behavior); and physical (physical education).

Teachers use assessment methods and information to design goals for individual children and monitor their progress, as well as to improve the program and its teaching strategies.
Families receive information about their student’s progress and learning on a regular basis, through meetings or conferences.
Health

“The program promotes the nutrition and health of students and protects students and staff from illness and injury. Students must be healthy and safe to learn and grow. Programs must be healthy and safe to support student’s healthy development”.

Staff has training in pediatric first aid. If a preschool or child care serving infants, infants are placed on their backs to sleep.
The program has policies regarding regular hand washing, and a facility is routinely cleaned and sanitized all surfaces in the facility.
There is a clear plan for responding to illness, including how to decide whether a student needs to go home and how families will be notified. Snacks and meals are nutritious, and the food is prepared and stored safely.

 Teachers 

“The program employs and supports a teaching staff with the educational qualifications, knowledge, and professional commitment necessary to promote student’s learning and development and to support families’ diverse needs and interests. Teachers who have specific preparation, knowledge, and skills in child development and early childhood and elementary education are more likely to provide positive interactions, richer language experiences, and quality learning environments”.

The teaching staff has educational qualifications and specialized knowledge about young children, teaching, child development and education. Ask, for example, how many teachers have associate degrees, bachelor degrees, master degrees and teaching credentials.
Ask how many teachers are aides working toward their credentials and placed in a classroom with a fully credentialed teacher.
Preschools according to the State of California, for example, allow teachers to be fully qualified and if in ratio, alone with children with only 12 post-secondary community college courses. This would be, 1 Child Development Course, 2 Curriculum Courses and 1 Home, Family and Community Course. Ask if the Preschool requires more education beyond the state minimum for fully-qualified teachers.

The program makes provisions for ongoing staff development, including orientations for new staff and opportunities for continuing education. Teaching staff have training in the program’s curriculum and work as a teaching team.

 Families

“The program establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with each student’s family to foster development. These relationships are sensitive to family composition, language, and culture. To support student’s optimal learning and development, programs need to establish relationships with families based on mutual trust and respect, involve families in their student’s educational growth, and encourage families to fully participate in the program.”

All families are welcome and encouraged to be involved in all aspects of the program. Teachers and staff talk with families about their family structure and their views about their child’s learning and they use that information to support the curriculum and teaching methods for individual children as well as the group. Professionals work as advocates and on behalf of students in consultation with all members of the family unit. The program uses a variety of strategies to communicate with families, including family conferences, new family orientations, and individual conversations, letter, emails and phone-calls. Program information—including policies and operating procedures—is provided and when/if necessary in a language that families can understand.

 Community Relationships

“The program establishes relationships with and uses the resources of the student’s communities to support the achievement of program goals. Relationships with agencies and institutions in the community and around the world can help a program achieve its goals and connect families with resources that support student’s healthy development and enhance learning opportunities.”

The program connects with and uses museums, parks, libraries, zoos for field trips; other schools in need (adopt a school) or even mission trips for older children and other resources in the community.

Representatives from community programs, such as musical performers and local artists, are invited to share their interests and talents with the children. The staff develops professional relationships with community agencies and organizations that further the program’s capacity to meet the needs and interests of children and families.

 Physical Environment

“The program has a safe and healthful environment that provides appropriate and well-maintained indoor and outdoor physical environments. The environment includes facilities, equipment, and materials to facilitate student and staff learning and development. An organized, properly equipped, and well-maintained program environment promotes the learning, comfort, health, and safety of the students and adults who use the program.”

 

The facility is designed so that staff can supervise all children by sight and sound. The program has necessary furnishings, such as hand-washing sinks, student-size chairs and tables and a variety of equipment clean, safe and in good repair. For Preschools/Infant centers, cots, cribs, or sleeping pads. Outdoor play areas have fences or natural barriers that prevent access to streets and other hazards. First-aid kits, fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and other safety equipment are installed and available.

 Leadership and Management

“The program effectively implements policies, procedures, and systems that support stable staff and strong personnel, and fiscal, and program management, so all children, families, and staff have high-quality experiences. Effective management and operations, knowledgeable leaders, and sensible policies and procedures are essential to building a quality program and maintaining the quality over time.”

The program administrator has the necessary educational qualifications, including a degree from a four-year college and specialized courses in early childhood education, child development, elementary education, administration, human development or related fields. The program is licensed and regulated by the applicable state agency. The program’s written policies and procedures are shared with families and address issues such as the program’s philosophy and curriculum goals, policies on guidance and discipline, and health and safety procedures.

Appropriate group sizes and ratios of teaching staff to children are maintained.
(References: NAEYC Program Standards www.naeyc.org)

Should We Be Concerned About Quality?

In a Simple Answer, Yes!

Research has shown that quality programming for families who choose to place children in Preschool or Child Care (whether it is because they are working or having readiness Preschool experiences) is beneficial for the entire family. If you are a parent or provider of young children and you are contemplating critical issues, NAEYC has authored fact-based position statements that face young children that directly relate to quality. Families and practitioners who educate themselves on these critical and controversial issues are better equipped to;

  • Build better partnerships with each other
  • Support their communities in offering high-quality programs
  • Foster and educate others on developmentally appropriate practices
  • Advocate for and deliver best-practices when faced with unique or unusual circumstances
  • “NAEYC Position Statements are adopted by the Governing Board to state the Association’s position on issues related to early childhood education practice, policy, and professional development for which there are controversial or critical opinions. Position Statements are developed through a consensus-building approach that seeks to convene diverse perspectives and areas of expertise related to the issue and provide opportunities for members and others to provide input and feedback.” NAEYC
  • In developing and disseminating position statements, NAEYC aims to:
    Take informed positions on significant, controversial issues affecting young children’s education and development
  • Promote broad-based dialogue on these issues, within and beyond the early childhood field;
  • Create a shared language and evidence-based frame of reference so that practitioners, decision makers, and families may talk together about key issues in early childhood education;
  • Influence public policies;
  • Stimulate investments needed to create accessible, affordable, high-quality learning environments and professional development; and
  • Build more satisfying experiences and better educational and developmental outcomes for all young children.” (NAEYC)
 References: Adapted; The National Association for the Education of Young Children holds the copyright for all material. The position statements and excerpts of program standards can be downloaded and reproduced for free. More information is available on NAEYC's website, www.naeyc.org.