Online Companion: Beginning Essentials in Early Childhood Education
Chapter 2: Types of Programs
- Choose five of
the 10 indicators of quality for programs for young children and describe
- What are the components
of a successful out-of-school-time program?
- What are the three
criteria on which developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) are based?
- Define what is
meant by "developmentally and culturally appropriate practice" (DCAP).
- How does the evaluation
process relate to the issue of high-quality programs?
- To name and describe
the variety of programs, pointing out both similarities and differences
- Which programs
best support parents' need for child care along with education?
How do they do this?
- As a parent,
what are your feelings about all-day kindergarten? What are the
pros and cons of this program?
- To foster an understanding
that cultural diversity is an integral part of every early childhood
- How do you
gather information from families about their diverse backgrounds?
What sort of questions do you ask? How do you ask them?
- What strategies
could you use to determine if what you say is interpreted accurately
and understood by families who may not speak your language?
- To provide an overview
of program evaluations.
- What is meant
by the statement, "Evaluation is a process"?
- How is the
evaluation of one area of a program, say curriculum, related to
another area, such as parent involvement?
- To provide DAP
for all programs.
- Visit two programs
that have been recommended as "developmentally appropriate." How
are they alike? How do they differ? Which of them responds to the
author's suggestion that the head, the heart, and the soul of the
child care providers are the essence of DAP? How is this demonstrated?
WEB ACTIVITY AND
Go to the Web site
for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Search for and read the FAQs about Accreditation. After reading:
- Prepare a presentation
to a group of fellow students on the accreditation process.
- Prepare a presentation
to a group of parents on the importance of accreditation of early childhood
- Read the "Characteristics
of High Quality." How do these relate to the three "Indicators of Quality"
found in Chapter 2?
- Find an early childhood
program that is accredited by the NAEYC's Academy and interview the
director, a teacher, and a parent for their viewpoint on the pros and
cons of the accreditation process.
Reflect on These
- Which accredited
programs can be found in your area?
- Describe the six
explicit values on which accreditation standards are based.
- How do you see
these values contributing to children's positive learning and development?
ANNOTATED WEB SITES
Families and Work
The Families and Work
Institute is a non-profit center for research that provides data to inform
decision-making on the changing workforce, changing family, and changing
community. The Web site offers publications, articles, and current information
on work-life research.
for the Education of Young Children
The National Association
for the Education of Young Children's Web site provides NAEYC's current
position statements (such as the Code of Ethical Conduct and DAP papers),
information on program accreditation, a resource bookstore, employment
opportunities, and articles from back issues of Young Children.
for Family Child Care
The National Association
for Family Child Care Web site offers information about accreditation
of family child care homes, conferences, publications, and support for
the wide network of family day care providers.
Culturally & Linguistically
Culturally and linguistically
appropriate services are listed on this Web site, which is a federally
funded effort of the Office of Special Education for the U.S. Department
of Education. The information is available in Spanish and English. The
CLAS Institute identifies, collects, reviews, catalogs, and describes
materials developed for children and families from culturally and linguistically
for Children and Families/Head Start
This Web site for
the Administration for Children and Families will link you with the Head
Start Bureau. Information is in English and Spanish. Head Start's policies,
programs, services, publications, research, and statistics are available.
Answers to Chapter
- The curriculum
encourages children to be actively involved in the learning process,
to experience a variety of developmentally appropriate activities and
materials, and to pursue their own interests in the context of life
in the community and the world.
Relationships among teachers and families are based on a partnership
to ensure high-quality care and education. Parents feel supported and
welcomed as observers and contributors to the program.
The program is staffed by adults who are trained in child and family
development and who recognize and meet the developmental and learning
needs of children and families. They recognize that the quality and
the competence of the staff are the most important determinants of the
quality in an early childhood program.
The indoor and outdoor physical environment is designed to promote optimal
growth and development through opportunities for exploration and learning.
The quality of physical space and materials affects the levels of involvement
of the children and the quality of interactions between adults and children.
Ongoing and systematic evaluation is essential to improve and maintain
the quality of an early childhood program. Evaluation should focus on
the program's effectiveness in meeting the needs of children, families,
- Flexible hours
and schedules that match other school calendars; reasonable fees; clear
lines of communications with parents and families; utilization of community
resources such as libraries, swimming pools, and parks; supplemental
to and supportive of regular school programs, rather than extension
of the school day; teaching staff is trained in operating extended day
programs; homey, relaxed atmosphere; large blocks of free play time;
children are self-directed, self-paced; many opportunities for creative
expression; cooperation rather than competition is stressed; programs
has its own permanent space.
- Knowledge of children's
development and learning; knowledge of the strengths, interests, and
needs of each individual child; and knowledge of the social and cultural
contexts in which children live.
- The ability to
go beyond one's own sociocultural background to ensure equal and fair
teaching and learning experiences for all children; includes adult's
ability to develop a multiethnic perspective.
- The process helps
the assessor take an overview of the entire program. Rather than focus
on the achievements of one child or the performance of one teacher,
a good evaluation process includes curriculum development, parent's
involvement, the program's relationship to the community, the governance
of the school, the financial structure, and the physical environment.
The types of integrated assessment give greater awareness to areas in
need of improvement, such as teacher's credentials and experience or
staffing ratios, which are often indicators of good-quality programs.
A key indication of a quality program is program evaluation.