Online Companion: Beginning Essentials in Early Childhood Education

Chapter 2: Types of Programs

Chapter Review Questions

  1. Choose five of the 10 indicators of quality for programs for young children and describe them briefly.
  2. What are the components of a successful out-of-school-time program?
  3. What are the three criteria on which developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) are based?
  4. Define what is meant by "developmentally and culturally appropriate practice" (DCAP).
  5. How does the evaluation process relate to the issue of high-quality programs?

CRITICAL THINKING AND ACTIVITIES

Chapter Learning Objectives

  1. To name and describe the variety of programs, pointing out both similarities and differences among them.
    • 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?
  2. To foster an understanding that cultural diversity is an integral part of every early childhood program.
    • 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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 REFLECTION QUESTIONS

Topic: Accreditation

Go to the Web site for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) at http://www.naeyc.org/. 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 programs.
  • 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 Questions:

  1. Which accredited programs can be found in your area?
  2. Describe the six explicit values on which accreditation standards are based.
  3. How do you see these values contributing to children's positive learning and development?

 

ANNOTATED WEB SITES

Families and Work Institute
http://www.familiesandwork.org/

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.

National Association for the Education of Young Children
www.naeyc.org

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.

National Association for Family Child Care
http://www.nafcc.org/

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 Appropriate Services
http://www.clas.uiuc.edu/

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 diverse backgrounds.

Administration for Children and Families/Head Start
http://www2.acf.dhhs.gov

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 Review Questions

  1. 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, and staff.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.