Best practices help businesses and other kinds of organizations to operate in successful ways by comparing themselves with the most profitable and efficient businesses or organizations and then adopting their best elements of the operation. Similarly, in the area of early learning and child development, there are certain standards and practices that have been specified to guide the process of setting up and running centers of Early Learning.
The area of best practice must demonstrate that the program has prioritized safety and health in the learning environment. To achieve this, the program must provide for the right and well-maintained outdoor and indoor physical environment. The environment in which the children who are in early learning programs spend time includes equipment, facilities and other material that provide facilitation of children and staff learning and development. In addition to learning and development, the area of practice must ensure the safety, health, and comfort of all the children and adults who use the program.
A childcare site can only be deemed to meet the standards of best practice if it meets the following conditions. First, its design must ensure that there are enough room and space for supervision of all children by sound and sight. The program must also have the crucial furniture and utilities like small-sized tables and chairs, sleeping pads or beds, cots, and sinks that are convenient for children. A wide array of equipment right for various children ages, abilities, and skills must be provided and must always be in safe and clean states, with good maintenance. The outdoor playgrounds should be well fenced to prevent the children from accessing the streets and other potential hazards. On top of all this, safety equipment like fire alarms, fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, and other equipment to ensure safety must be installed and be in good working conditions always. The safety of our children is the ultimate priority, and nothing should be left to chance in our quest to achieve this.
Reflection on NAEYC Program Standards
What are the most important things you learned about ECE programs?
One of the most important things that I have learned about ECE programs is that the when developing a program, the needs of the staff who will be in responsible for the care and development of the children must also be considered, alongside those of the children. This is because to be effective, the adults must be stable and happy, and this can only be by the implementation of effective management and sensible policies and procedures.
Another crucial thing I learned about the programs is that the curriculum must show promote learning and development of children in all areas of life, including cognitive, language, emotional, social, and physical. All rounded programs produce children who are more confident and sharper than programs that are biased towards academic developments. Therefore, the parents should thoroughly scrutinize an early learning facility before enrolling their children in them. The staff of these facilities must also ensure that they develop all spheres of the children under their responsibility.
What was something new you learned about ECE programs?
One new thing I learned about ECE programs is their important relationship with the community. I realized that early childhood education center cannot be self-dependent but must create good relationships with and use the resources of the children's community to help in achieving the program goals. The programs should connect with and make use of libraries, parks, zoos, museums and other resources within the community. Various representatives of community programs such as local artists, music performers, and religious leaders should be invited to share their talents, abilities, and interest with the children. This can help the children in identifying with certain fields of life like music early on in their lives.
What questions still remain for you?
The question that remains for me is whether poverty can have measurable and profound impacts on brain development. This question arose from discovering the disparities in the early childhood programs offered in private schools and those offered in public schools.
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