The intent of the Early Childhood Education Program is to support students in gaining competence with helping preschool age children grow and develop to their fullest potential. We recognize that during the first years of a child's life, basic attitudes, values, perceptions of self, learning styles and relationships with others are being shaped. We also recognize that the adults who work with these children on a regular and intimate basis have a great deal of influence on these aspects of development of children in their care. Therefore, it is critical that these adults develop their own competence in working with children and their families. We believe that adults who are well educated in this very specialized area of teaching young children are the foundation of quality educational child care.

Our philosophy of education is based on the values we hold for children. We believe children need to be with teachers who:

Understand how children grow and learn 

  • Have sound knowledge of child growth and development and see early childhood as an unique and valuable stage in the process of human development
  • View children as individuals and respond to each ones unique needs
  • Understand that families significantly influence a child's behavior
  • Are aware of relationship between physical health, mental and cognitive development
  • Are able to help children stay in control of their own behavior and  encourage children to express their feelings in appropriate ways
  • Create environments where children feel safe, respected, supported and challenged

Use a variety of approaches to build competence in all children

  • Enjoy the time they spend with children and delight in their gains toward autonomy and initiative
  • See children as active participants in their own learning
  • Have a good understanding of how children learn best
  • Can adapt curriculum to meet diverse needs
  • Value play as one of the most important experiences in early childhood
  • Encourage children to express themselves through language, social interaction  and creative experiences
  • See the environment as a learning tool
  • Employ a variety of teaching strategies to support children and inform families
  • Create experiences that challenge and promote children's self-worth

Create curriculum based on children's interests and needs, and provide opportunities to foster children's skills and knowledge  

  • Plan, implement and evaluate developmentally appropriate curriculum that enhances the development of the whole child
  • Identify learning goals that are appropriate and meaningful
  • Uses quality resources  and early learning standards to support curriculum development
  • Creates activities that promotes , collaboration,  exploration , experimentation and problem solving in all areas of the curriculum;  language and literacy, mathematics, science, the expressive arts, physical competence and social studies

Engage and appreciate family and community 

  • Have developed cultural competence and values each child's family and culture
  • Build mutually respectful partnerships with families, and have knowledge of community resources
  • Educate parents about development and how children learn best

Practice effective and appropriate assessment    

  • Have knowledge of the importance of observation and assessment to support children's growth and learning
  • Use assessment thoughtfully and responsibly to accommodate children's needs
  • Know about partnerships with families and other professional colleagues

Are dedicated and committed to their profession      

  • Instill a positive attitude for learning and are curious and interesting themselves
  • See themselves as life-long learners and willing collaborative partners  
  • Are guided by research, ethical standards and guidelines
  • Advocate for themselves and the field and engage in reflective practice
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