Early Childhood Care
10 Standards for Early Childhood Care & Education Programmes for Parents & Caregivers
The National Association for the Education of Young Children has identified 10 standards for Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) programmes that parents should be aware of when selecting a preschool/child care programme for their child. The standards are based on what research tells us about the development of children and what they need at an early age to be successful. These standards are good for child care, preschools and reception programmes.
- RELATIONSHIPS: Do children and adults feel welcome when they visit? Are there warm and friendly conversations taking place? Are children encouraged to work and play together? Do teachers help children resolve conflicts and describe feelings?
- CURRICULUM: Does the curriculum address all areas of a child’s development: physical, emotional, social, intellectual and aesthetic? Is it consistent with the goals they indentify for children? Do children get opportunities to problem solve, use lots of language and do teachers work with them individually on specific skills?
- TEACHING METHODOLOGY: Does the programme use developmentally appropriate teaching approaches that encourage children’s efforts? Are children’s recent work displayed in the classroom? Are children being supervised by teachers and do they go outdoors everyday?
- ASSESSMENT OF CHILDREN’S PROGRESS: Do teachers keep observations, checklists and notes to share children’s progress with their parents and to show progress over time? Do families receive regular information about the learning that is taking place through meetings and conferences?
- HEALTH: Do staff have First Aid Training and CPR? Does the programme have policies about regular hand washing for children and staff? Is the programme clean? Do children have medical records on file indicating special conditions and allergies? Are snacks and meals nutritious?
- TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS: Do teaching staff have educational qualifications and knowledge about how children grow and develop? Are there opportunities for continuous growth and learning of staff through in-service training and conferences? Do staff work well as a team?
- FAMILY INVOLVEMENT: Are families welcomed and invited to be involved in all aspects of the programme? Are they aware of programme policies, expectations and general operations? Are they given a chance to have input and are they written for them to understand?
- COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS: Are community resources used in the programme? E.g. the Zoo, Museum, Library, Parks, etc.
- PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT: Is the environment organised and clean? Are materials easily accessible to the children? Are shelves labelled to help children maintain an orderly environment? Are furnishings of the right size? Are there a variety of materials in good repair and therefore inviting to the children?
- LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT: Does the programme effectively implement its policies? Does the administrator/leader have the necessary educational qualifications? Is the programme licensed? Are there written policies and are group sizes in keeping with the law for adult-child ratios?
12 Important Recommendations for Parents & Caregivers of Young Children
- Hug and kiss your children every day and tell them that you love them.
- Read stories and sing songs with your children.
- Share your childhood stories and tell your children what you did in school.
- Encourage your children to bring you their favourite book and ask them why it is their favourite.
- Point out persons, items and places of interest in your environment, for example: policeman, street signs, doctor’s office, hospital, bus driver, hairdresser, fire engine, supermarket, etc.
- Limit television viewing to appropriate children’s programmes only.
- Be patient with your children even when you are tired. Remember they are young and learning to do a lot of new things.
- Allow and encourage your children to be creative and play a lot with other children and also by themselves.
- Select toys carefully and avoid guns and other toys that promote violence.
- Always use car seats and seat belts for safety while travelling in your car.
- Talk to your children about their experiences each day and share your experiences with them also. Discuss topics of interest and extend their language by asking open-ended questions such as: “What do you think?” and “Why do you think that?”
- Encourage and model healthy eating habits, daily exercise, appropriate language, and polite behaviour.
Courtesy of the Ministry of Education, Training, & Employment and the Early Years Task Force 2010
Last Updated: 2011-05-12