Developing Quality Care for Young Children: How to Turn Early Care Settings Into Magical Places

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"Ask yourself the questions posed in this book, whether you are searching for child care or wondering why our smallest and most important citizens don't have more quality early education programs available in a more equitable manner. This is a great teacher's guide for those entering the field and a great staff development idea for ECE centers."
—Denise Humphries, Preschool Principal
John F. Kennedy American School, Queretaro, Mexico

"I cannot think of anything pertaining to high-quality child care programs that isn't covered in this book. The organization is clear, consistent, and easy to follow."
—Diane Salverson, Inclusion Specialist
Early Childhood Direction Center, Buffalo, NY

A guide to creating and sustaining a high-quality, successful early child care program!

With most families today needing at least two sources of income, there is a critical need for quality, affordable child care throughout our country. This book discusses the qualities of an effective early child care program and the need to provide children with experiences that will prepare them for future emotional, social, and academic success.

By examining high-quality early care within a real-life setting, this resource illustrates how to build a successful program, handle the inevitable challenges, and achieve and sustain positive results. Using their experience in child development and child therapy, the authors demonstrate how to:

  • Create environments that foster healthy relationships for children and adults
  • Build on children's sense of wonder and joy for learning in preparation for later academicexperiences
  • Use families' ethnic and cultural diversity as a teaching tool
  • Maintain professional standards for administration and staff

Developing Quality Care for Young Children is invaluable not only for early childhood educators, administrators, and trainers, but also for anyone striving to make a difference in the lives of our youngest learners.

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Editorial Reviews

Denise Humphries
“Ask yourself the questions posed in this book, whether you are searching for child care or wondering why our smallest and most important citizens don’t have more quality early education programs available in a more equitable manner. This is a great teacher’s guide for those entering the fieldand agreat staff development idea for ECE centers.”
Kerry Williams

“The book is well connected to literature, the author’s own research and perspective, and an eye toward the future with tools for creating places for child care that are good for kids. If only we could bottle up Rosa Lee Young and give it to all children.”

Diane Salverson
"I cannot think of anything pertaining to high-quality child care programs that isn't covered in this book. The organization is clear, consistent, and easy to follow."
From the Foreword by Rebecca Shahmoon Shanok
"The book’s power is in its details which utilize nuance from the ‘small places,’ here a child care center. With detail of everyday moments in everyday lives, they breathe life into principles gathered from the study of many fields over decades. The Beckers provide the light of substance for child care workers, directors, teachers, graduate and undergraduate educators, policy makers, andchildren alike."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412965668
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 9/26/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Nettie Becker has devoted her entire professional life to working with young people, first as a teacher and counselor of high school students, and for the past 20 years in the field of infant and early child care. She has designed, set up, and implemented a movement program of adaptive physical education at a school for special children and has worked as a child development consultant for day care programs in New York City. She has also taught parenting classes in the continuing education department at Molloy College in New York.

She currently conducts workshops in child development and movement through play for parents and their children in community library programs in Nassau County, New York. She has also introduced a community program for the parents of infants to help them engage with their babies through motor, sensory, and emotional stimulation in their first year of life.

Becker is a fellow emeritus in early childhood group therapy at the Child Development Center of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services and was part of the program’s continuing education committee that served as a consulting group for child care professionals.

She is the coauthor of A Comprehensive Guide for Caregivers in Day Care Settings (1999). Becker holds a master’s degree in professional studies, majoring in dance/movement therapy that combined movement and psychology in the development of young children. She is a full member of the Academy of Dance Therapists Registered and has also been trained in the Kestenberg movement profile analysis that evaluates movement patterns and personality.

Paul Becker, a high school teacher for many years, is now a writer and editor. He is the author of many articles and has edited a number of publications in the field of education and public policy. Along with Nettie Becker, he is the coauthor of A Comprehensive Guide for Caregivers in Day Care Settings. For several years, he was the editor of Between the Lines, a newsletter for writers in New York and currently is the editor of a monthly newsletter on American industry for an economic research firm in New York.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Rebecca Shahmoon Shanok ix

About the Authors xiii

Authors' Note xv

Acknowledgments xvii

Prologue to a Dream That Came to Be xix

Introduction: The Critical Need for Quality Early Child Care xxvii

1 The Little House on Village Avenue: What Makes a Good Child Care Center 1

Quality Care Is Not Just Day Care: How a Good Early Child Care Program Prepares Children for Life 3

The Toddler Classroom: Where a Skilled Child Care Professional Can Open Up the World to Children 6

Translating Principles Into Practice in a Good Child Care Program 9

Daily Separation: The Preschool Classroom as an Extension of Home 9

The Emotional Connection Between Caregiver and Child 10

Reading Children's Cues 11

Encouraging Children to Communicate Thoughts 12

Each Child Is Different and Provision Must Be Made for These Differences 17

High-Quality Child Care: Some Other Basics 20

The Support Services Offered to Children and Their Families 22

Maintaining a High-Quality Staff in the Face of Serious Obstacles in the Profession 23

2 The First Task of Early Child Care: Building a Trusting Relationship Between Caregiver, Child, and Family 30

Attachment, the First Basic Need of All Children 33

Creating a Stimulating and Nurturing Atmosphere in the Classroom 36

How Can a Teacher Handle Aggression in Children? 38

Flexibility and the Adult-Child Relationship: Why Rules and Schedules Need to Be Adapted 40

Tuning in to Susan 40

Building Human Relationships in Every Classroom 42

Hugging a Child Expresses What Words Often Cannot 46

The Underlying Class Theme: We Are All People and I Am Somebody 47

Making Parents Welcome: An EssentialComponent of the Relationship Between Caregiver and Child 48

Establishing the Parent-School Link Right From the Beginning 48

Constant Communication Between Parent and School 49

Relationship With Parents Must Be a Relationship Among Equals 51

But What If a Parent's Behavior Is Harmful to the Child? 53

Getting the School's Message Across 54

3 The Second Task: Developing Wholesome Peer Relationships Among Children 57

Why Building Peer Relationships Is a Necessity Among Children 59

The Stages of Play 60

Imitation, the First Form of Interaction 61

Reciprocal Symbolic Interactive Play 62

Engaging in Games With Rules 66

Using Play to Encourage Creative Thinking 66

Teaching Children to Resolve Conflicts: An Essential Task of Early Childhood Educators 69

4 The Role of Curriculum and Staff Development in Early Child Care 74

The Importance of a Well-Planned, Appropriate Curriculum 75

Building the Important S-A-Ts in Children: Separation, Autonomy, Trust 76

Learning by Hands-On Experience 77

Staff Development Is an Ongoing Process 78

Some Principles of Inservice Training 79

5 The School as a Reflection of Our Diverse Heritage 85

Diversity as a Natural Part of the Curriculum 89

Bringing the Children's Languages Into the Classroom 90

Using Holidays to Celebrate Cultural Diversity 92

Foods, Families, and Culture 92

Working With Families of Different Cultural Preferences 94

Handling Ethnic Stereotypes Among Children 95

Cultural Diversity and Differing Expectations 97

Working With Children of Different Cultural Backgrounds: Some Helpful Hints 99

6 High-Quality Child Care as a Learning Experience 102

Learning as a Natural Process 106

A Child and a Butterfly 108

Play Is the Work of the Child 110

School Success Means the Three Rs ... and Much More 112

Writing a Class Story 116

The Learning Centers 117

The Daily Schedule 118

Planning for the Unforeseen 122

All the Things They Were Learning 124

Epilogue 131

Appendix A Rosa Lee Young Curriculum Outline 133

Prekindergarten and Kindergarten 133

Activities and Learning Experiences Throughout the Day 133

Toddler Activities and Learning Experiences Throughout the Day 138

Appendix B Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children From Birth Through Age 8 (National Association for the Education of Young Children) 143

Appendix C Reggio Emilia 151

Reggio Emilia and the Hundred Languages of Children 151

The Nine Basic Principles of Reggio Emilia 153

Notes 155

Index 161

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