Ohio’s Early ChildhoodCore Knowledge & Competencies
Table of Contents Introduction 1 Content Areas 3 Core Knowledge Framework 5 Alignment 6 Uses of Core Knowledge 7 Acknowledgements 8 Child Growth & Development 12 Family & Community Relations 18 Health, Safety & Nutrition 24 Child Observation & Assessment 30 Professional Development 34 Learning Environments & Experiences 40 Appendix A: Glossary 44 Appendix B: Research References 47 Appendix C: For More Information 49 Appendix D: Linkages with Primary Resources 51
Young children are amazing! Inside the vulnerable, wobbly head A Note About WordingIntroduction of the youngest newborn is a stunning amount of sophisticated brain activity! Thanks to modern science, we are just beginning In writing this document, some key decisions were made about to understand just how perfectly equipped and innately capable language that would be used. Ohio’s Early Childhood Core children are from the start to learn, to function, to adapt, and Knowledge and Competencies was developed by people in a wide to make sense of the world in which they are born. variety of disciplines and roles within the early childhood profession and defines and describes what we, as early childhood professionals, But modern science has also shown that the amazing capabilities know and do and why. It is intended to be a statement from us, the of each child are not enough by themselves to ensure a successful early childhood professional community in Ohio, and it is our passage into a healthy, happy adulthood. Decades of research have sincere desire that each of you who share in this work will see made it abundantly clear – the adults who care for and educate yourself in these pages and feel that you are well-represented here. young children will shape: Early childhood professional is the term chosen for those whose • hildren’s understanding of themselves, others and the world c work is represented in Core Knowledge. It is intended to encompass around them; not only those who have the responsibility for the direct care and • he pathways of children’s physical, social, cognitive, and t education of young children but all those whose primary work emotional development; and responsibilities are related to the well-being of children birth through age eight. These professionals, though they are found in a • even the very structure of the young child’s brain! wide variety of roles and settings, share a common goal of ensuring young children’s healthy development, optimal care, and success Parents, of course, are their children’s first and most influential and joy in learning. 1 caregivers and teachers. During the course of their early years, however, most of the children in Ohio will also have their Professional practice is the term chosen to describe the early development and experiences shaped by at least one early childhood childhood professional’s work. It is a phrase intended to include all professional – someone dedicated to the well-being of young of the customary activities and responsibilities – the “practices” – children, birth to age eight, and their families. In this document, of work focused on young children and their families. you will discover the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills that are needed to fully foster young children’s inborn capabilities. Recommended practices is the term chosen to describe professional practices that are generally considered to be the most highly Core Knowledge recommended by the field, based on current research and the collective wisdom of expert practitioners at this time. It is The Ohio Core Knowledge and Competencies for Early Childhood understood that, as new evidence arises, the practices that are Professionals is based on the understanding that there are critical recommended in the care and education of young children areas of knowledge and skills that are necessary for early childhood may change. professionals to have if young children are to thrive under their care. Core Knowledge strives to clearly communicate the nature A glossary can be found in Appendix A that defines many more of of these critical areas of professional practice and be useful to the terms used throughout Core Knowledge and within specific anyone who is interested in the competency of early childhood content areas. Words that are defined in the glossary are marked professionals, whether it be those working or considering work with an asterisk*. in the field, those families who depend upon early childhood services, or those who make decisions and policies about early childhood professionals.
What and WhyIntroduction Core Knowledge and Competencies define what all adults who work with young children need to know, understand and be able to do in The writing teams were strongly committed to a set of eight order to ensure that children have the best possible environments, guiding principles. The writing teams labored to create a Core experiences and relationships in which to grow and learn. Core Knowledge and Competencies document that would: Knowledge is based upon all that we currently know about young children’s development, care and learning through research as well 1. dentify the key concepts that apply to anyone working with i as the combined wisdom of leaders in our field. young children; 2. pply to early childhood professionals who work with young a Having a clearly defined Core Knowledge and Competencies has children and their families to provide care and/or education in many benefits: many different settings and roles; • ork with young children gains stature as a profession when W 3. epresent knowledge and observable skills needed for all levels r everyone understands that it requires specialized knowledge, of professionals, from beginners just entering the field through skills and dispositions gained through education and ongoing those at an expert level; professional development. 4. pply to the development, care and learning of children from a • ore Knowledge represents the scope of professional practice and C birth through age eight; can provide a well-rounded framework for the preparation of newcomers to the field and the continued professional growth 5. ecognize that children with special needs are included r of those already working with young children and their families. in the population of children that all early childhood 2 professionals serve; • astly, a Core Knowledge document that covers a range from entry L level to master level is a helpful tool as individuals assess their 6. be culturally sensitive and respectful; own knowledge and skill level and chart a course for their own 7. e based on what is currently known, from research and expert b development. wisdom, about young children and the practices that best support them in their development and learning; and Guiding Principles 8. be reader-friendly and useful in a variety of ways. The process of creating Core Knowledge for Ohio’s early childhood community involved the wisdom, creativity, and passion of a committed group of the state’s early childhood professionals. The Ohio Early Care and Education Professional Development Network invited professionals from across the state to join one of six writing teams, a team for each of the six identified Core Knowledge content areas. The resulting teams, each with ten members, represented many roles and settings in which early childhood professionals work. (Please see the Acknowledgements on page 8 for a list of all of the writing team members.)
Definitions Over-arching ConsiderationsContent Areas Six broad content areas were identified as key categories of specialized Some aspects of professional practice cut across all six content knowledge that shape early childhood professional practice. Here areas. In identifying the Core Knowledge and Competencies within we give general definitions of each. They are in no particular order each content area, each writing team considered the implications of: and should be seen as equally important areas of professional • the inclusion of children with special needs*; knowledge and competency that are interrelated and dynamic. • he differences among children and families that are due to such t Child Growth and Development: influences as culture*, family* structure, or religion; and Early childhood professionals base their practice on an understanding of all of the ways that children change over time, including expected • he responsibility of the professional for guiding young t patterns of development as well as the many ways that individual children’s behavior. children can differ. Family Community Relations: Early childhood professionals understand how important it is that they know the family, culture and community context in which each child lives. They also appreciate that developing strong, positive connections to families and community resources benefit children. Health, Safety and Nutrition: Early childhood professionals realize the importance of children’s 3 physical well-being as a basic and necessary foundation for their growth, development and learning, and they understand the many ways of fostering it. Child Observation and Assessment: Early childhood professionals are able to continually improve each child’s care and learning experiences because they understand that every child follows a unique path of growth and development; therefore, they will gather and apply information about each child’s progress as part of their regular practice. Professional Development: Early childhood professionals see themselves as members of a larger professional community and accept the responsibilities that go along with being a positive reflection on the profession and a positive contributor to the profession. Learning Experiences and Environments: Early childhood professionals appreciate their role as designer and builder of the world in which each child lives while in an early childhood program. They also understand the interplay between children’s experiences, environments and relationships and their well-being, development and learning.
DispositionsContent Areas Every profession has a set of attitudes, beliefs and perspectives • xpresses her/his own emotions in healthy and constructive ways e that distinguish its members as a group. Together they are called • alues and nurtures imagination, creativity and play, both in children v professional “dispositions.” The early childhood profession, too, and in herself/himself has dispositions that are highly valued among its members. • emonstrates responsible professional and personal habits in working d Although dispositions are an important part of professional and interacting with others practice, they are different than professional knowledge and • as a collaborative attitude h competencies. Dispositions describe how a person sees all aspects of the work of the early childhood profession rather than what is known and done. They are more often absorbed by newcomers and nurtured by seasoned veterans within the professional community than formally taught. Because dispositions apply to all members of the early childhood profession and are evident in every aspect of their work, we’ve chosen to list them separately. The model early childhood professional is one who: • delights in and is curious about children and how they grow and learn • ppreciates and supports the unique and vital role of parents in their a 4 children’s lives • s eager to learn new knowledge and skills that will support young i children’s development and learning • odels the attitudes and behaviors that she/he values in children m • alues and celebrates the diversity found among children and their v families and in the world around them • s willing to ask for help, to learn from others, and to accept i constructive criticism • eflects on the personal beliefs and values that influence her/his r own attitudes and practices • ccepts responsibility for her/his own actions a • hows respect for children, families, and colleagues by maintaining s confidentiality • ommunicates clearly, respectfully and effectively with children c and adults • esponds to challenges and changes with flexibility, perseverance r and cooperation
Sections LevelsCore Knowledge Framework Each of the six content areas has three sections: In order to represent the development of professional practice over time, competencies are given for three levels of professional Rationale: development. All early childhood professionals would be expected This section states the reasons that the content area is crucial in the to possess Level 1 competencies. As they continue learning and early childhood professional’s day-to-day practice. The statements advancing their knowledge and skills, they would be expected to identify the effect of professional competency on children and add the competencies in Level 2 and, eventually, Level 3. families and are based on current research and standards of practice. A list of the references used in creating each area’s The three levels of Core Knowledge competencies are coordinated rationale section is provided in Appendix B. with Ohio’s Career Pathways Model for Early Childhood Knowledge Base: Professionals. The Career Pathways Model provides a systematic This section defines the concepts and facts that a professional must way of placing professionals along a continuum of professional learn in order to become competent in each area of practice. This achievement based on their formal education, inservice training, knowledge provides the cognitive foundation for the skills and experience, and credentials and certifications. Although the Career behaviors defined in the competencies section. Pathways Model delineates six levels, Core Knowledge describes competencies at three general levels of development. Here is how the Competencies: Core Knowledge competencies coordinate with the Career Pathways This section is the bulk of the Core Knowledge document. In it, levels of professional achievement: specific observable behaviors and skills are identified that describe the range of practice of a capable early childhood professional. 5 Core Career Pathways In Appendix C, a list of additional resources is provided for each content area if more information on that topic is desired. Level 1 ...applies to... Early Childhood Professional Levels 1 and 2 Level 2 ...applies to... Early Childhood Professional Levels 3 and 4 Level 3 ...applies to... Early Childhood Professional Levels 5 and 6 For more information about the Career Pathways Model, please visit the website of the Ohio Child Care Resource Referral Association: http://www.occrra.org.
Core Knowledge is an important addition to a growing collection of Core Knowledge also aligns with key documents of nationalAlignment key Ohio documents already in existence that are related to early organizations in the early childhood profession. In writing Core childhood. The writing teams were committed to creating Core Knowledge, we believed it was important that we show clear links Knowledge that supports, aligns with, and complements these between Core Knowledge and three important source documents documents. The following section clarifies the similarities and from leading organizations in the field, the National Association differences between these key documents. for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Council for Exceptional Children/Division of Early Childhood. The following Ohio’s Early Childhood Core Knowledge and Competencies documents are closely related to Core Knowledge and were used as Focus: early childhood (birth – age eight) professionals resources in its development: Content: professional knowledge and skills • NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation Format: 6 areas of professional practice; 3 levels of competency Programs: identifies standards for higher education programs that prepare early childhood professionals and states the knowledge Ohio’s Infant Toddler Guidelines and skills that students should have after reaching different levels Focus: children birth to 36 months of educational achievement Content: developmental characteristics • NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria: Format: 6 developmental domains; 3 age ranges articulates standards of excellence for ten different aspects of early childhood programs Ohio’s Early Learning Content Standards • DEC Recommended Practices in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Focus: preschool children Special Education: identifies recommended practices in seven 6 Content: essential skills and concepts for young different aspects of serving children with special needs children to have learned by entry into kindergarten Format: curricular areas: English language 4 A table is provided in Appendix D that shows which Core arts, mathematics, science and social studies Knowledge areas link with which standards/recommended practices from these three source documents. Ohio’s Standards for the Teaching Profession Focus: licensed classroom educators, preK-grade 12 Content: professional knowledge and skills Format: 7 “standards” or aspects of professional practice; 3 levels of performance Ohio’s Early Learning Program Guidelines Focus: framework for preschool and child care programs Content: goals outcomes for early learning programs Format: 4 sections, each with goals, intended outcomes and indicators
Core Knowledge can be useful to many people in many ways, including:Uses of Core Knowledge Audience Use Early Childhood Professionals • Self-assessment; identify knowledge or competencies to acquire • Create a plan for developing as a professional Program Administrators • Clarify knowledge and skills required of staff positions • Identify training and staff development needs and staff development plan • ssess current staff to identify gaps and target areas of higher competency in recruiting A new staff • Tie level of competency to pay scale Developers and Providers of Training • Organize and identify training using Core Knowledge areas and levels • ssess current availability of training across all content areas and all levels of competency A • Use as framework for developing comprehensive system of training Higher Education • Use framework to facilitate articulation between institutions • Assess current program content to guide course development • Prepare early childhood professionals for roles and settings in addition to classroom settings 7 State and Local Agencies • evelop policy, initiatives and funding decisions that will increase the level of competency D of early childhood professionals • Identify common goals to improve inter-agency coordination Early Childhood Advocates • ducate parents, policymakers and general public about the areas of professional practice E in early childhood and the need for competent professionals • Reinforce the concept and language of professionalism for the field of early childhood Parents • Assess potential or current caregivers and teachers of their children Others • ake informed decision about entering the field of early childhood M • ppreciate the degree of knowledge and skill required for professional competency in A early childhood • upport public and private investments, incentives and initiatives that encourage and S facilitate professional competency
The Writing TeamsAcknowledgements The task of creating Ohio’s Core Knowledge and Competencies Six writing teams were formed in January, 2006 and by July their was accomplished by a talented, passionate, knowledgeable and tremendous investment of time, thought, and energy had resulted committed group of early childhood professionals from a wide in a resource that will benefit Ohio’s early childhood professionals variety of disciplines and early childhood settings with a broad and the children and families they serve in so many ways. range of expertise. Child Growth Development Team Lead: Family Community Relations Maggie Summers Ohio State University Child Care Team Lead: Team Members: Billie Navojosky Positive Education Program Melody Beach-Sexton Ohio Department of Health/BEIS Team Members: Pam Chibucos Owens Community College Lisa Frasure Logan Hocking Schools Debra Filiman-Demyen Mahoning County ESC Kathleen Harris Kent State University Don Fuzer Barberton City Schools Head Start Michelle Jones Starting Point Barbara Oehlberg Consultant Sharon Marcum Ohio Department of Health/BEIS Joyce Porter Community Action Wayne/Medina Leslie Moss Ohio University/Kids on Campus Carole Schultz Lourdes College Mary Murray Bowling Green State University Kelly Slade Action for Children Alice Marie Ohlin Akron Summit Community Action Head Start Laurie Zeeff Van Wert County MR/DD Julie Piazza Berea Children’s Home Family Services Megan Williams Action for Children 8 Team Facilitator: James Scott Ohio Department of Education/Head Start Team Facilitator: State Collaboration Project Donna Ruhland Ohio Child Care Resource Referral Association Health, Safety Nutrition Child Observation Assessment Team Lead: Team Lead: Kim Johnson Mahoning County ESC Peg Conley Consultant Team Members: Team Members: Pam Daudistel Ohio Department of Job Family Services/BCCD Rita Brinkman Sidney City Schools Preschool Lori Deacon Ohio Department of Health/BCFHS Quiping Cao Ohio University-Lancaster Marie Economos Ohio State University Extension Judee Gorcynski Children’s Advantage Annette Haban Bartz Children’s Hospital-Columbus Lea Ann Hall Ohio State University Child Care Program Kathy Hills Ohio Department of Job Family Services/BCCD Sarah Jackson MEOSERRC Deb Scott-Asakura Ohio Department of Health/BEIS Connie Lasita Ohio Department of Job Family Services Julie Stone Ohio Head Start Association Mary Miller Central Community House Barbara Trube Ohio University-Chillicothe Rebecca Neikirk PPIC Head Start Pamela Wolfe Council on Rural Services Programs Marie Pashi Cincinnati-Hamilton County CAA Kristie Pretti-Frontzcak Kent State University Team Facilitator: Cecelia Schweizer Counseling Psychologist Julie Witten 4C Team Facilitator: Bethany Moore Ohio Department of Health/BEIS
Professional Development Learning Environments ExperiencesTeam Lead: Team Leads:ReJean Schulte Cuyahoga Community College Jerri Helmreich SPARK Ohio Yemi Onibokun Central State UniversityTeam Members:Zoe Brown Booz Allen Hamilton Team Members:Geri Grove Early Childhood Resource Center Patricia Bing WSEM CDC Head StartTeri Kofod North Central State College Mary Alice Boyd Mahoning County ESCRoxanne Lange Child Care Connection Katie Harris Ohio Child Care Resource Referral AssociationLinda Lohse-Smith COAD Christy Johnson YWCA CantonSandra Owen Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Sally Kilmer Bowling Green State UniversityPamela Perrino The Raymond John Wean Foundation Deb Kimble Clark State College/ECECYu-Ling Yeh Akron Summit Community Action Agency Jackie Messinger Action for Children Holly Scheibe Action for ChildrenTeam Facilitator: Willa Ann Smith Akron Summit Community Action AgencyTerrie Hare Ohio Department of Job Family Services Team Facilitator: Alicia Leatherman Ohio Child Care Resource Referral Association 9 Additional Thanks A special thanks to the co-chairs of the Ohio Professional Development We would like to acknowledge the work done by Maria Sargent, Network, Alicia Leatherman, Terrie Hare and James Scott, whose Ph.D., of Ashland University, who provided initial work and energy, vision and commitment fueled the project. Thank you, too, for insight for the project as well as conducting final revisions to committing and managing the funding that made the idea a reality. the document. We would like to acknowledge our funders: the Ohio Department Additionally, we would also like to send thanks and appreciation to of Job and Family Services/Bureau of Child Care and Development, the other states who have undertaken the development of similar the Ohio Department of Education/Head Start Collaboration documents. We were guided, inspired, and helped tremendously by Project, and Build Ohio. Without your help, this project would their work. Especially valuable to us were similar Core Knowledge not have been possible. documents from Iowa, West Virginia, New York, and the joint effort of Kansas and Missouri. Thank you to Susan Rohrbough and Sarah LeMoine for sharing the invaluable resources of the National Child Care Information Center A final word of thanks to our technical writer, Kathy Reschke, (NCCIC), funded by the federal Child Care Bureau, and for your ChildWise Resources, for bringing the work of all of the writing encouragement, guidance, expertise and wisdom. teams together into a final cohesive whole.
Rationale Knowledge BaseChild Growth Development Research indicates that children’s growth and development is In order for children to thrive in early childhood programs, optimized when early childhood professionals know and apply the professionals who provide services to young children and their fundamental principles of human development. Understanding families must strive to know and understand: the significant theories, general concepts, and processes of human • the principles of child growth and development, including: growth and development enables the early childhood professional • he interdependence of developmental domains* t to design care and education that positively impact the current and (social, emotional, cognitive, language, sensory, creative, future life of the child. By integrating current knowledge about physical and adaptive) children’s growth and development into their daily practice, early childhood professionals provide relevant, meaningful interactions • evelopmental sequences, stages and milestones d and experiences for young children in an emotionally and physically • the varying rates of development in individual children safe, healthy environment. The early childhood professional also • hat development results from interaction between the child and t recognizes that an understanding of developmental patterns and the child’s early relationships and experiences, which include individual differences, as well as the influences of family and family, language, culture and environment culture, is critical to implementing developmentally appropriate* • ow attachment* significantly impacts all areas of development h practices in programs for young children. By demonstrating respect • he cumulative and delayed effects of early experiences and their t for young children as unique human beings, each child’s individual potential for both positive and negative effects on child growth potential may be nurtured and enhanced. and development • ow self-regulation* affects all areas of development and behavior h 12 • hat caring, consistent relationships with adults provide external t supports that serve as the basis for developing self-regulation • he importance of effective language and communication between t children and adults, and among children, for healthy growth and development • ow children’s pro-social behavior* is supported by adults who h model positive behavior and view challenging behavior* as a learning opportunity • ppropriate strategies for responding to the differing developmental a needs of children, including those with developmental delays • ow play provides the opportunity for young children to grow and h develop, incorporating different modes of learning and different ways of representing knowledge and demonstrating skills • hat the early childhood profession has a constantly evolving t knowledge base of research and theory that guides appropriate practice. * efinition for this term can be found in the glossary in Appendix A. Each defined D term is only marked the first time it is used in this content area.
Competencies - Developmental ProcessChild Growth Development Knowledge in this area of professional practice is demonstrated when the early childhood professional: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 1.1 ecognizes and respects individual differences R 2.1 pplies direct observation and knowledge of A 3.1 mplements intentional strategies to meet I in children’s growth, development and learning children’s development as a framework to the changing needs, interests and abilities of and adjusts practices and expectations for provide appropriate experiences for children. individual children and groups of children. individual children accordingly. 2.2 Identifies children’s differing developmental 3.2 nalyzes, evaluates and applies current A 1.2 dentifies basic developmental sequences, stages I needs and implements responsive strategies. theory, research, and policy on child growth and milestones of young children. and development to general practice and 2.3 Recognizes the need to make referrals for 1.3 nderstands children’s developmental levels in U the development of a personal teaching evaluation to determine skills and abilities, relation to age appropriate norms and uses this philosophy. based on ongoing observation and assessment, information to meet the general needs of understands the referral process, and becomes 3.3 nalyzes and evaluates practice on an A children showing typical development. an active member of the assessment team as on-going basis and implements changes to 1.4 ecognizes and accepts that family*, R needed. enhance children’s growth and development. community* and culture* influence the development of children and adjusts practice 2.4 Articulates current theory, research, and policy 3.4 rovides mentoring support to colleagues to P and interaction patterns for individual children on child growth and development as evidenced by enhance their understanding of child growth and/or families accordingly. the ability to relate personal practices and beliefs and development by sharing knowledge, to professional standards. assisting with colleague growth and 1.5 nderstands that challenging behavior has U developing mutually supportive professional environmental and developmental causes and relationships. 13 uses this information to modify environment, activities and expectations to improve behavioral outcomes. 1.6 nderstands that children develop skills and U abilities and learn best through their natural medium of play and uses this medium to enhance development, behavior and learning outcomes for all children.
Competencies - Nurturing RelationshipsChild Growth Development Knowledge in this area of professional practice is demonstrated when the early childhood professional: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 1.1 ngages in safe, responsive relationships with E 2.1 stablishes nurturing relationships with E 3.1 ntegrates the understanding of the dynamic I each child to provide a sense of security and children that respect individuality in learning relationship among aspects of development promote optimal development. style, developmental profile and cultural and learning to shape program planning, 1.2 espects families as the primary teachers of R background. teaching roles and strategies. their children by valuing their opinions and 2.2 Provides support and guidance in consistent, 3.2 ollaborates with consultants and families C nurturing their involvement in the educational non-threatening and positive ways that in planning learning experiences for process. reinforce children’s feelings of confidence children’s individual needs. 1.3 bserves and understands attachment and O and competence. 3.3 stablishes partnerships with families, E separation* behaviors as evidenced by the 2.3 Models problem-solving skills in the context involving them in all aspects of the program, ability to respond and assist both child of children’s interactions and play. including advocating for their own children and family members in a supportive and comforting manner. both within the program and in the public 2.4 Interacts with children in ways that facilitate sector. 1.4 odels positive, pro-social behavior in all M the development of expressive language and settings including child, family and thought in all children, especially those with professional interactions. developmental, language or other issues that may hinder communication. 1.5 alks with children frequently to develop T relationships and promote children’s 2.5 Provides information to families about the 14 understanding of their world through a variety general principles of child growth and of approaches including special consideration development relative to their needs and ensures of children with cultural differences and that this information meets the developmental, special needs that might hinder development of language and reading ability levels required this skill. for full understanding. 1.6 ommunicates respectfully and responsibly C with families and colleagues.
Competencies - Appropriate EnvironmentsChild Growth Development Knowledge in this area of professional practice is demonstrated when the early childhood professional: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 1.1 ecognizes the importance of consistency in R 2.1 rovides consistency in environments, P 3.1 ncorporates children’s individual, unique I environments*, expectations and responses expectations and responses to children as and special needs (illness, disability, family to children. evidenced by the usage of standard best stress, etc.) into planning for environments 1.2 ecognizes and respects the importance of R practices at all times. and experiences. exploration and play in children’s growth 2.2 Enhances and adapts environments and 3.2 reates environments with appropriate C and development and uses this medium experiences based on the needs of individual supports that empower children to consistently across the day. children, including children with special communicate, negotiate and problem- 1.3 rovides a variety of activities and experiences P developmental, learning and/or solve and directly teaches and/or supports that foster the development of the whole child. emotional needs. development of these social skills. 1.4 ecognizes and supports appropriate and R 2.3 Provides a responsive environment where 3.3 reates environments and experiences C culturally responsive environments for children children initiate and extend their learning that affirm and respect cultural and by weaving awareness and sensitivity of through play. linguistic diversity by making sure materials, diversity through total learning experience. activities and graphics represent all cultures represented within the room and the surrounding community. 15
Rationale Knowledge BaseFamily Community Relations Families* are diverse in structure and nature. They include people In order for children to thrive in early childhood programs, who are related by birth, by marriage, by legal ties, or simply by professionals who provide services to young children and their affection and concern. Children’s lives are embedded in their families must strive to know and understand: families and communities*; therefore early childhood professionals • hat families are children’s primary educators and must be t must value children and families in the context of their culture*, supported in that role home and community. Research indicates that successful early childhood care and education depends on partnerships with • hat families contribute significantly to children’s learning t families and communities that are built upon ongoing, interactive and development communication and a commitment to confidentiality. Children • he necessity of developing a collaborative partnership with t thrive when early childhood professionals utilize knowledge each family and understanding of family and community characteristics. Children’s successful development is supported when early childhood • strategies to initiate and maintain family involvement professionals: are aware of community resources*; know how to • variety of communication skills to engage and promote a make collaborative community connections; and build meaningful, reciprocal interaction reciprocal, respectful relationships that empower* families. • roblem solving skills and conflict resolution strategies to p assist families • he impact of diverse family support systems on children, t 18 families and communities • he unique contribution of culture and community on the t family system* • community resources and services and how to utilize them • ow to make collaborative connections to benefit children h and families * efinition for this term can be found in the glossary in Appendix A. Each defined D term is only marked the first time it is used in this content area.
Competencies - Valuing FamiliesFamily Community Relations Knowledge in this area of professional practice is demonstrated when the early childhood professional: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 1.1 cknowledges families as their children’s first A 2.1 ngages in careful, reflective observation of E 3.1 ncorporates the families’ knowledge of their I and most influential caregivers and teachers. family roles as evidenced by usage of children in programming. observations in daily planning and 1.2 ecognizes families’ contributions in identifying R 3.2 mpowers* families to be equal partners in E environment development. their children’s varied strengths and actively the decision-making process by listening to uses this information to construct appropriate 2.2 Accepts the values of families in a family opinions, valuing information provided, programs for individual children. non-judgmental way. and attempting to reconcile any differences in opinions between professionals and 1.3 ecognizes different parenting styles and R family members. their impact on children’s learning and development. 1.4 ecognizes the influence that family members R have on children’s behaviors. Competencies - Positive Family-Professional Relationships 19 Knowledge in this area of professional practice is demonstrated when the early childhood professional: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 1.1 stablishes rapport with families through E 2.1 rovides a family communication system where P 3.1 evelops and implements relationship- D regular communication. families can find information on educational based practices (such as parent mentors, materials, daily activities, schedules, etc., parents as parent coaches, parents as board 1.2 Maintains and follows rules of confidentiality*. through a variety of means and makes this members, etc.) that foster respectful/reciprocal 1.3 ssesses the primary language of the child A information accessible to all family members interactions with families. and family. regardless of technology, reading and language 3.2 valuates the readability and inclusiveness of E 1.4 ommunicates with families in a sensitive and C differences. communication to families and uses this appropriate manner. 2.2 Encourages feedback from parents and information to develop appropriate 1.5 nows and understands problem-solving and K incorporates it into practice. communication strategies for individual conflict resolution strategies. families. 2.3 Works to present communication in the primary language of the parents utilizing 3.3 nticipates and negotiates potential conflicts A various sources and technology. involving families and educational settings, using outside supports such as interpreters as 2.4 Maintains a collaborative relationship with appropriate. families using a variety of communication tools and communication levels. 2.5 Implements effective problem-solving and/ or conflict resolution strategies as needed, using outside supports such as interpreters as appropriate.
Competencies - Supporting Family ConnectionsFamily Community Relations Knowledge in this area of professional practice is demonstrated when the early childhood professional: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 1.1 cknowledges the value of family and A 2.1 ecognizes the value of families networking R 3.1 stablishes partnerships between families, E community partnerships within children’s with each other and provides support to make early childhood programs, and communities. learning environment. such networks possible and accessible to 3.2 ncourages and plans activities to help E all families. 1.2 dentifies the community resources and I families network with each other and provides services* available to support children and 2.2 Connects children and families to community support to make such networks possible and families. resources and services. accessible to all families. 3.3 ollaborates with families and communities C to identify and research possible solutions for unmet needs. 3.4 ssumes a leadership role in working with A service providers and families by providing information on best practices, educational research and other pertinent topics in forms most easily accessible and valued by that individual. 20 Competencies - Community Collaborations Knowledge in this area of professional practice is demonstrated when the early childhood professional: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 1.1 articipates on teams for the development of P 2.1 ollaborates with service providers working C 3.1 articipates in outreach activities that support P individualized service plans (the Individualized with children and families. community improvement or advocacy projects Family Service Plan, or IFSP, for under three (advisory boards, committees, etc.). 2.2 Utilizes community resources in learning years of age; the Individualized Education Plan, experiences and uses community sites (fire 3.2 dvocates for needed services and resources A or IEP, for over three years of age). stations, parks, libraries, etc.) as field trip that the community is lacking. 1.2 ollows individualized plans developed by F opportunities and/or brings resources to 3.3 ducates the community about quality early E service providers and families. children, as appropriate. care and education services by providing 2.3 Supports community activities by being a reading materials, classroom visitations, public visible partner in all appropriate activities service announcements and general advocacy or initiatives in the surrounding geographic whenever possible. location. 3.4 rticulates knowledge of current recommended A practices in early care and education to families and the community through a variety of means and to a widely divergent audience including family members, local businesses, and civic administration personnel.
Competencies - Impact of Culture, Community and Family Systems Family Community Relations Knowledge in this area of professional practice is demonstrated when the early childhood professional: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 1.1 ecognizes the levels of community including R 2.1 odifies curriculum to be culturally sensitive M 3.1 ritically examines own cultural experience C home, center, and neighborhoods. and uses this information across all and its impact on engagement with families practices with children and families. and communities and removes any barriers 1.2 ecognizes the ever-changing nature of families R or biases that might hinder development of (i.e., socioeconomic status, culture, religion, 2.2 Utilizes families and communities as cultural mutually respectful relationships. and family structure). resources in the learning environment. 21