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GlobalGuidelinesforEarlyChildhoodEducation andCareinthe21stCentury

OVERALLPHILOSOPHY,GOALS,ANDPOLICIES Everychildshouldhavetheopportunitytogrowupinasettingthatvalueschildren,that providesconditionsforasafeandsecureenvironment,andthatrespectsdiversity.Because childrenareboththepresentandthefutureofeverynation,theyhaveneeds,rights,andintrinsic worththatmustberecognizedandsupported.Childrenmustreceiveappropriatenurtureand educationwithinandoutsidetheirfamiliesfrombirthonwardiftheyaretodevelopoptimally. Attentiontothehealth,nutrition,education,andpsychosocialdevelopmentofchildrenduring theirearlyyearsisessentialforthefuturewellbeingofnationsandtheglobalcommunity. Knowledgeabouthumandevelopmentismoresubstantialthanatanytimeinhistory.Thenew centuryoffersopportunitiestoconsolidaterecentgainsandrespondtonewchallengesthatlie ahead.Weurgethatmembersoftheglobalcommunity: *Assesstheextenttowhichithascarriedoutpreviouslymadecommitmentstosupportthe educationanddevelopmentofyoungchildren *Developandimplementarangeofpoliciestoadvancetheprovisionofaninterrelatedand flexiblecontinuumofearlychildhoodservices *Allocateresourcesfromnationalgovernments,developmentagencies,governmentalandnon governmentalorganizations,andprivateandvoluntarygroupstoprovidequalityservices *Collaboratereciprocallyacrossnationstoadvancetheinterestsofyoungchildrenandfamilies. Thefollowingareasmustbeconsideredinprovidingacomprehensivenetworkofearly childhoodservicesthatofferlearningandcareforchildreninthenextcentury: *EnvironmentandPhysicalSpaceofSettingsforChildren *CurriculumContentandPedagogy *EarlyChildhoodEducatorsandCaregivers *PartnershipWithFamiliesandCommunities *ServicesforYoungChildrenwithSpecialNeeds *Accountability,Supervision,andManagementofProgramsforChildren Withineacharea,specialattentionmustbedirectedtoward: *Serviceswithequalattentiontoallchildren *Linkagesamongprogramsandservicesforoptimaleffectivenessandutilizationofresources *Recognitionofthevalueofthosewhocareforandteachyoungchildren,includingworking conditionsandappropriateremuneration *Intergenerationalapproacheswheneverfeasible *Empowermentofcommunities,families,andchildren *Amechanismforadequateanduninterruptedfunding *Costanalysis,monitoring,andevaluationofprogramquality. Vigorouspursuitofaplanofactiontomeettheneedsoftheworldschildrenwillmakean essentialcontributiontothefutureofindividualhumanpotential,tolongtermnational development,andtoglobalprosperity. ENVIRONMENTANDPHYSICALSPACE

Theyoungchildslearningenvironmentmustbephysicallyandpsychologicallysafe.Physical safetyincludestheneedtoprotectthechildfromhealthhazardsthatprohibitthechildsability tolearnanddevelop.Theneedtoaddressthechildspsychologicalsafetyimpliesthattheoverall environmentshouldinstillasenseofbelongingandwellbeingforallchildren.Thephysical spaceshouldbeorganizedtoprovideavarietyoflearningexperiencesforallchildrenofdifferent races,gender,ethnicity,orspecialneeds.Resourceswithinthisenvironmentshouldreflectthe culturalexperiencesandtraditionsofthechildrenandfamiliesusingthesetting.Overall,this safeenvironmentshouldempowerthechildbyprovidingopportunitiesforexploration,play, andpracticinglifeskills. 1.ASafeEnvironmentandPhysicalSetting *Theenvironmentandphysicalspaceisfreefromphysicalhazards,includingunsafeequipment, pollution,andviolence. *Theenvironmentprovidesbasicsanitation,safeandnutritiousfood,potablewater,and adequateventilation,andpromotesgoodhealthpractices. *Theenvironmentprovidesthechildwithasenseofwellbeing,belonging,security,and freedomfromfear. *Equipmentandthephysicalstructureareregularlymaintainedandcleaned. 2.ADevelopmentallyStimulatingEnvironment *Thereareopportunitiesforfrequentandpositivechildchildandchildadultinteractions. *Theenvironmentstimulateschildrentoplay,explore,anddiscover. *Thereareopportunitiesforchildrentoengageinactiveplayandmovement. *Theenvironmentisaestheticallypleasingandattractivetothechild.Thereisavarietyofcolors, textures,surfaces,visualdimensions,andperspectives. *Thereisanabundanceofmaterialsthatpromoteproblemsolving,criticalthinking,and creativityforchildrenwithdifferenttalentsandabilities. *Outdoorplayequipmentandspaceprovideavarietyofmovementpossibilities. *Theenvironmentcontainsopportunitiesforthecreationandextensionofplay,suchas constructions,gardening,naturalhabitats,andwalkingpaths. *Thereareresourcesfromthechildslocalenvironmentforthechildtouse,includingreadily availablenaturalmaterials. *Thespaceiseffectivelyorganizedsothatmaterialsforplayandartisticexpressionarereadily accessibletothechild. *Theenvironmentcontainsmaterialsforchildrentoconstructtheirownplaythings.And childrenparticipateinthecreationandorganizationofanevolvingenvironment. CURRICULUMCONTENTANDPEDAGOGY Earlychildhoodcurriculumincludesexperiences,routines,andinteractionsthatoccurineach childsdayingroupsettingsandinfamilycare.Curriculumisaplanthatreflectstheeducational philosophyandprovidesguidelinesforeducatorsandcaregiversandtheinteractionsbetween adultsandchildrenwhocarryouttheplan.Thechildisattheheartofthecurriculum.All childrenarecompetentandtheirlearningmustberootedinexperiencesappropriatetotheir developmentallevelsandcultures.Aqualityearlychildhoodcurriculumisfocusedonthewhole childandconsidersphysical,cognitive,linguistic,creative,andsocialandemotionalgrowth.The ultimategoalofanearlychildhoodcurriculumistoproducemorecompetent,caring,and empathicworldcitizens.Thelinkbetweenlearninganddevelopmentcalledcurriculumresultsin thefollowingbenefitsforyoungchildren: *Asenseoftrust

*Apersonalidentityandsenseofmastery *Positiveselfconceptandresiliency *Skillsincommunicationandliteracy *Criticalthinkingtosolveproblemsandmakedecisions *Skills,attitudes,andimaginationnecessaryforconstructionoftheirownknowledgeofdifferent aspectsoftheworld *Skillsincollaborationandsocialresponsibility *Understanding,appreciation,andacceptanceofresponsibilityfortheenvironment *Humanvaluesandcapabilityindealingwithmoraldilemmasandnonviolentsolutionsto problems *Asenseofidentityandprideintheirowncultural,linguistic,andsocialbackground,aswellas respectfordiversity. 1.TheCurriculumDocument *Aplanexistsforfosteringchildrenslearning. *Flexible,comprehensiveplansthatareorientedtothechild,family,andculturalcontextsare implemented. 2.ContentoftheCurriculum *Thecurriculuminearlychildhoodprogramsgiveschildrentheopportunitytomaster informationandpracticetheskillsthattheyneedinordertofunctioneffectivelyinsociety. *Theearlychildhoodcurriculumemphasizescontentthatisconnectedtorealworldexperiences, values,hopes,dreams,andexpectationsoffamiliesandcommunities.Youngchildrenareactive contributorstothecurriculum. 3.PedagogicalMethods *Educators/caregiversmustdevelopasupportiveteachingandcaringrelationshipwith children. *Educators/caregiversmustpossessabasicunderstandingofpedagogicalprinciplesthat provideguidelinesforpractice. *Educators/caregivershaveanexpansiverepertoireofmethodsuponwhichtheycandrawto recognizethechildrensownlearningstrategiesandsupportthelearningofeverychild. 4.LearningMaterials *Educators/caregiversuselocalandnaturalmaterialsasresourcesforteachingandlearning. *Adequatecurriculummaterialsandequipmentareprovidedthatareappropriatetothe childrensspecialneedsandthatmaintaintheintegrityoftheirownculture,suchasart,music, dance,anddrama. 5.AssessmentofChildrensProgress *Eachchildsstrengthsandassetsarerecognized.Individualprogressismonitoredandshared withparentsandfamiliesinappropriateways. *Youngchildrenlearntheskillsofselfevaluationandtheirlearningisevaluated,notonlyin termsofknowledge,butalsointermsoftheirlearningprocessesandperformance. 6.EvaluationofPrograms *Theprogramisevaluatedregularly,usingcriteriathatconsidertheoverallcontributionsand relevanceoftheprogramtoeverychildandthesociety. *Theprogramiscomprehensivelyandcontinuouslyevaluatedintermsofitsattainmentoflocal, regional,national,andinternationalstandardsforexcellenceinthecareandeducationofyoung

children. EARLYCHILDHOODEDUCATORSANDCAREGIVERS Educatingandcaringforyoungchildrenisoneofthemostimportantanddemanding responsibilitiesthatanindividualcanassume.Itiscrucialthateducatorsandcaregiverspossess appropriatecharacteristicsforassumingthoseresponsibilities,knowledge,andskillsrelatedto thedevelopmentallevelofthechildren,andknowledgeofeffectiveprogramming. 1.KnowledgeandPerformance Theearlychildhoodeducator/caregiver: *Hasaknowledgeofchildgrowth,development,andlearning *Isabletoapplyknowledgeofchildgrowth,development,andlearningintopractice *Hasknowledgeoftheuseofspace,materials,andtimeinordertoadaptthemappropriatelyto theneedsofthechildrenandinrelationtotheprogramthatisbeingimplemented *Isabletocommunicateeffectivelywithchildren,colleagues,andfamilies *Hastheabilitytoworkcollaborativelyandinpartnershipswithothers *Isabletounderstandandimplementaneffectiveprogram *Isabletouseavarietyoflearningmaterials *Hastheabilitytoreflectonhis/herpracticeandmakeanyappropriatechanges. 2.PersonalandProfessionalCharacteristics Theearlychildhoodeducator/caregiver: *Exhibitspersonalcharacteristicsthatdemonstratecaring,acceptance,sensitivity,empathy,and warmthtowardothers *Hastheabilitytoworkcollaborativelyandinpartnershipwithothers *Exhibitsapersonalcommitmenttolifelonglearning *Isanadvocateforchildrenandtheirfamilies. 3.Moral/EthicalDimensions Theearlychildhoodeducator/caregiver: *Respectsthechild *Respectsthechildscultureandthefamilypractices *Showscouragetoactonbehalfofthechildandtospeakupfortheprotectionofthechild *Isabletoframemoral/ethicalresponsesthattranscendtheimmediateissue. PARTNERSHIPWITHFAMILIESANDCOMMUNITIES Thecareandeducationofthechildisasharedresponsibilityamongthefamily,educatorsand caregivers,andthecommunity.Withinthefamilyandcommunity,allparticipantssharean ethical/moralresponsibilitytopromotetheoptimumconditionsforthewellbeingofchildren. Theprogrampoliciesshould: *Promotepartnershipandpositiveconstructiverelationshipwithfamiliesandcommunity *Provideopportunitiesforfamiliestoparticipateatdifferentlevels,basedontheirstrengthsand lifeexperiences *Supportthedevelopmentofpositive,constructiverelationshipsbetweeneducators/caregivers andchildren,betweenchildren,andbetweeneducators/caregiversandfamilies *Providesupportforfamilies,eitherdirectlyorthroughlinkswithothercommunityresources. 1.CommunicationWithFamilies *Informationaboutthephilosophy,policies,proceduresissharedinavarietyofways.

*Thereareongoingdiscussionsandconferencesbetweeneducator/caregiverandfamily concerningthechildsprogressandotherissuesofconcerntofamilyinalanguageunderstoodby parents. *Whenfeasible,opportunitiesareprovidedforchildrentobecomefamiliarwiththesettingand foreducatorsandcaregiverstobecomeacquaintedwiththefamiliespriortoachilds participationintheprogram. *Aninformal/formalreviewisconductedsummarizingeventsoftheyear. *Resourcesareavailableforfamiliestosupportchilddevelopmentandlearning. 2.Moral/EthicalResponsibilitiesandBehaviors *Thereareproceduresforprotectionofthechild. *Thereareprocedurestoprotecttheconfidentialityofinformationaboutthefamily. *Experiencesfosterselfesteemandselfconfidenceinalltheparticipantsinthesetting. *Moral/spiritual/ethicalexperiencesinthecurriculumreflectandpromotevaluesofindividual families. 3.Training/EducationPolicies *Guidelinesareestablishedforparentparticipationandinvolvementinthesetting. *Informationismadeavailabletoparentsonaspectsofchilddevelopmentandlearning. *Materialsand/orinformationsessionsaremadeavailabletoparentsthataresuitableforthe cultureandgeographicallocation. *Materialsforparentsaredevelopedforthecommunityandadaptedtothesocioculturaland geographicallocation. 4.RecognitionofDiversity *Thesettingexhibitsrespect,tolerance,andacceptanceofallformsofdiversity,including culture,ethnicity,age,language,religion,gender,socialeconomicstatus,familycomposition, andspecialneeds. *Opportunitiesareprovidedforongoingtrainingofeducatorsandcaregiverstoenhance knowledgeandunderstandingaboutissuesofdiversity. *Materialsandstrategiesensureparticipationandengagementoffamilieswithdiverse characteristics. 5.TransitionofChildrenFromHometotheSetting *Informationontheexpectationsofthesettingandthecurriculumisdisseminatedtofamilies. *Opportunitiesareprovidedforchildrentobecomefamiliarwiththesettingandeducatorsand caregiverstobecomeacquaintedwiththefamilies,priortothebeginningoftheprogramwhen feasible. *Connectionsbetweenhomeandthesettingareencouragedandmaintained. 6.OpportunitiesforFamilyandCommunityParticipation *Opportunitiesareprovidedforfamiliesandcommunityrepresentativestoobserveprogram activities. *Activitiesandmaterialsareprovidedtohelpfamiliessupportlearningathome. *Collaborationisestablishedwithfamiliesformonitoringchildrensprogressandassessment. *Collaborationisestablishedwithfamiliesandcommunityrepresentativesforprogram planning,management,andevaluation. *Familiesandcommunityrepresentativesparticipateasadvisersand/ordecisionmakers. *Opportunitiesareprovidedforvolunteering,suchasassistingintheclassroomand contributingparentalexpertiseskillstothesettingwhenfeasible,orenablingfamiliesto

constructeducationalmaterialsforusewiththechildren. 7.InterprofessionalCollaboration *Collaborationisestablishedwithpsychologists,socialworkers,healthvisitors,businesses, publicservices,schools,religiousgroups,leisureservices,andfamilyassociations. *Supportisprovidedforfamiliesinneed. YOUNGCHILDRENWITHSPECIALNEEDS Childrenwithspecialneedsarethosewithimpairments,disabilities,illnesses,risksassociated withdevelopmentaldelay,orexceptionalabilities/talents.Inordertodeveloptotheirpotential, thesechildrenrequiresupportservicesbeyondthosethatareconsideredsufficientforthe developmentoftheirsameagepeers.Thespecialneedsmaybeduetoawidevarietyoffactors, including: *Geneticfactors(e.g.,recognizedsyndromes) *Biological/healthrelatedfactors(e.g.,poornutrition,prenataldrugexposure,lowbirthweight, vision/hearingproblems) *Neurologicalfactors(e.g.,learningdisabilities) *Psychosocialfactors(e.g.,mentalandbehavioraldisorders) *Socioculturalconditions(e.g.,biasbasedonrace,ethnicity,language,immigration/refugee status) *Particularenvironmentalconditions(e.g.,abuse,neglect,extremepoverty,trauma). Childrensspecialneedsmayrangefromthoserequiringminimalattentiontothoserequiring extensivemodificationsand/orservices.Theconceptofspecialneedsissociallyconstructedand, becauseeachsocietyisunique,eachwilldevelopameaningfulconceptofspecialneeds,identify gapsinservices,anddevelopaplanforattendantservicesprovisions.However,allsocieties should: *Concentrateonprovidingfundingandotherresourcestoadequatelymeetthesespecialneeds *Financeongoingprogramdevelopment,implementation,andevaluation *Createandenhancesocietalacceptanceofchildrenwithspecialneeds *Organizepreserviceandinserviceprofessionaltrainingforteachersandotherserviceproviders tocatertoalllevelsofspecialeducationalneeds *Supportfamiliesandcommunitiesincopingwithchildrensspecialneeds *Emphasizeearlyidentificationandintervention. Goalsfornationstoworktowardinservingchildrenwithallneedsinclude: 1.AccessandEquityofServices *Bothfemaleandmalechildrenhaveequalaccessandequityintypesandlevelsofsupport. *Childrenfromlowincomegroupshaveaccessandequitysimilartothatofhighincomegroups. *Childrenfromalltypesofcommunities(e.g.,urban,rural)havesimilaraccessandequity. *Childrenhaveaccessandequityirrespectiveoftheirreligious,ethnic,language,orcultural affiliation. *Policymakersincludeequalaccessandequitystandardsinpublicpolicy. *Informationaboutopportunitiesforaccessandequityofservicesaremadeavailabletoall groupsthroughculturallyrelevantandeffectivemediachannels. 2.BasicHealthandNutrition

*Policiesandfundingforeducatingmothersandeducators/caregiversaboutpropernutrition andhealthpracticesisavailabletobothreducetheincidenceofspecialneedsandtoprovide support. *Thisincludesprovidingparentsandcommunitymemberswithinformationtoenablethemto makeappropriatedecisionsaboutchildrenshealthcare. 3.CommonPhilosophyandCommonAims *Amultiortransdisciplinaryteamiscomposedoftheparentsandstaffrelevanttomeetingthe particularchildsneeds. *Thereisanidentifiedpersonforplanning,coordinating,andmonitoringthedeliveryof services. *Policymakersrequestwritten,individualplansforallchildren. *Policymakersrequirereviewandrevisionofsuchplansonaregularbasis. 4.StaffandServiceProviders *Atleastonestaffmemberand/orserviceproviderinasettinghastheskillstoidentifythe specialneedsofchildren. *Staffmembersand/orserviceprovidersareabletoindividualizeandmakeappropriate modificationsforeducationandcare. *Staffmembersand/orserviceprovidersareabletoestablishongoingrelationshipswith parents/guardiansandfamiliesinmeetingtheneedsoftheirchildren. *Staffmembersand/orserviceprovidersshouldbeskilledindealingwithpolicymakers,aswell ascommunityagencies,whencollaboratingtomeetchildrensneeds. 5.AdaptationstoIndoorandOutdoorEnvironments *Theratioofadultstochildrenallowsindividualneedsofallchildrentobemet. *Adaptiveequipmentandmaterialstofacilitatespecialneedschildrensfullinvolvementinthe environmentisprovided. 6.ServicesDelivery *Servicesaredeliveredtothegreatestextentpossiblewithinaninclusiveenvironmentofspecial needschildrenandnonspecialneedschildren. *Familiesareinvolvedindecisionmaking,planning,delivery,andassessmentofservices. *Tothemaximumextentpossible,thechildwithspecialneedsisactivelyincludedinthelifeof thecommunity. 7.ResponsivenesstoIndividualNeeds *Staffandserviceprovidersdemonstrateawareness,knowledge,andunderstandingofthe developmental,cultural,religious,andgendervariablesassociatedwiththespecialneeds childrentheyserve. *Staffandserviceprovidersfacilitateacceptanceandinclusionofallchildren,regardlessof differencesindevelopmentallevel,culture,religion,orgender. *Advocacyforprogramsandservicesforallchildrenwithspecialneedsispursued. ACCOUNTABILITY,SUPERVISION,ANDMANAGEMENT Youngchildrenandtheirfamilieshavearighttoequitableaccesstoservices.Childrenare entitledtoqualityearlyeducationservices;therefore,accountabilitymechanismsneedtobe communitybased,openandtransparent,respectfulofdiversitiesandmultipleperspectives,and shouldfosteractiveparticipationoffamilyandcommunity.Approachestosupervisionand managementaddressthefollowing:

*Enhancingtherelationshipbetweeneducator/caregiverandchildren *Providingaprofessionalclimatethatencouragescompetenceandsoundpedagogicalpractices *Enhancingthesenseofsharedpartnershipbetweenearlyeducationandcareprogramswith familiesandcommunities,andfostering,tothegreatestdegreefeasible,localandregional decisionmakingregardingearlycareandeducationpolicies *Ensuringhighqualityservicestochildrenandfamilies *Ensuringthewellbeingofallchildrenasasharedresponsibilityofthegovernment, community,professionalorganizations,families,andeducators/caregivers. 1.PoliciesforQualityStandards *Governmentalexpendituresforchildrenunderschoolageareadequatetoprovidequality servicesandthesupervisionandmonitoringofprograms. *Thereareclear,identifiablelegislativeandexecutivestructures(e.g.,governmentministriesand parliaments)andcollaborationamongandacrossdifferentlevelsofgovernmentforestablishing policy;andthejurisdictionforimplementingqualityservicesforyoungchildrenandfamilies. *Thereareconcretemechanismsforsolicitationofinputfromthecommunity,families,and professionalsresponsiblefortheeducationandcareofchildren. *Thereisinformeddecisionmakingandpolicydevelopmentbasedonqualityresearch concerningimplementationofearlyeducationandcareservices. *Processesareestablishedforcommunitybaseddialogueabouthowtheneedsofchildrenare addressedtoensurequalityprogramservices. *Mechanismsareestablishedforcommunitywideassessmentandevaluationofprogramsand services. *Processesareestablishedfordeterminingcommunityexpectationsandguidelinesforquality programsandservices. 2.ServiceDelivery *Qualitystandardsarestated,published,anddisseminatedtopolicymakers,andprofessionalsin relatedfieldsandprovidethebasisforgovernmentalpolicyguidelines. *Standardsforqualityarederivedfromresearch,successfulpastprofessionalpractice,andthe goalsforensuringthefutureeducationandwellbeingofyoungchildrenandtheirfamilies. *Adequateprofessionaltrainingandqualificationsystemsareinplacetoensurethatthosewho workwithyoungchildrenandtheirfamilieshavetheknowledgeandskillstooptimallycarry outtheirresponsibilities. *Resourcesareavailabletosupportfamiliesinmeetingtheneedsoftheiryoungchildren(e.g., healthservices,informationservicesaboutprograms,publicspacesforplay,libraries). *Resourcesareavailabletosupportprogramservicesandeducators/caregiversinmeetingthe needsofchildren(e.g.,preandinservicetraining,programimprovement,capitalimprovement). *Mechanismsareestablishedtoensurethatcommunityresourcesaresharedamongprograms andthatcoordinationofavailableresourcestakesplace. 3.ProfessionalAssociationsforEducatorsandCaregiversandPolicymakers *Resultsofresearchstudiesarewidelyaccessiblethroughconferences,internaldistribution, clearinghouses,andotherprofessionaldevelopmentprograms. *Highqualityeducationalmaterialsaredeveloped,reviewed,evaluated,andmadeavailableto membersandconstituenciesofprofessionalorganizationsandgovernmentalinformation disseminationcenters. *Professionalassociationsmakeavailableinformationandcontactsforindividualsandgroupsto securefundingforappropriateprojectsandactivities,andtobeeffectiveadvocatesonbehalfof

childrenandfamilies. *Professionalorganizationsarerepresentedonsignificantgovernmentcommitteesandareinthe positiontoinfluencedecisionsregardinggovernmentalpoliciesandprograms. *Recommendationsandpositionpapersofprofessionalorganizationsareincorporatedintothe laws,regulations,andaccountabilitysystemsofearlyeducationandcareprograms. *Effectivealliancesareformedamongprofessionalorganizationstoestablishandreachthegoals ofprovidingeducationandcaretotheworldschildren. 4.ProgramandEducatorResponsibilities *Educators/caregiversareresponsibleforplanningandimplementinghighqualityearly educationandcareprogramsinpartnershipwithparentsandcommunityandincompliance withgovernmentalpolicyguidelinesandprofessionalstandardsdisseminatedbyprofessional organizations. *Informationandreferralprocedurestoothercommunityprogramsandservicesareestablished. *Procedurestosupportchildren'stransitiontoformalschoolingareestablished. *Educators/caregiversareencouragedtomeethigherprogramstandardsforaccreditationor specialrecognition,suchasinfluencingchangesinguidelines,laws,orregulations.