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Say it with me now...ECE Quality!

The tail end of my Head Start experience included the task of evaluating programs for effectiveness (Forbes, personal communication, 2012).  According to Yoshikawa, the high quality organization will focus on appropriate adult-to-child ratios and "qualified and well compensated personnel" (Center for the Developing Child, 2007, 00:02:24).  These two characteristics are worthy of the first and second places on his Early Factors for Early Care and Education (Center for the Developing Child).  Although Yoshikawa never states the factors are listed in order of importance, the mentioned traits are as important to the overall experience of the child (Pianta, La Paro Hamre, 2008) as those remaining.  In Mobilizing Science to Revitalize Early Childhood, (2009), Shonkoff addresses both as years of program assessment and research mirror Yoshikawa's sentiments.  While highlighting a need for outside the box approaches to the early childhood education center (ECEC) quality dilemma, Shonkoff says of student outcomes in relation to teacher professional development accessibility, student/teacher ratios and adequate pay/benefits " programs with inadequately trained personnel, excessive child/adult ratios, and limited or developmentally inappropriate learning opportunities are unlikely to have significant effects, particularly for the most disadvantaged children " (p. 6).  Previously mentioned Head Start employment gave the long-lasting impression that these statements were true regardless of geographic location, or cultural representation.  It is intriguing how the uniqueness of a child and their family is the glue of commonality that ties them to each person in the shared learning environent.  In Grace's Economists, Scientists, and Politicians Supporting the EC Fields (Laureate Education, 2011) conversation, she relates application of best practices to the ability "to teach the children in developmentally appropriate ways; through play" (00:06:58).  This can only be accomplished if aforementioned indicators of quality are exhibited.  

Center on the Developing Child (2007). Early Childhood Program Effectiveness (InBrief). Retrieved from www.developingchild.harvard.edu.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2011). Issues and trends in the early childhood field: Economists, scientists, and politicians supporting the EC field. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Pianta, R. C., M., L. P., & Hamre, B. K. (2008). Classroom assessment scoring system manual, pre-K. Charlottesville, VA: Teachstone Training, LLC.

Shonkoff, J. P. (2009). Mobilizing science to revitalize early childhood policy: effective early childhood programs clearly make a difference, but we can do better, and there is a compelling need for innovation. Issues in Science and Technology1, 79.


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