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Suffolk’s Early Childhood Development Program Report

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Updated: Jul 14th, 2020

The early childhood program selected for examining is the Early Childhood Development Commission of Suffolk Department of Social Services. The purpose of this paper is to describe the program and the community for which it serves, as well as to discuss the data collected with the help of interviewing the staff person.

Description of Early Childhood Development Commission

Early Childhood Development Commission is a program launched by the Suffolk Department of Social Services in 1994 to increase the public’s awareness of the young children’s needs in terms of care, health, and education. This program is selected because I work for the Suffolk Department of Social Services, and I am interested in exploring the progress of the program. Thus, Early Childhood Development Commission serves the community of Suffolk, Virginia, and works to increase the number of care and education centers and services in the city.

The program goal is to address the needs of at-risk children, preschoolers, and provide support for parents. To describe the scope and importance of provided services in Suffolk, it is important to state that in 2014, there were more than 6% of children under the age of five (U.S. Census Bureau, 2016). Currently, 11 schools enroll children in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes in Suffolk with an average rate of 20 students per class (Suffolk Early Childhood Development Commission, 2016).

Data Collection Process

To collect the data on the Early Childhood Development Commission’s mission and activities, it was necessary to study the information located on their website. The second step was the collection of background information on the community demographics. This information was retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts website, as well as from the program’s website. The next step was the interview with Ms. O’Donnell. The interview was planned to be conducted on Ms. O’Donnell’s weekend. Six main questions were asked during the interview, and the respondent’s answers were recorded with the help of a Smartphone and then transcribed in the form of brief notes.

Summary of Responses

The responses to the research questions are directly correlated with my vision of the family and community engagement. Thus, the individual approach to each child through the cooperation with families is the main idea reflected in the respondent’s statements (Appendix). The opinion that the focus should be on respecting diversity, recognizing differences in children and families, as well as understanding their needs and interests, is supported with references to my principles and philosophy. The needs and interests of each child are the priorities for such programs (Appendix; Halgunseth, Peterson, Stark, & Moodie, 2009).

Moreover, the respondent agrees that it is important to create a positive environment for a child to guarantee his or her successful development (Appendix; Blitz, Kida, Gresham, & Bronstein, 2013; Walsh, Sanchez, Lee, Casillas, & Hansen, 2015). The discussion of the questions is also correlated with the ways to address the childcare issues. The child care is a challenging process that depends on the practitioner’s understanding of his or her role in influencing the child’s well-being, health, and education (Fantuzzo, Gadsden, Li, Sproul, & McDermott, 2013). According to the respondent, the appropriateness of the provided support and care is the guarantee for resolving possible problems and issues effectively.

Conclusion

The paper presents the results of the data collection procedure. The data collected on skills typical of early childhood practitioners and child care services are important to be interpreted with the focus on personal philosophy. The discussion of responses should be presented in the context of strategies used for improving the family and community engagement in the area of early childhood education.

References

Blitz, L., Kida, L., Gresham, M., & Bronstein, L. (2013). Prevention through collaboration: Family engagement with rural schools and families living in poverty. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 94(3), 157-165. Web.

Fantuzzo, J., Gadsden, V., Li, F., Sproul, F., & McDermott, P. (2013). Multiple dimensions of family engagement in early childhood education: Evidence for a short form of the Family Involvement Questionnaire. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28(4), 734-742. Web.

Halgunseth, L. C., Peterson, A., Stark, D. R., & Moodie, S. (2009). Family engagement, diverse families, and early childhood education programs: An integrated review of the literature. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children. Web.

Suffolk Early Childhood Development Commission. (2016). Suffolk ECDC, where every child can reach the stars.Web.

U.S. Census Bureau. (2016).. Web.

Walsh, B. A., Sanchez, C., Lee, A. M., Casillas, N., & Hansen, C. (2015). Family concepts in early learning and development standards. Early Child Development and Care, 2(12), 1-26. Web.

Appendix

Interview Questions and Answers

What are the daily processes and routines families go through as they come to and leave your program each day? What is the purpose behind these?

Parents learn what programs are available for them to improve child care and prepare children for schools. The purpose is to provide parents with the required support when they choose pre-school educational institutions and try to find high-quality child care services.

What aspects of the physical, social, and emotional environments support respect for families and welcome their diverse characteristics and abilities?

The commission works to provide all families with the required support and assistance despite the nature of their problems. Social and emotional support is important to make families more secured. Early childhood practitioners should always provide consultation for parents regarding child development and care if families experience difficulties or they are representatives of vulnerable categories.

What skills and dispositions should early childhood practitioners possess to create and maintain collaborative relationships with the families?

It is important to respect diversity, understand differences, pay attention to particular needs and interests, create a positive environment, refer to the cooperation, and ask parents for opinions. Early childhood practitioners should provide the care and assistance that are appropriate for each concrete case. Each action should be oriented to the child’s further success.

What tools and methods are used to achieve strong cooperation between representatives of early childhood programs, social services, educators, families, and community members to meet children’s needs?

Communication practices and strategies, the principles of cooperation and teamwork, as well as leadership are important to work with parents.

How is it possible to make families and communities interested in activities proposed according to the early childhood program to achieve the outcomes of such engagement?

Families should be educated on the possibilities of such programs and provided with fliers and brochures on the proposed services and contact information.

How is it possible to communicate the education goals and choices or share ideas with families most appropriately?

Each parent should be contacted individually, and the discussion of goals and activities should be child-centered. It is important to refer to the parents’ expectations.

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