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News Story
Updated: 12/04/2013 08:00:02AM

Early childhood education

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PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ


Vivian Loydd.

By VIVIAN LEWTER LOYDD

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Children come from all different socioeconomic statuses which may impact their academic success. I believe it is vital to strengthen every aspect of all children’s growth and development process.

The Early Childhood Profession may have little meaning to many, but making a positive impact in a young child’s life will last a lifetime. Many individuals in society don’t realize how much knowledge an infant’s brain can absorb. The brain is so phenomenal that it continues to obtain information, yet for many years it was thought that the brain had limited space to maintain information. Brain development begins in the womb and continues to develop after birth. Reading, talking, and classical music are positive starts to language development, even while the child is still in the womb.

I am the owner and director of A Blessed Child Preschool, in Lake Wales. Being the owner and director of a preschool has afforded the opportunity to have many experiences with children from many different development levels. Some children acquire skills very easy whereas others find it difficult to grasp and even maintain skills taught. I wouldn’t classify myself as professional on how or why children learn and comprehend faster than others, but I do know that there are children who need more structured attention to acquiring the basics of Early Childhood Education. I take it as a personal reward to have the opportunity to positively impact children’s lives as an owner and director in the Profession of Early Childhood Education.

When I see children develop from being an infant to a five year old preparing for kindergarten, I have a special sense of pride in knowing that my staff and I have contributed to the growth and development of the children we have in our care. Children in my daily care come from families whose household incomes range from impoverished to middle class. I also have children who are under protective services. These children don’t all learn at the same rate. Some children seem to be naturally smart regardless of their socioeconomic status, even when there are other issues within the family structure.

I think that every early childhood program in this country should have assessments in place to ensure children are assessed early. Early assessment of children is a great way to give extra academic support to academically struggling children. Not only does this assist the child’s current state, early intervention will help elevate holes in the academic foundation of children. Assessments in early childhood programs also give families a better picture of problems their children may be facing. Early detection could be the solution to any future academic problems.

Requiring preschool staffs to attend training and continuing educational units are vital for teachers so that the children in Early Childhood Education programs will have the opportunity to be successful wherever life may take them.

We as early childhood providers must do our part in helping children with physical development, approaches to learning, social and emotional development, and general knowledge (Florida Early Learning and Development Standards, 2009).

We can help parents by scheduling flexible parent conferences and meetings so that parents can always be kept abreast of their children’s development as well as encouraging parental involvement. Parents can be encouraged to assist in their child’s development by conducting mini lessons while traveling, shopping, and eating out. As childcare professionals, we can also make resources available to parents that can enhance a child’s growth and development at home.

It is very disheartening for early childhood professionals to see children at the age of four, who have not had the opportunity to participate in any type of early childhood program. Some of these children have no basic skills foundation and usually struggle with discipline. Most assessments show that developmentally, the child is about two years old; only giving my staff and me nine months to get the child ready for kindergarten. With only nine months until kindergarten, we are only able to get the child to developmental stage of a three year old, which causes the child to start kindergarten already behind.

Many children developmentally delayed are products of teen pregnancies. The sense of children having children only adds to additional issues those developmentally delayed children are facing. As an Early Childhood Professional, my goal is to be a positive influence in all children’s lives.

I have a serious concern about children who are not enrolled in an early childhood program because they don’t qualify for the services regardless of the reasons. Early childhood services should be made available for all children regardless of their family’s dynamics. Involvement in early childhood programs could eliminate the ideology o children falling through the cracks or being passed on only to be stopped in third grade because their inadequacies to successfully pass a standardized test. Statistics suggest that prisons are built based on the number of unsuccessful third graders in this country.

I realize we may not have the capability to help every child, but as early childhood professionals, we should be dedicated to every child that is blessed with the opportunity to enter the doors of our Early Childhood Program.


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