Early Childhood Education
April 25, 2011

Mind your P's and Q's: A resource to inform parents and teachers about the qualities of a strong early childhood educational program

Source: NYSUT Statewide Early Childhood Committee

Mind your p's and q'sWhy mind your P’s and Q’s?

[Download full brochure as PDF]

Research shows that children who attend high quality preschool programs perform better in school.


  • Have stronger ELA and math skills
  • Enter Kindergarten with a understanding of the classroom environment
  • Have more developed social skills
  • Benefit from increased access to Early Intervention Services

Children who attend high quality programs perform better in life and are

  • More likely to graduate from high school
  • More likely to be gainfully employed
  • Less likely to be incarcerated

High quality preschool programs can include…

  • Universal PreK
  • Targeted PreK
  • Day Care Centers
  • Family Day Care Centers
  • Group Family Day Care Homes
  • Head Start Centers
  • Nursery Schools
  • Small Day Care Centers

Federal, state and local agencies are working to ensure quality education in all of these programs.

A quality preschool program includes…

  • research-based developmentally appropriate curriculum
  • on-going assessments of a child’s learning
  • active, engaged, meaningful learning
  • a balance of child-directed play and structured activities
  • opportunities to build healthy relationships and classroom community
  • organized child-friendly environment
  • safe and healthy physical environment
  • consistent daily routines
  • celebration of diversity
  • health screenings-vision and hearing
  • educational screenings for early intervention

Brain research affirms
that quality preschool experiences
directly impact the success of
children throughout their school
years and beyond.

These are some other features of a quality preschool program.

  • attention to nutritional needs
  • family involvement and collaboration
  • parent education
  • communication of child’s progress to the family
  • teaching staff with educational qualifications
  • on-going professional staff development
  • low teacher to student ratio

Adapted from:

What are quality preschool learning standards?

New York State’s Prekindergarten (PreK) Learning Standards are organized into five specific developmental domains:

  1. Approaches to Learning:
    How children become involved in learning
    and acquiring knowledge.
  2. Physical Development and Health:
    Children’s physical health and their ability
    to engage in daily physical activities.
  3. Social and Emotional Development:
    Children’s competence and ability to regulate
    their emotions, behavior and attention, and to
    form positive relationships with peers
    and adults.
  4. Communication, Language and Literacy:
    Children’s ability to understand, create and
    communicate meaning.
  5. Cognition and Knowledge of the World:
    What children need to know and understand
    about their world and how they apply what
    they know.

Excerpted from: - 2011-01-10


Crisis in the Kindergarten — Why Children Need to Play in School

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs

The Albert Shanker Institute Preschool Curriculum
What’s In It for Children and Teachers

The State Education Department
Preschool Planning Guide: Building A Foundation for Development of Language and Literacy in the Early Years.

The US Department of Education
Building Strong Foundation for Early Learning: Guide to High-Quality Early Childhood Education Programs.

This document was developed by members of the
NYSUT Statewide Early Childhood Committee.

[Download full brochure (pdf)]


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