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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.

Children:

  • 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: http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content3/identify.preschool.5.html

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: www.p12.nysed.gov/.../common_core_standards/pdfdocs/prekindergarten_learning_standards_jan_10_2011.pdf - 2011-01-10

Resources:

Crisis in the Kindergarten — Why Children Need to Play in School
http://www.allianceforchildhood.org/sites/allianceforchildhood.org/files/file/kindergarten_report.pdf

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs
http://www.naeyc.org/store/files/store/TOC/375.pdf

The Albert Shanker Institute Preschool Curriculum
What’s In It for Children and Teachers
http://www.shankerinstitute.org/downloads/early%20childhood%2012-11-08.pdf

The State Education Department
Preschool Planning Guide: Building A Foundation for Development of Language and Literacy in the Early Years.
http://emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/pub/presch1.pdf

The US Department of Education
Building Strong Foundation for Early Learning: Guide to High-Quality Early Childhood Education Programs.
http://www.ed.gov/offices/OUS/PES/early_learning/Foundations.pdf

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

[Download full brochure (pdf)]

 

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