ECE625: Family & Community Engagement (MSD1822A)
June 18, 2018
There are several early childhood programs that try to reorganize the generally advised interactions between the children, family and community at large. Every person at an early childhood center plays a part in ensuring that these children grow to become better people in the society. There are numerous theories that try to include family and community engagement programs with the growth and development of children particularly in their early childhood stages (Scully, Barbour & Roberts-King 2015). This paper will provide a brief insight into a local early childhood center located here in Richmond, Virginia. The name of the facility I chose is Bettye Ackerman-Cobb Child Develop Center (CDC). The CDC is accredited by National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The center serves children from ages: 0-5 years old. I interviewed the head teacher in the 12-24 months old classroom teachers. Walking into the classroom, I observed bookshelves, play areas, toys, and colorful posters. The environment was a place that welcomed both parents, and children. I chose this center because one of my close friends has a 2-year-old son that attends this facility, and I wanted to know more about the services offered.
After being welcomed into the classroom, I first sat with Ms. Chanel. Chanel is the head teacher for the classroom, and her certifications include special education. She gave me the goal of the center: “to provide educational learning experiences and a variety of opportunities that promote the child’s physical, social and intellectual growth following the Creative Curriculum” (Chanel, 2018). This classroom has a maximum capacity of 12 students, but they only had 10. Of the 10 students, 2 students are bilingual, and 1 student has a learning disability. This CDC is a government-owned facility, and to be eligible for childcare, families must be employed by the Department of Defense (DoD) Civilian Employees, Active Duty Military (including reservist), or DoD Contractors.
To begin my interview, I did my own research on the installation’s webpage (https://www.defensemwr.com/richmond/programs-services/child-and-youth/bettye-ackerman-cobb-cdc). Although the website provided a lot of general information, I set up an interview with the head teacher of my friend’s son’s room. As, I mentioned above, the head teacher’s name is Chanel, she is the person I interviewed. In gathering information, I asked to review copies of the monthly newsletters, as well as the individual incident reports they send home to parents once a week. Chanel was very outgoing and helpful in assisting me getting all the information I needed.
Summary of Response
I asked Chanel about the learning styles of her classroom. It is important that early childhood practitioners should learn various styles such as hybrid style because children understand and needs a leader to be successful in learning (Siraj-Blatchford & Woodhead 2017). She informed me that her curriculum including a coaching learning style. Coaching is a learning style where a teacher incorporates skills and techniques for the better use in life of a child. It is essential because children will be advised and learn some moral values on what is right and wrong. My next question was about family and community engagement. Chanel informed me that the CDC requires teacher to keep a portfolio on each child in the center. Teachers and other staff members are required to update this portfolio once a week, and allow family of the children to review it at any time it’s requested. She went on to tell me that there are monthly parent-teacher conferences each month. In conjunction with the PAC mentioned above, they email a monthly newsletter to parents to inform them of upcoming events, as well as any closures to the center.
I questioned Chanel on specific methods they used to run their childhood programs and how they manage to establish collaboration between the several people involved in the childhood programs. Interviewing is a best way of getting relevant information especially if it is face to face with the person. It enabled me to acquire and gauge if the people interviewed would be fabricating responses (Crosson-Tower, 2017).
From my research conducted, I established that family and community are not adequately engaged in the childhood programs. They tend to assume the participation of parents because they seem to believe that they can help the children understand their needs. It is controversial with the aspects in philosophy which amplifies their active participation because parents and community play a vital role in teaching their children (Grant & Ray2018). On top of that, some of the children needs and care are not met because the managers do not understand the root cause of the needs. They mostly rely on the literature instead of validating with the facts that can be obtained from the community. The philosophical approach campaigns for engagement with every member especially the community. It will enable the practitioners to understand their diversity from the views learned from the family and community. It will then provide them with insight on how to handle different needs and issues with the child such as child neglect, lack of basic needs and lack of parental care. Therefore, the practitioners should act and follow the philosophical approach to help and understand their growth and development together with their needs as stated by Grant (2018).
Crosson-Tower, C. (2017). Exploring child welfare: A practice perspective. Pearson.
Dodge, K. A., Bai, Y., Ladd, H. F., & Muschkin, C. G. (2017). Impact of North Carolina’s early childhood programs and policies on educational outcomes in elementary school. Child development, 88(3), 996-1014.
Grant, K. B., & Ray, J. A. (Eds.). (2018). Home, school, and community collaboration: Culturally responsive family engagement. Sage Publications.
Scully, P., Barbour, C., & Roberts-King, H. (2015). Families, schools, and communities: Building partnerships for educating children. (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Woodhead, M. (2017). Effective early childhood programs. Early Childhood in Focus 4.