Pre-school childhood support encompasses the values, policies, and practices that support the right of every child and his or her family in a wide range of activities and contexts as full members of families, societies and communities. The preferred results for pre-school children include a feeling of membership and belonging, positive social relationship friendship and growth and learning to achieve their full potential. The features that signify co-constructed pre-school support include social support form family and care givers and room for active participation in achieving goals (DEC/NAEYC 2009).
Access describes the provision of a diverse range of learning opportunities, environment, activities and settings as a determining characteristic of high quality pre-school development. Child development and support can take place in different forms and can take place in different organizations and community environments such as child care centers, faith based programs, children homes, preschool, public and private kindergarten, and blended with early childhood education special programs. Technology can facilitate preschool children to take part in activities and experiences in inclusive settings.
Participation involves the use of individualized attention and support to help some preschoolers participate in fully in play and learning activities together with their peers and adults. Adults instill a feeling of belonging, participation and involvement to children with or without disabilities in a number of planned ways. Based on individual needs of preschool children, the priorities of young children and their families can involve wide range of approaches such as routine teaching, scaffold learning and participation of all children. Social-emotional development and behaviors that bring about participation are essential goals necessary for high quality childhood development.
Pre-school educators should work to develop family leadership skills. Parents are also required to effective in inspiring leadership skills to their children. Families should support the use of different strategies such as the use of alternative method of teaching, different class strategies in order to suit the understanding of children. Families need to have the skills to help them empower their children as they navigate through kindergarten environment. For families to be effective in guiding children through pre-school life, they need to have shared goals with educators and high expectation of their children.
Supporting co-constructed relationships between children home requires the careful attention of the caregiver. Pre-school educators are good agents of social support who work to make a level playing field with regards to family competencies in sustaining the overall development of pre -school children with the families as the target audience in a partnership of mutual responsibility. In order to develop strong co-constructed relationships pre-school educators are expected to understand the individual needs and interest of every family, communicate with families on regular basis, acknowledge families as experts regarding their child’s development and treat families as resources and sources of vital information (Deslandes & Rousseau, 2004).
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