Choosing the right early childhood program is a critical, but unguided process. The NAEYC has set 10 program standards for early childhood education. The standard acts as a guide to help families choose the right child care center, preschool, or kindergarten.
The NAEYC stands for National Association for the Education of Young Children. It promotes high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research.
In developing their ECE program standards, the NAEYC received input from experts and educators from around the country. Today, the standards and criteria serve as the foundation of the NAEYC Accreditation system for early childhood programs. To earn accreditation, programs must meet all 10 standards.
Below, we’ve summarized the 10 program standards set forth by NAEYC. Despite whether or not the early childhood program you’re exploring is NAEYC accredited, use this as a guide to asking the right questions.
Overview of the NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards
- Relationships: Promotes positive relationships among all children and adults. It encourages each child’s sense of individual worth and belonging as part of a community and fosters each child’s ability to contribute as a responsible community member.
- Curriculum: Implements a curriculum that is consistent with its goals for children and promotes learning and development in each of the following areas: social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive.
- Teaching: Uses developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and effective teaching approaches that enhance each child’s learning and development in the context of the curriculum goals.
- Assessment of Child Progress: The program is informed by ongoing systematic, formal, and informal assessment approaches to provide information on children’s learning and development.
- Health: Promotes the nutrition and health of children and protects children and staff from illness and injury. Programs must be healthy and safe to support children’s healthy development.
- Staff Competencies, Preparation, and Support: Employs and supports a teaching staff with the educational qualifications, knowledge, and professional commitment necessary to promote children’s learning and development and to support families’ diverse needs and interests.
- Families: Establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with each child’s family to foster children’s development in all settings
- Community Relationships: establishes relationships with and uses the resources of the children’s communities to support the achievement of program goals.
- Physical Environment: safe and healthful environment that provides appropriate and well-maintained indoor and outdoor physical environments.
- Leadership and Management: Program effectively implements policies, procedures, and systems that support stable staff and strong personnel, and fiscal, and program management so all children, families, and staff have high-quality experiences.
The above list is an overview of NAEYC’s program standards. For more detail about each standard and specific directive for what to look for in a program, learn more here. For a printable version of the NAEYC standards in PDF, download it here.
Source: NAEYC.org: The 10 NAEYC Program Standards.
Are you looking for the best fun and easy apple crafts for preschoolers or toddlers? Look no further! I’ve curated some of the best apple crafts out there that your child will get excited about without the stress!
Fall reminds me of pumpkin spiced lattes and apple picking! It’s the perfect season to engage your preschooler in apple crafts. If you take your little one apple picking, more than likely, you’ll come back with more apples than you know what to do with!
I love to do a combination of crafts using real apples and paper crafts centered around the apple theme. Also, if your child is in daycare or preschool, I guarantee the center will be doing some form of apple theme crafts for preschoolers. This is because school starts in September, it’s apple season, and apple begins with the letter A! The best way to support your child’s learning is to engage in similar activities when they’re home too.
I’ve scoured the web for the best apple crafts that are fun, easy, and utilize items you have around the house for preschoolers. Not only are they easy, the list of apple crafts have a mix of both process and product activities. This is to give your child a mix of different experiences when embarking on their creative journey.
Fun and Easy Apple Crafts for Preschoolers
- Conduct an apple investigation using real apples by TigerKubz
- Use popsicle sticks to learn that A is for Apple craft by Glues to My Craft Blog
- Make your own homemade apple spiced playdough by Kitchen Floor Crafts
- Develop fine motor skills by tearing paper to create an apple by Simply Today Life
- Learn about seasons and the life cycle of an apple tree by TigerKubz
- Make caramel apples using paint and sprinkles by Raising Whasians
Social-emotional learning is the new age of learning for children. Now, have you ever heard of a maker mindset? A maker mindset is a new term directly connected to social-emotional learning. A maker mindset describes a child or even an adult who are:
Having a growth mindset is a component of a maker mindset. The second component is creativity. Learning to have a maker mindset at an early age will only benefit children. This is because the future of work will require a maker mindset. Many characteristics that a child or an adult with a maker mindset include many “soft skills” such as leadership, communication, collaboration, and more! Notice that most of these skills are now highly sought-after in the workforce.
How important is it to have a maker mindset?
The idea of a maker mindset only became mainstream recently. As parents, it’s essential to pay attention to the latest in education trends since we play an integral role in the system. The U.S. Department of Education had the initiative to revamp hundreds of high schools across the country with a makerspace. Makerspaces provide students the materials and environment they need to create, invent, tinker, and explore. This helps them build vital career skills, including critical thinking, planning, communication, and problem-solving.
Because this concept is so new and we are planning for the future – it’s difficult to say what role having a maker mindset will play in our children’s future. However, due to massive investments in educational spaces to promote creative thinking and problem solving and the advocacy for maker mindset by thought leaders, it’s safe to say it’s not going anywhere.
Now how exactly can you help your young child have a maker mindset?
One way to encourage a maker mindset in children is to let them be curious about the world! At an early age, I’m sure your child has questioned the world. “How do plants grow?”. “Where does milk come from?”. “Where do cows live?”.
Yes, all the questions can sometimes be maddening. If you think about the questions your child is asking – it’s actually pretty admirable. Keep encouraging the questioning and seize the opportunity to further explore these questions with your child.
For children interested in dinosaurs, read a book about dinosaurs. Take it one step further and find a museum with a dinosaur exhibit! The real-life experience with the life-sized majestic creatures that used to roam our Earth is a fun and engaging way to learn about dinosaurs. Children are like sponges, they will absorb any information given to them.
While exploring with your child you can also ask questions right back at them. For example, if you are at a park ask them about what they notice in their surroundings. Ask questions identifying objects such as leaves and ask why they think they are green. Most likely, your young child would not understand why, but you can be the one to explain to your child why leaves are green. Everywhere and in everything you do with your child there is always a teachable moment!
Teach children how to problem solve!
Problem-solving involves three simple steps:
- Identifying a problem
- Figuring out a solution to the problem
- Implementing the solution
To put the steps into action let’s take reading as an example. You and your child encounter a new word in a story you are reading. The problem would be that you and your child do not understand this word, if you can’t understand this word maybe you cannot understand the context of the sentence.
A solution to this problem would be doing a quick internet search or even better, you can even expose your child to reading the dictionary. Although it seems old-fashioned, using a physical dictionary as a resource will help encourage your child to reach out for it if they have any future words they do not understand and even encourage reading!
While your child problem-solves they may encounter obstacles such as making mistakes or feeling stuck.
Making mistakes is all a part of being human. Everyone makes a mistake at different points in their lives. But, what is really important is being able to understand and learn from those mistakes. As a child it is easy to make simple mistakes, maybe such as doing a math problem wrong, using the wrong tense in a sentence, or maybe your child could be building a lego set and misread a step.
When it comes to making mistakes as a child it is important for you as a parent to help navigate them through it in a positive way. That means…
1. Encourage mistakes!
We don’t want to label mistakes as something bad. If children have a negative connotation towards mistakes they could feel scared if they make another mistake. They could also be unwilling to learn from their mistake and could simply give up on finding a solution. Let them know that it is perfectly okay to make mistakes and that no matter what that does not change your love from them.
2. Let them take action to solve it
It is tempting to help children stuck on a problem right away. This is especially true if the solution is clear to yourself. However, our children will need to learn from their mistakes on their own. Try asking them questions that can help them figure out the solution and what they should do next time. But, giving them the answer right away diminishes them from understanding, learning, and developing patience.
3. Think on the bright side
When children are in a difficult situation while doing a homework assignment, a project, or even a simple game, it can be frustrating. However, we need to always encourage them to have a positive mindset. Learning to have a positive mindset goes a long way.
The Children Are the Future
With a maker mindset, your child can develop soft skills that are essential to the future of our society. Sounds dramatic? Maybe. But you can’t deny they are the future. At the rate technology is advancing, who knows where we’ll be when our little ones graduate college.
You can incorporate maker mindset concepts with our learning kits and learning mats! This is because our learning products encourage children to have a maker mindset with problem-solving activities and making deeper connections with ideas in stories.
Hopefully, through this article, you’ve learned more about a maker mindset and how to encourage it when teaching your children! If you have any questions about maker mindset, let us know in the comments below!
Reading bilingual books to preschoolers has many benefits. Raising multilingual children as a parent not familiar with a second language is quite difficult. Not to mention if you’re not fluent in both languages, it becomes more difficult. In either case, starting early will benefit you and the child greatly. By creating an environment of speaking a different language at home while they learn English at school, your child will naturally learn both languages. For this reason, I made a list of children’s bilingual books for preschoolers to help you get started.
Benefits of reading bilingual books aloud to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers
- Helps young chidren with learning new vocabulary by expanding their vocabulary through books
- Exposes children to new and different cultural backgrounds
- Helps connect with family culture and traditions for 2nd and 3rd generation learners
- Encourages learning new language at home for both the parent and child
- Helps develop cognitive thinking skills and enhances memory
Will my child learn English if I speak another language?
Worrying if your child will speak English is a common fear bilingual parents and immigrant parents have. But, I have great news! Your child is 100% capable of learning both English and other languages. Assuming you’re in an English-speaking country, once your child starts going to school, they will easily pick up English.
If you are fluent in another language, your child is already at a significant advantage. Only speak to your child in another language and they will be fluent in no time. If you’re not convinced, use my experience as one case study.
I immigrated to the U.S. when I was 6 years old. English was my second language and I primarily spoke Mandarin. My mom was afraid I wouldn’t pick up English and struggle in school. As a result, she only spoke in English with me. I only had to take ESL for one year and I was fluent in English. As an adult now, I always joke that my Mandarin proficiency is that of a 6-year-old since that’s the last time I was fully immersed in the language.
Here’s another example. I lived near my oldest son’s paternal grandparents for the first five years of his life. His grandpa only spoke to him in Mandarin since he was born and still do so till this day. He’s now way more fluent than I am in Mandarin.
Bilingual Books for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
Let’s Clean Up / Korean-English
By Cadamini Books
Let’s Clean Up has text in Korean, English, and Romanized Korean, making it easy to read. With bright imagery, hand-drawn illustrations, and simple dialogue, it’s enjoyable for both parents and little learners to enjoy together.
Author and Illustrator, Katie, created this book because she wanted to expose her child to the Korean language. She couldn’t find a book for a non-Korean speaking parent to read, so she created her own!
To purchase the book and free Korean learning printables, visit Tiger Boom Creative.
The Hangul Story / Korean-English
Written and Illustrated by Miss Anna
The Hangul Story series is an educational fiction that focuses on teaching the sounds of the Korean consonant and vowels sounds. In fact, the line art inside is simple yet beautiful.
Celebrating Chinese New Year / Chinese-English
By Lacey Benard and Lulu Cheng
Chinese New Year is commonly celebrated around the world every year. In this book, you will find engaging pictures for little learners. It’s also in romanization for non-native learners.
Find the book at BittyBao.
Hajimete Zukan 415 Picture Book / Japanese-English
By Shogakukan Inc.
All in all, the 415 photos in this bilingual book introduce all sorts of fascinating things from animals to vehicles. With text in English and Japanese, this book is a great way for kids to learn vocabulary in both languages.
Little learners can also hear the English and Japanese pronunciations of every word via smartphone.
Do you have bilingual books for preschoolers you’d like to share with our community? Let me know in the comments below or send me a message!