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Accreditation Standard #7.2
Early Childhood Program Utilizes Developmentally-Appropriate Practices

The Early Childhood Program, in implementing the curriculum, utilizes developmentally-appropriate practices which address each individual child’s spiritual, social, emotional, physical, and academic growth.

Explanatory Standards (ES)

    * Required
    1. Early Childhood Program Meets Instructional Division Requirements

      The Early Childhood Program meets specific requirements for instructional divisions in Early Childhood Programs.

      Artifact Curriculum Guide * Narrative required if non-compliant with any of the following Explanatory Standards:
      1. EC Two-Year-Old Division

        The EC Program for two-year-olds should first provide the child with a sense of security. Emphasis should be placed on the experience rather than the outcome or mastery of skills. Daily schedules should be flexible, while maintaining a general routine. A well-maintained diapering area must be provided, which adheres to state requirements.

      2. EC Three-Year-Old Division

        The EC Program for three-year-olds places more emphasis on social interaction among the children and less on academic skills. A variety of activities utilizing interest centers, units and thematic topics in a combination of group and individual instruction are included. The different developmental levels and needs of each child are taken into consideration.

      3. EC Four-Year-Old DIvision

        The EC Program for four-year-olds should be similar to the program for three year olds, with more emphasis on kindergarten readiness, while still utilizing interest centers, units and thematic topics in a combination of group and individual instruction. The different developmental levels and needs of each child are taken into consideration.

      4. EC Five-Year-Old Division

        The EC program for five-year-old kindergarten within an early childhood center, is varied and flexible, emphasizing academic readiness and social interaction. It demonstrates a balance of play, discovery, manipulation and participation, and takes into consideration the different developmental levels and needs of each child.

    2. Early Childhood Program Meets Specific Curriculum Requirements

      The Early Childhood Program meets specific requirements regarding the selection and implementation of the Early Childhood curriculum.

      Artifacts Curriculum Guide * Early Childhood Class Schedules Narrative required if non-compliant with any of the following Explanatory Standards:
      1. Curriculum Guide

        The curriculum used by an early education program consists of written goals and objectives drawn from researched-based developmental benchmarks. It is reviewed on an annual basis.

      2. Lesson Plans

        Instructional staff develop lesson plans for each class/age group that reflect the goals and objectives of the curriculum. Plans are developed through consultation and shared ideas with other colleagues who communicate frequently to ensure smooth operations.

        Artifact Samples of class- and grade-level Lesson Plans
      3. Balanced Program

        The curriculum is designed to meet the physical needs of each child. The curriculum includes a balance of indoor and outdoor play opportunities to enable the children to develop gross-motor skills.

      4. Motor Skills

        The curriculum results in lesson plans that provide opportunities for children to develop fine- and gross-motor skills.

      5. Social/Emotional Development

        The curriculum and environment provide opportunities to foster the social/emotional development of children through respectful interactions with children by frequently, making eye contact and using clear, correct language patterns, and affectionate, supportive words. Staff-child interactions are an integral part of the social development of children’s emotional development which is exemplified by a supportive and comfortable environment where they can be relaxed, happy, and involved in play and other activities.

      6. Balanced Activities

        The curricular practices provide for a balance of active and quiet activities including large-group (teacher-directed), small-group (teacher/child-interactive), and individual-choice (child-initiated) activities throughout the day.

      7. Length of Group Times

        The length of group times is appropriate for the age and development of the children in the class. In mixed-age groupings, accommodations and flexibility meet the needs of each age group included in the class.

      8. Use of Transition Activities

        Staff uses transition activities to move the children from one activity to another throughout the day. Transitional tools may include songs, poems, or other signs that children recognize as signaling a change of activity.

      9. Materials and Equipment

        Ample developmentally-appropriate materials and equipment are provided to support the learning objectives of the program’s scope and sequence. Materials and equipment may include but are not limited to manipulatives, puzzles, building materials, musical instruments, creative art materials, sand and water tables, dolls, and other props that support the educational objectives.

      10. Small and Large Group Instruction

        Ample opportunities for children to interact independently, in small groups and in large groups, are provided in order to help meet social/ emotional needs of children.

      11. Involving the Children

        Instructional staff initiates interaction with children who are not engaged in order to stimulate and expand the involvement of these children in the classroom offerings.

      12. Healthy Nutrition in Curriculum

        Curricular plans include ensuring children learn about healthy nutrition through experience and instruction, as appropriate to the program.

      13. Good Health Practices

        Children are made aware of good health practices. Methods may include the use of related daily routines by teachers, teacher example, visits to health facilities or from health care professionals, and other curricular presentations appropriate to the program’s curriculum.

      14. Disciplinary Policies and Practices

        The program’s discipline policy is clearly articulated in a written document. The policy employs interactive procedures such as redirection, reflective listening, adult role modeling, and positive reinforcement. Corporal punishment or demeaning practices are not used.

        Artifact Discipline Policy & Practices
      15. Hand-Washing and Cleanliness

        Hand-washing techniques are appropriately taught as part of the curriculum. Specifically, hand-washing always precedes eating, and children regularly wash hands after bathroom use and outside activities.

      16. Proper Use of Media and Technology

        Media (especially videos) is used on a limited basis, and is used particularly for the reinforcement of a teaching topic.

      17. Receptive and Expressive Language Experiences

        Receptive and expressive language experiences appropriate to the development of children are provided throughout the day. Children in the preschool classes are provided with increased exposure to print and active experiences that support the development of listening and speaking concepts and skills.

      18. Print-Rich Environment

        Teachers provide daily interactions with labels, signs, and/or other forms of print, and read aloud to the children. They provide exposure to the sounds and names of the letters of the alphabet.

      19. Vocabulary and Comprehension Development

        The instructional staff consciously works to help children develop vocabulary and comprehension. They verbally interact with the children to guide them in the acquisition of new and expanded vocabulary, in anticipating outcomes, and in comprehension of what they have heard. This may include (1) “What if?” type questions to help children anticipate outcomes, (2) recall of a story, and (3) other verbal interactions that help the children understand sequence (building memory), interaction between characters, etc.

      20. Phonemic Awareness

        Children begin to develop a phonemic awareness through understanding that words are made up of a combination of sounds. Lesson plans reflect a variety of songs, finger plays, stories, and games that have rhyming words and alliteration to strengthen phonemic awareness.

      21. Alphabet

        Children are exposed to the form and function of the alphabet through opportunities such as tracing shapes, copying or writing letters, and practicing writing names.

      22. Mathematical Activities

        The instructional staff plan activities that expose children daily to math activities such as sorting and classifying concrete objects; recognizing and identify likenesses and differences; recognizing first, middle, and last; using opposite concepts such as long and short, in and out, up and down, over and under, and top and bottom; and using concepts of quantity, such as more than and less than.

      23. Mathematical Concepts

        The instructional staff plan ample opportunities for children to be exposed to basic math concepts such as numbers and numeration through counting; placing objects in one-to-one correspondence; grouping objects by color, shape, or other characteristics; patterning; and recognizing numbers in their environment.

      24. Sensory-Rich Environment

        The early childhood classroom is a sensory-rich environment, and it includes numerous objects and organisms with which the students can interact. Opportunities are provided throughout the day for children to use their senses for observing and learning about objects, events, and organisms. Instructional staff help children to perform simple investigations and to describe their observations.

      25. Advancement of Social Skills

        Instructional staff promotes the advancement of social skills and positive dispositions by offering numerous opportunities for children to learn about themselves and others.

      26. Communication and Interaction

        Instructional staff foster positive communication and interaction as preschoolers actively engage in a variety of such learning experiences as taking turns, playing simple small-group games, and performing daily routines.

      27. Cultural Diversity

        Instructional staff provide opportunities and activities that expose children to cultural diversity.

      28. Library

        Early education programs may have either a centralized or decentralized library utilized by the children. The library should contain a minimum of 10 quality, hard bound books per child. Selection of the books shall be determined in accordance with the developmental needs of the young child. Early childhood stand-alone programs are exempt from library/media personnel qualifications.

      29. Musical Experiences

        The curriculum daily provides age-appropriate opportunities to expose children in each age group to a variety of musical experiences—including child-initiated ones—such as singing, listening, rhythmic movements, and playing rhythm instruments.

      30. Creative Arts

        The curriculum daily provides opportunities to expose children in each age group to a variety of age-appropriate creative arts experiences—including child-initiated ones—such as painting, gluing items together to create art, cutting for design purposes, combining mediums, molding with clay, and creating one’s own stories, plays, and other dramatic activities.

      31. Curriculum Involvement and Training

        Instructional staff is trained in the use and deliverance of the curriculum. Opportunities for instructional staff to share their suggestions and ideas regarding the curriculum are provided regularly and at least annually.

        Artifact Evidence of staff professional development
  1. Artifacts
    * Required