|Principles of Effective Practice|
Principle 4: Programs provide learning activities for the home and in the community
What it means: Programs plan activities to enhance each child’s early learning and encourage and support families’ efforts to support their child's learning beyond the program.
Programs can help families truly engage in their child’s early learning by providing supplemental resources, communicating about early learning and healthy child development, and regularly seeking and sharing information with families about free and low-cost community events that support early learning. Programs can pass along information about public library story hours, bookstore events for children, concerts, festivals, and exhibits. As a parent from CRT Locust Street Early Care and Education Program notes, “This program has helped us to learn more about our son and young children in general. We have more knowledge now about how to play and learn in ways that are fun and that our child loves to learn. Our son has learned how to better get along with other children, follow rules, and effectively participate in school.”
Children’s Learning. Supplemental resources and activities help parents create and sustain learning at home and in the community. For example:
Adult Education. To strengthen families and create a positive home environment that promotes early learning, some programs offer adult education (such as GED or English-language classes), parenting classes or other adult programming, and social services and/or referrals. For example, Children’s Village Child Care Center offers English-language classes for all interested family members. At the same time, the program encourages parents to use their home language in daily conversation and hosts a literacy workshop in which the on-staff librarian coaches parents on reading to their children in their home language. Rainbow School was designed to support graduate students, their children, and spouses by providing an adult ESL class in the same building. Parents who are learning English can drop off their child and then attend the ESL class next door. On alternate days, parents co-op at Rainbow School to practice their English in an immersion setting.
Developed for NAEYC's Engaging Diverse Families Project through a generous grant from the Picower Foundation.
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