In last month's blog post in our family child care (FCC) series, we looked at the first challenge of coding across multiple age levels in family child care homes. This month, we'll explore the second challenge observers often face in FCC settings: what to do when you arrive at a family child care home and there are only a couple of children there.
FCC Challenge #2: Establishing Coding Consistency in Inconsistent Settings
Family homes often operate for extended hours, providing early-morning, late-evening, and even overnight care, and the number of children present at any one time can vary from setting to setting, day to day, hour to hour. Parents sometimes need to drop off their school-aged child before the bus comes and they may be present for part of the time you are there. Other children are picked up and dropped off based on their parent’s work schedule, this flexibility being one of the benefits of in-home care for families with non-traditional work schedules. So the question becomes: “How should I proceed with such variability?”
Here are some tips:
The purpose for doing CLASS™ observations can vary. It may be for research, accountability efforts, program planning and evaluation, or professional development and supervision. Giving careful consideration to how the data will be used is also an important part of conducting these observations.
Here are some tips:
What kind of protocol works best for your organization?
The time has come for hard conversations.
That’s the feedback we have been receiving from educators across the country. There are plenty of tough conversations educators are trained, taught, or feel equipped to handle with children and families - gently bringing up a developmental concern, facilitating a disagreement between students, or explaining what happened with the classroom goldfish are all part of a day in the life. But in the last year, since the killing of George Floyd and other Black people at the hands of police, educators are increasingly asking for help in communicating more comfortably with young children about diversity and difference.
I was supposed to be an architect, instead I was a teacher of young children; it felt like my calling.
When I started my coursework, they tasked me with visiting multiple classrooms. It overwhelmed me when in some classrooms, children were crying, teachers were frustrated, and no one seemed to enjoy the day. I thought I had made a mistake. Thankfully, I had a professor who inspired me to continue. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the behaviors I observed in both children and teachers, the professor charged me to uncover the root of those behaviors.
And so, my journey to support social-emotional development began.
Every state, every district, every school, every teacher faced decisions that they had never anticipated in the last academic year. As the end of the 2020-2021 school year approaches, it’s time to reflect on those decisions, learn from others, and prepare for the fall ahead.
This past year of hybrid and virtual learning due to the pandemic highlighted the gaps in learning and the inequities that we already knew existed. It is apparent, now more than ever, that there needs to be a narrow focus on bridging the divides (e.g., digital) that exist and meeting students where they are in order to promote growth and put less emphasis on standardized testing. This would allow teachers to concentrate on curriculum with greater impact, differentiate their instruction, and utilize effective strategies that they know make a difference for children’s outcomes.