Early Childhood Belief Statement

Children are the future of our society and they have a right to a quality childhood which includes

  • An accepting environment that responds to and promotes individual differences, appreciation of individual capabilities, and respect regardless of a person's health, developmental, economic, or social status or their cultural background
  • An environment surrounded by caring and responsible adults who help them develop self-confidence and the ability to make appropriate choices and decisions
  • An environment that promotes and supports good health and nutrition
  • An environment in which they can express their feelings, joy, curiosity, hunger, fear, happiness and receive an appropriate response from adults
  • A nurturing environment that provides opportunities for meaningful relationships with both children and adults
  • A supportive environment that fosters development at a pace appropriate to each individual child and where children can explore and initiate their own learning
  • A rich and responsive language environment, both verbal and written
  • An environment that reinforces and celebrates their developmental accomplishments and guides the practice of newly acquired skills
  • A dependable environment that will serve to counter the stress of insecurity experienced by all children during normal growth and change
  • A nurturing environment that protects them from inappropriate disapproval, teasing and/or punishment

Parents/families are the child's first and foremost teacher and accomplish this by

  • Nurturing their child's physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development
  • Preparing and committing the time, energy, and resources needed for good parenting
  • Accepting the responsibility to develop parenting skills and abilities
  • Seeking and utilizing support for the difficult task of parenting
  • Responsive, respectful, reciprocal partnerships with professionals

Communities need a comprehensive system of early childhood services in which

  • Everyone in the community shares a responsibility/role for all children's well being (i.e. social, emotional, physical, and intellectual)
  • The nurturing, care, health and education of young children are inseparable
  • All citizens are viewed as both learners and teachers
  • Responsive, respectful, reciprocal partnerships are built with parents
  • Partnerships are developed within the community for children to be successful
  • Systems, especially schools, are ready to serve all children based on the child's development rather than expecting children to be prepared for a fixed school curriculum
  • Assessment is based on multiple and longitudinal measures and is used with resources in the best interest of the child
  • Services are nondiscriminatory, multicultural and have integrated curricula that meet the needs of those served.

Public Policy must be redesigned to

  • Recognize the childhood experience as a major determinant of a child's later success or risk of failure
  • Reduce fragmentation and develop a comprehensive early childhood system that addresses the whole child
  • Value and support the needs of families with different compositions, cultures, and build on the strengths of existing delivery models/service systems
  • Allocate and provide incentives for prevention, partnerships, and foundation building
  • Reflect and encourage the collective participation of all major stakeholders in the community
  • Value early childhood professionals (including monetarily) on a basis comparable to other educators for their contributions
  • Design a common early childhood certification system, to "bridge" career opportunities, and improve the quality of services to young children
For questions about this information, contact Jill Haglund (608) 267-9625