Equity and Excellence is an important ingredient for the success of the NAEYC. The NAEYC focuses on the well-being of the child. NAEYC promotes quality and care for all children. The NAEYC states:
Several decades of research clearly demonstrate that high-quality; developmentally appropriate early childhood programs produce short- and long-term positive effects on children's cognitive and social development. NAEYC believes that our nation is at a crossroads. We must develop an integrated system of early childhood care and education that includes comprehensive approaches that directly involve families and communities in program design, implementation, and evaluation. We can invest now in our children and families and enjoy long-term savings, with a more vibrant nation of healthy, achieving children and more stable families. Or, we can fail to make the investment and pay the price: increased delinquency, greater educational failures, lowered productivity, less economic competitiveness, and fewer adults prepared to be effective, loving parents to the next generation of children. Federal, state and local government, communities, parents, and the private sector must share in the responsibility of ensuring the well-being of children and families (2006).
The NAEYC believes that all children should have access to educational programs. Furthermore, teachers and professionals must have continuous trainings to help meet the needs of the children and their families. The NAEYC also believes that in order to achieve these goals at the national, state, and local levels, policies and decisions must be guided of principles of Excellence, Access, Equity, Diversity, and Accountability. If all of these principles are implemented, then the future of all children will be promising.
On the National Association for the Education of Young Children website, it discusses how next month the NAEYC is focusing on mental health for young children. This is an issue that has been gain momentum over the past years. As early childhood professionals, we have to become educated on the types and treatments of mental health that affect our children, as well as their families. Activities will raise awareness of effective programs for children’s mental health needs; demonstrate how children’s mental health initiatives promote positive youth development, recovery, and resilience; and show how children with mental health needs can thrive in their communities (NAEYC, 2012). In our Early Head Start program, we have a mental health specialist that focuses on behavioral issues that affect young children. If a problem is diagnosed then the mental health specialist will make a referral to an outside agency. As a teacher, we have to be prepared to deal with any issue that may affect a child’s educational process. Children need to be treated with respect, regardless of what kind of issue they may incur. I am very passionate about mental health awareness in my community, because I have seen from experience, what happens when a person does not receive the appropriate treatment from the educational system when they are suffering from a mental health issue. Therefore, I believe that teachers should attend workshops or trainings that reflect mental health.
Also, this week on the NAEYC website it focuses on Earth Day, which is Sunday, April 22, 2012. The website has articles that give teachers or parent’s ideas on projects and activities that they can do with young children. In the article, “Ensuring that all Children Can Spend Quality Time Outdoors” discusses the importance of children experiencing nature. One of Children Nature Network goals is to reduce the disparities in children’s outdoor play and the health and mental health outcomes associated with a lack of outdoor experience (Erickson, 2008). Young children need to engage in outdoor play because it increases their knowledge about nature.
While reviewing the NAEYC website this week, I increased my knowledge on the well-being and development, equity and excellence, and quality education for young children.
Erickson, M. 2008. The Children Nature Network. Ensuring that all Children Can Spend Quality Time Outdoors”. Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/200801/BTJNatureErickson.pdf.
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 2008. A Call for Excellence in Early Childhood Education. Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/policy/excellence
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 2012. National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/children-mental-health