The leadership of this child care facility believes that all children, regardless of their preparedness levels or socioeconomic status, deserve to grow up in safe, supporting, and enriching environments. The learning at the facility is expected to occur through positive relationships, experiences, exploration, and the sense of community that will enable children to become valuable contributors to the world in which they live.
The mission of this child care facility is to provide and promote high-quality, affordable, and accessible early learning and child care programs to meet the needs of children and their families. The high level of commitment to families that the facility serves enables support and encouragement in the efforts of helping children become important members of the community.
The vision of the child care institution is providing a safe and developmentally inclusive setting for toddlers, preschool, and kindergarten age children. The focus on offering early learning activities is expected to promote the socioemotional, physical, and cognitive development of each individual. Therefore, the child care facility aims to support and nurture the individuals who enter in their paths toward becoming life-long learners.
Evaluating Children’s Readiness for Learning
It is expected that every child entering the facility has different levels of learning readiness, to which the instructors are expected to adjust. Readiness for learning assessment involves considerations of children’s behavioral, cognitive, and socio-emotional strengths and vulnerabilities and individual literacy as well as numerical skills (Bierman et al., 2017). The National Education Goals Panel (NEGP) will be used for assessing the readiness of children to learn. With the help of a standardized assessment tool, it is possible to determine children’s levels of learning readiness to consider such levels in the planning of early education programs. The goal is to assess every child on their pre-academic and socio-emotional skills to ensure that the facility supports the process of learning across multiple domains.
The importance of readiness assessment is associated with multiple advantages offered to schools, parents, and children. For example, a learning readiness assessment can be implemented for the purpose of improving screening and learning procedures, which can help parents better understand the developmental status of their child (Prinsloo & Reid, 2015). In addition, a school readiness assessment conducted for the purpose of program evaluation can potentially provide important indicators for any changes needed to be implemented in early childhood learning programs to ensure that they are preparing children for school well (Shrivastava et al., 2019). The assessment data offers valuable information to help program administrators adjust their planning activities in accordance with the educational needs of early childhood learners.
Instructional Planning: Sample Lesson for 3-4 Year Old Students
The sample lesson plan will provide an example of the instruction offered to children in a specific age range, between four and five years old. The goal of the sample lesson is to help students gain an understanding of the numerical representation of each number and make counting from 0 to 10 easy. The learning objective of the lesson is for students to identify and write numbers from zero to ten.
Introduction to the Lesson
The lesson starts by identifying kids that know anything about numbers to tap into prior knowledge. The numbers that the children shared are written on the board. Then, the teacher begins reciting the “One Two Buckle my Shoe” song and asks kids to repeat after them.
Teacher Modeling Activity
The teacher draws a large circle on the board and places magnetic shapes to its right. Once the first magnetic shape is moved into the circle, the teacher writes number 1 on the board, asking children to repeat the name of the number, “one.” Another magnetic shape is added to the circle, and the teacher erases 1 on the board to write 2. The students are asked to repeat “one, two.” The exercise repeats until there are ten magnetic shapes in the circle on the blackboard.
Each student is given some carton paper, glue, and 55 foam shapes, buttons, or beads. The teacher models the activity on the board with magnetic shapes: a list of numbers from 1 to 10 is written, and the students are asked to copy the list. The students are asked to place the correct number of beads or buttons next to each number, as illustrated below:
- 1. *
- 2. **
- 3. ***
- 4. ****
- 5. *****
- 6. ******
- 7. *******
- 8. ********
- 9. *********
- 10. **********
Independent Working Time
The students are given worksheets with different assignments about numbers and coloring pencils. The teacher will read the assignments out loud and explain what should be done in each of them. The example of the assignments that kids are asked to complete independently is illustrated below:
Assessment of Success
The teacher will conduct mini-assessments with each student individually to determine how well have they understood the information presented in class. For example, students can be given random amounts of objects and asked to count them aloud.
Review and Closing
The teacher will have students come together in a group of ten. One student is assigned to begin the exercise, and another is assigned to the end. The students will count from 1 to 10 in the group.
The child care facility will open at 9 AM for children to arrive for breakfast. The breakfast is followed by group time at 9:30 AM, during which kids are informed about the day’s planned events and classes. From 10 AM to 11 AM, children are engaged in learning lessons before lunch at 11:10 AM. Before lunch, children are instructed to wash their hands, help in setting tables, and getting ready to eat. From 11:50 AM to 1:50 PM, the kids are expected to nap; for those who do not fall asleep, other activities are offered, such as looking at books in their beds. After their naps, children are given snacks and get engaged in activity centers and outdoor play up to 3 PM. From 3 PM to 4 PM, the children are gathered in a group for a group activity that includes special events or discussions about how the past day has gone. From 4 PM, parents are allowed to pick up their kids.
Safe Use of Technologies
Technologies, when used appropriately in a child care setting, can become essential tools for learning. Teachers will use computers, tablets, and TVs to support learning and entertainment activities. The increased visualization is important to the process of learning as it supports the development of crucial principles and concepts. The technologies used in the child care facility will appropriately match the needs of children, their abilities, and development stages.
Fire and Safety Evacuation
The children will be educated on the location of stairways and exists, with direction arrows located on the walls and floors of facilities. The children are also informed about the location of fire alarm manual pull stations and their purpose (the stations are near every classroom/playroom and on every floor). Every classroom and playroom will have evaluation route maps to indicate primary and secondary routes, the locations of assembly areas, fire distinguishers, fire alarm manual pull stations, as well as fire suppression devices such as smoke and heat detectors, sprinkler heads, and sprinkler control valves. In addition, every day, the staff will make sure that all exit doors are accessible and open, that all lights are working correctly, that all doors and corridors that lead to exits are clear, that all extinguishers and sprinklers are not obstructed.
A nutritional plan at the facility will be illustrated on the example of 3 to 4-year-olds. Any food intolerance and allergies will be considered when developing a nutritional plan for each child. Because the child care facility discharges children at 4 PM, the meal plan will include breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, and an afternoon snack. For breakfast, they will be given oatmeal pancakes with apple sauce or mini omelets with vegetables. For a healthy morning snack, kids can be given yogurt and fruit smoothie or a healthy granola bar. For lunch, children can be served steamed chicken or fish with sliced vegetables and dips, with fruit jelly or fresh fruit for dessert. Afternoon snacks can include baked tortilla chips with avocado dips, fruits, apple slices, and cheese. The main goal is to provide a diverse selection of meals that considers the nutritional needs of children as well as their intolerances and allergies (Mazzocchi et al., 2017). The child care administrators will conduct an initial meeting with parents to understand the nutritional patterns of kids and develop a plan that would be suitable for their habits.
To reduce the occurrence and the spreading of illness at the facility, teachers will educate children about appropriate procedures of hygiene, such as washing their hands, not to touch noses, and rub their eyes. Children with signs of onset illness will be sent home while in case of any emergencies, teachers will call 911 and parents to inform about the need for a timely intervention.
For the current precaution measures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, all children at the facility will undergo regular body temperature screenings. In addition, screenings for lice and other infectious diseases will be conducted on a regular basis.
In order for children to be admitted to the child care facilities, it is expected that they have immunization for the list of potentially harmful and contagious diseases. These include chickenpox, DTaP, measles, mumps, and rubella, polio, pneumococcal, hepatitis A and B. In addition, it is expected that children receive flu vaccinations every flu season (Ventola, 2016). With the help of clearly established expectations about immunization, the child care facility is expected to avoid spikes of infections.
To avoid the occurrence of allergies at the child care facility, the staff will notify parents that children should avoid bringing any known allergens. In addition, the information about the individual allergies of children in the care setting will be made widely available to ensure that parents, teachers, and children know that some foods can be harmful.
The administration of medication at the health care facility will be carried out with care to ensure that, if necessary, children receive the appropriate dose of the right medicine at the right time. The first step is always requiring a signed release from parents and legal guardians. It should include the child’s name, name of the medication, its dosage, and precisely the time when it should be administered. There is a designated child care worker who would administer medication to children. This is necessary for ensuring that medicine is given at appropriate times, and the process of record-keeping is simplified. While there is no nurse of staff, the center administrator is the person who would dispense medication. Besides, medicines will only be given in their original containers or packaging to ensure that they include a child’s name, correct dosage, and pharmacy that filled the description. At the facility, medications will be stored properly; for example, when refrigeration is required, the facility will comply with all necessary requirements.
To bring the efforts of the child care facility to a high level, the collaboration between staff as well as community members, such as parents and volunteers is essential. Partnerships between educators and family are necessary to establish good relationships. These can include after-school programs that involve parents and community organizations, social activities for teachers and families, family-based literacy programs, as well as programs that connect families to the needed health and social services.
Bierman, K. L., Torres, M. M., Domitrovich, C. E., Welsh, J. A., & Gest, S. D. (2009). Behavioral and cognitive readiness for school: cross-domain associations for children attending head start. Social Development, 18(2), 305-323.
Mazzocchi, A., Venter, C., Maslin, K., & Agostoni, C. (2017). The role of nutritional aspects in food allergy: Prevention and management. Nutrients, 9(8), 850.
Prinsloo, M., & Reid, M. (2015). Experiences of parents regarding a school-readiness intervention for pre-school children facilitated by community health nursing students. International Journal of Africa Nursing Sciences, 3, 94-101.
Shrivastava, S., Patil, V., Shelke, M., Anvikar, M., Mathur, A., & Pathak, A. (2019). Assessment of school readiness of children and factors associated with risk and inadequate school readiness in Ujjain, India: An observational study. BMJ Pediatrics Open, 3, e000509.
Ventola C. L. (2016). Immunization in the United States: Recommendations, barriers, and measures to improve compliance: part 1: childhood vaccinations. P&T: A Peer-reviewed Journal for Formulary Management, 41(7), 426-436.