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One of the current issues receiving significant attention and discussion in the early childhood education field is diversity, particularly the need to provide more opportunities for leadership in the field from a wider group of individuals. The Child Care Planning Council has engaged in focused efforts to support diverse local engagement, dialogue, and leadership.
The CCPC also recognizes that teachers and providers need resources to support and encourage diversity in their program curricula. Culturally responsive early childhood education allows children to be who they are, like who they are, get along well with others who are different than themselves, ask for what they need and feel is right, and stand up for themselves and others. It fosters children’s capacity to thrive in school and in life in an increasingly multicultural country and interconnected world.
As demonstrated in the Statement on Culturally Responsive Early Care and Education, the Child Care Planning Council urges all those who work with children and their families to create culturally responsive programs to support our children in reaching their full potential. To that end, a diversity workgroup was established within the CCPC to develop a compilation of resources for early childhood educators. It is our hope that Sonoma County early care and education teachers and providers will find these tools helpful in their work.
Diversity: Training of Trainers with Janet Gonzalez-Mena, M.A. | Handout (pdf)
- On February 5, 2010, the CCPC hosted a training that provided invaluable and insightful hands-on experiences and discussions around the issues of diversity. The presenter, Janet Gonzalez-Mena, is a writer, consultant in Early Childhood Education, and a former community college instructor with experience as an Early Childhood Education practitioner. She holds a Masters in Arts Degree in Human Development.
Early Learners Summit – The 21st Century Child: Anti-Bias Education as a Key to Children's Success with Julie Olsen Edwards – May 15, 2010
- Julie Olsen Edwards is the founding Director of the Children’s Center and chair of the Early Childhood Education Department at Cabrillo College. Throughout her career, Olsen Edwards has been a primary-grade reading specialist, family child care provider, and teacher of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
She says, "The children we work with today are growing up in a complex world where they will need to live, learn, play, and work side-by-side with people who are very different from their own families. This new diversity challenges everything we do in our classrooms. Few of us have been prepared to teach children respect and joy across lines of racial identity, culture, language, family structure, religious belief, and economic opportunity. Yet, children’s success in learning at school and in the larger world is dependent on feelings of pride in their own identity, language to address human difference, and tools to counter bias and unfairness in their world."
Early Violence Prevention Resources (pdf)
Social Skills Development and Violence Prevention Curriculum Materials (pdf)
—Available at the 4Cs Resource Lending Library
4Cs Resource Lending Library (link)
The goal of the Child Care Planning Council’s Early Violence Prevention Committee is to provide resources, materials and linkages regarding best practices for Early Violence Prevention to Sonoma County child care and development providers. In 2009, the committee developed a list of early violence prevention resources to assist providers in supporting children in developing the social skills they need to become tolerant, compassionate problem-solvers. This list of general resources and evidence-based curriculum resources is relevant to child care and development settings (Infant/Toddler Centers, Family Child Care Homes, Preschools and After School Programs).
In addition, the Child Care Planning Council has purchased some sample curriculum kits from among these Evidence-Based Practices for loan to Sonoma County child care and development programs. They are available through lending library at 4Cs during the 2010-2011 school year. We hope to collect evaluative feedback from users about their usefulness, ease and effectiveness.
Best Practices of Accreditation Facilitation Projects, from NAEYC (pdf)
—See Chapter 4, Community Leadership
Graphic and Resource List (pdf)
Leadership Recruitment Flier (pdf)
Supporting Emerging Leaders Handout (pdf)
The Child Care Planning Council recognizes that the make-up of current leadership in the Child Care and Development field is limited and in need of people of diverse cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, gender balance and cross-generational representation.
Aware of the wealth of talented diverse individuals in Sonoma County’s Child Care and Development workforce who have the potential to become our next leaders, the Child Care Planning Council is currently engaged in a variety of activities to support the development of the next generation of local leaders in our field.
Our children in Sonoma County are in a crisis. Far too many are falling through the cracks academically and many do not have proper food, shelter, clothing, health care, and early education. Sonoma County teens exceed the state average in all areas of high-risk behavior – drug/alcohol addiction, mental illness, and violence among our youth are at epidemic levels.
This is not a national issue or a state issue; this is a Sonoma County issue. As residents, business owners, parents, and those who value the community and quality of life in Sonoma County, we have the responsibility to ensure that all of our children are given a good start to life and have the opportunity to realize their full potential. Meeting the needs of children is critical to the success of our community.Partnership for Children is a comprehensive, coordinated network of private citizens, organizations, and government entities providing a united voice for our children in Sonoma County. It is leading a community movement to achieve the social and policy changes necessary to place children’s needs at the forefront and assure that those needs are incorporated in every choice made by citizens, their governments and businesses in Sonoma County. Please join us by becoming a member of Partnership for Children, and supporting the campaign!
As a community, we care that when our children are away from their families, they are cared for in environments and programs that meet a high level of quality. Overwhelmingly, research shows that when children are in child care, the quality of that care is an important determining factor in the optimal growth and development of children. Study after study indicates that children who have had high-quality child care experiences have a greater opportunity to reach their maximum potential in life. Therefore, the goal of the Sonoma County Definition and Statement of Quality Child Care is to provide guidance about what constitutes quality child care and to further our ongoing community effort ensuring that all children in Sonoma County are cared for in high-quality settings.
This document, created by the CCPC, substantiates the recent increased community recognition of the importance of child care and development. Links are provided to federal, state, and local government sources, as well as to those from the business, law enforcement, and military communities. In addition, the document provides key points from author David Kirp's book, The Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics.
These documents provide information about how child care and development programs can provide critical child abuse prevention strategies, relief for parents who need respite from the stresses of their responsibilities, and opportunities for children who have been abused or neglected to obtain safe, nurturing care.