Professor Karree Fah
December 19, 2010
Several people may ask the question, “What makes the difference in a family centered preschool?” This paper will help outline the importance of a family centered program versus a preschool that focuses only on the child. The learning of the children in family centered preschools are enhanced due to the focus points not only being on the child, but the family too. Educators can best help children achieve effectively by meeting the nine essential elements(Morrison, 2009). One of those nine elements is to develop a partnership with parents, families, and friends of each child. The focus of this paper is Abraham Maslow’s whole child concept(Maslow, 1954) and helping families resolve issues. This program style helps each child to learn and develop in a more consistent environment and maintaining the goals each family has expressed for their child.
Family Centered Preschool
As children prepare to enter preschool there are several areas required for educators to effectively address for the child and family to feel comfortable in this new type of environment. A family centered preschool’s goal is to focus on child and family not just the child. The first step in this process is to focus on any attachment issues. Attachment is normal for each child to go through. What makes attachment something important for educators to focus on? Well, it is a lasting emotional relationship that is part of child development and it begins in infancy. This process will continue throughout the child’s lifespan. It is important for early childhood educators and families to work together to recognize and agree on proper goals for the child so that each child attains proper development in this area. When preschool educators focus on providing healthy attachment development this will help each child transition more easily into school. One main goal of educators at this point is not to look down on the families of these children because this will hinder the ability to effectively support the adults in the child’s life. An educator must remain free of judgements and enter each relationship with an opened mind. The educators acts as an extended part of the child’s family remembering that it is not a competition game for the child’s affection. When attachment issues are recognized, very important to sit down with the family and correctly identify issues together. The next step would be to use problem solving techniques to resolve these issues. This could mean a few easy steps such as letting the child watching the parent leave when dropping the child off for preschool or providing the family with community resources such as classes educating the family on appropriately dealing with attachment issues. Setting the family up with an attachment expert would only need to be done if some of these things do not work. For example: a family has adopted the child and the child is not connecting with them. An educator could suggest some of the following: holding the baby more often, holding the bottle verses letting the child hold the bottle if still in bottle feeding stages, bathing with the baby (the skin to skin contact generates closeness), playing face to face games with baby (eye contact is important), and cuddling with the child. These are just a few suggestions that could be provided. Keeping staff well educated in this area and having a readily usable list of outside resources will help ensure the appropriate development of the children in the preschool. Once the attachment issues are resolved the child can move into the next stage of readiness for school which is self-help skills. Self-help skills become an important part of a child’s readiness for school. Educators of kindergarten expect each child to have already developed the skills to accomplish small tasks on their own. The job of the educators of a...