What does it mean and how do we measure high quality, early childhood learning care? This has become a national issue, with National Public Radio doing a 2 part series on this topic recently.
Our goal at The Child Care Success Company is to help our clients be the best they can be.
To address this, I have 3 top factors that drive high quality early learning.
The first factor is a program built on trust. If you ask teachers, parents and the children, you will get a strong sense of trust between parents and teachers, between teachers and their leaders, between the children and their teachers and a bond of trust between child to child. The school is a trust based environment for all parties. This can be achieved by parent surveys, voice of the teacher, voice of the customer, and just how the kids behave with each other, you can almost visibly see the trust that is present. A program built on trust with strong bonds of trust.
The second factor is what I call an atmosphere of organized learning. There are many philosophies out there on kinds of learning. Play based, Montessori, common element with all of them – a feeling of organized, or what I call Managed Learning. A non-chaotic environment. This relates to the energy in the room. Are the kids playing in a way that their wheels are turning? The teachers are so skilled that they are monitoring the kids and presenting different opportunities. There are teams of kids, there are children playing solo, there are stations where kids are shifting and learning from play and structure. A Managed Learning Environment.
And finally, the third factor is Stable and Engaged Leadership. From the top down you need to have owners and directors that are engaged. They empower their staff. There is stability there. When there is a revolving door of directors, they often times fail or struggle. Absentee owners or directors that are not present on a day to day basis and not engaged with teachers and leading the school does not send a message of stability and engaged leadership. Top down, engaged leadership that shares their vision, empowers their people, has stability and spends time on leadership Best Practices is what matters. Leadership that has shared core values, manages toxic employees out of the program and hire to the strong, core values.