The Oklahoma Association for the Education of Young Children’s State Legislative priorities include:
- Support adequate funding to provide Oklahoma’s young children with a safe and high-quality early childhood education that includes a developmentally appropriate curriculum tied to State Standards and authentic assessment measures.
- In order to assure Oklahoma’s families of high-quality early care and education programs, funding cannot be continually diminished.
- Support Early Childhood Professionals with a career ladder, leading to a degreed lead teacher in each classroom with adequate compensation.
- A system needs to be in place that will attract and retain high-quality educators at the critical stage of early brain development to enable future school success.
- Support local initiatives that promote high quality in early childhood programs benefiting Oklahoma’s children.
- Local quality initiatives build a stronger partnership to better meet the needs of and make decisions for Oklahoma’s families and providers.
What is quality in an early care and education setting?
This is a question that people often ask and most of us have a hard time answering. Early childhood research often focuses on this topic and the answer can seem a little confusing since a variety of words and categories are used to describe essentially the same characteristics that come together to make high quality settings for our young children.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a well-respected leader in working toward understanding and ensuring the highest quality learning for all children from birth through eight years old so that all children thrive and reach their full potentials. NAEYC’s list of quality standards (sometimes called indicators) is comprehensive, research-based, field-tested, and consistently updated as early childhood research evolves.
NAEYC’s quality indicators for high quality programs:
- Positive relationships
- Well-planned written curriculum
- Appropriate and effective teaching approaches
- Ongoing child assessment approaches
- Healthy children and staff
- Teaching staff with specialized knowledge & skills
- Strong family partnerships
- Community relationships
- Safe and healthy environments
- Effective management and operations