Philosophy, Mission, and Vision Role-Play

 About Us – St. Andrew’s Schools (

Early Childhood Learning Center – Lee County Schools (

Mission & Philosophy — ABC Preschool (

Our Mission and Vision – Tender Care Learning Centers (

Prior to beginning work on this discussion forum, read Chapter 1 in your textbook. Additionally, review the following websites and web pages that show examples of organizations’ philosophies:

· Queen Emma Preschool:  Andrew’s School About Us (Links to an external site.)

· The School District of Lee County:  Early Childhood Learning Center (Links to an external site.)

· ABC Preschool Mission and Philosophy   (Links to an external site.)

· Tender Care Learning Center:  Why Tender Care (Links to an external site.)

According to Gadikowski (2013), “The vision and mission statements of an early childhood program often reflect the organization’s philosophy, that is, its beliefs about how children best learn and develop” (Section 1.4).

Imagine you have just been hired as the leader of a new ECE program. Your first task is to develop the philosophy, vision, and mission for the program. To assist you with this task, first evaluate the philosophy, vision, and mission using Table 1.1 “Philosophy, Vision, and Mission as Administrative Tools” in your textbook for the provided schools above. Then, choose two of the schools and complete the following table:

  Website 1

(choose from the list above)

Website 2

(choose from the list above)

Identify the strengths of this organization’s philosophy, vision and mission.    
Discuss areas for improvement of this organization’s philosophy and mission in your opinion.    

After completing the table, develop a draft of your philosophy, vision, and mission for your new childcare center. Be sure to include what you have learned from the text and from your evaluations to help shape your ideas. You will build on this later in the course, as well as throughout your degree program. Your discussion post should be at least 300 words in length. Please be sure to cite the two schools you choose within your post and provide corresponding reference entries. If you need assistance with APA formatting for online sources, refer to the Writing Center resource, the APA  References (Links to an external site.)  Guide.

An Overview of Early Childhood Administration 1

Juice Images/SuperStock

Pre-Test 1. Children who attend high-quality early childhood

programs are more likely to score well on reading tests in elementary school than children who don’t. T/F

2. The establishment of the Head Start program in the 1960s helped launch the rapid growth of early childhood education programs in the United States. T/F

3. Most early childhood programs are run by public school systems. T/F

4. Typically, the responsibilities of an early childhood administrator are focused on managing program finances. T/F

5. Program philosophy is a primary influence on curriculum development, hiring practices, and parent communication. T/F

Answers can be found at the end of the chapter.

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

1. Discuss the benefits of quality early childhood education for children, families, and society.

2. Identify, describe, and differentiate among several different types of early childhood programs.

3. Describe the primary roles and responsibilities of the early childhood education administrator.

4. Explain how early childhood administrators use their programs’ philosophy, vision, and mission to support, orga- nize, and guide their work.


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CHAPTER 1Introduction

“I loved teaching, but I was ready for a new challenge.” This is how 28-year-old Lindsay Miller described her reasons for accepting a new job as an early childhood administrator. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, Lindsay taught for five years in a full-day preschool program. The director of the program mentored Lindsay and encouraged her to develop her leadership skills. For the last two years, Lindsay served as the chair of the teacher’s curriculum committee and also gained supervision experience by inviting student teachers from the local college to do their practicum work in her classroom.

When Lindsay heard that a position was available as the director of the child care center at the local YMCA, she was eager to apply. She wasn’t sure if she would be a favorable candidate because the job posting listed a master’s degree in early childhood as a preferred qualification, so Lindsay was surprised and happy when she received a call inviting her to interview.

Lindsay participated in two interviews: one with the director of the YMCA and one with the advi- sory committee for the center—a group consisting of several YMCA board members, a few parents of children enrolled in the center, and YMCA staff members. She was especially nervous for the sec- ond interview, but it went well and she was offered the job on the condition that she begin working toward a master’s degree in early childhood education.

Today is Lindsay’s first day on the job. She arrives early in the morning, before any of the staff or children have arrived. She unlocks the door to her office with the key she was given the day she signed her contract and was introduced to the teaching staff. She sits behind her new desk and looks out the window across the center’s playground. Lindsay takes a deep breath and wonders how long it will take to master her new role as an administrator, and if she will enjoy the work as much as she enjoyed teaching. Will administrative tasks like creating budgets, hiring teachers, and writing policies be as satisfying as working directly with the children?

Lindsay’s moment of reflection is soon interrupted by the arrival of the first group of teachers, ready to set up their classrooms for the day. Lindsay begins circulating through the center, greeting teachers and making a list of her priorities. By the time she returns to her desk, the sun is up and the playground is full of children. Lindsay stands at the window and smiles. She is optimistic that she will find mean- ing and gratification in this new job as the director of a busy and bustling early childhood program.


Throughout this book, which will summarize the concepts and information that make up the core knowledge base necessary to lead an early childhood program, we’ll follow the path of Lindsay in her first few months as an early childhood director. This first chapter serves as an

overview of the role of an early childhood administrator and an introduction to the broad variety of program types and structures. You’ll learn how important it is for a program to have a vision and mission, and how program philosophy plays a significant role in shaping everything that happens in the early childhood program. The chapters that follow will examine the range of responsibilities of an early childhood administrator, exploring in depth the ways the role of an administrator dif- fers from that of a teacher or caregiver.

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.1 The Benefits of Early Childhood Education

1.1 The Benefits of Early Childhood Education

According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the largest membership organization for early education professionals, there are more than 300,000 licensed or regulated early childhood programs in the United States (NAEYC,

n.d.). This figure includes a variety of for-profit and nonprofit program types, such as child care centers, preschools, and family child care homes.

An early childhood care program is generally defined as an educational or child care service pro- vided to young children, including infants through 5-year-olds and often also inclusive of older children in after-school programs. Such programs usually employ teachers or caregivers, as well as support staff such as kitchen workers or office assistants. The amount of time children spend in early childhood programs each day can vary from a few hours in a part-day preschool program to nine hours or more in a full-day child care center.

With rare exception, these programs are run by early childhood administrators. The work of early childhood administrators has a significant effect on the lives of young children and their families, because early childhood education plays an important role in the healthy development of children and sets the stage for academic achievement and future success.

Meeting the Needs of Children and Families For many parents, the top priority in enrolling their child in an early childhood program is to find adequate child care services so they can continue to work outside the home. In the United States today, more than half of the mothers of children under age five are in the labor force (United States Department of Labor, 2008), and four out of five young children with employed moth- ers receive child care by someone other than their parents (Forum on Child and Family Statis- tics, 2010). Working parents may need flexibility in pick-up and drop-off times, some may need extended hours care, and all want care that is safe, high quality, and affordable.

Parents also enroll their children in child care or preschool programs for social and cognitive rea- sons. They may wish for their child to interact with other children, or they may seek to develop their child’s school-readiness skills to help prepare him or her for kindergarten.

For children who are considered high risk for school failure, there are programs that provide tar- geted supports to help children develop language, literacy, and problem-solving skills. For example, publicly funded early childhood programs help children living in poverty who might not otherwise have access to early childhood programs prepare for kindergarten and later school success.

Positive Outcomes of High-Quality Care The first five years of a child’s life are a critical period of development. Children are learning essen- tial cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and self-help skills necessary for success in school and in life. A growing body of research suggests that children who participate in high-quality early child- hood programs are more successful, both academically and socially, than children in poor-quality programs (Child Trends Data Bank, 2006) (see the Focus On feature box for a discussion of what constitutes high-quality care).

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.1 The Benefits of Early Childhood Education

Focus On: A Commitment to Quality Running any kind of business is a challenge, whether it’s a bank or a button factory, but running an early childhood program carries an extra level of responsibility because early childhood administrators are trusted to oversee the education, social development, safety, and well-being of our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. The NAEYC states in its Code of Ethical Conduct that an administrator of an early childhood program is committed to providing a “high-quality program based on current knowledge of child development and best practices in early care and education” (NAEYC, 2006).

Administrators create and support quality by maintaining high standards, which are the benchmarks or bases for measuring

Longitudinal studies, which track the progress and development of children over a long period, show that children who participated in comprehensive high-quality early childhood programs show lasting developmental differences, such as higher scores on reading and math tests (Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, 1999). Studies also show that children who participate in high-quality programs fare significantly better than those enrolled in poor-quality or mediocre programs. For example, the Cost, Quality & Outcomes study published by the National Center for Early Development and Learning shows that children who were in high-quality care programs when they were three and four years old scored better on math, language, and social skills devel- opment through the early elementary years than children in poor-quality care (National Center for Early Development and Learning, 1999).

Some of the strongest evidence of the long-term benefits of high-quality early childhood care and education comes from studies that have evaluated preschool programs that serve disadvantaged children, from small models, such as the Carolina Abecedarian Project, to large-scale programs, such as Head Start. These long-term studies suggest that high-quality early childhood programs can have positive effects on children’s academic achievement well into the high school years. Children who participated in high-quality programs achieve higher test scores in math and reading than children who did not, and they are also more likely to finish high school and attend college.

Quality early childhood care is so important that federal legislation mandates support for pro- grams serving children at every age level, from infants through school-age. Currently, there are more than a million children enrolled in federally funded Head Start programs and more than 1.5 million young children in child care programs funded by the Child Care Development Fund, the primary federal program specifically devoted to child care services and quality (Children’s Defense Fund [CDF], 2012).

Children whose backgrounds make them at risk for school failure, such as children living in poverty, gain the most from experience in quality settings and are more negatively affected by poor-quality experiences (National Center for Early Development and Learning, 1999). For instance, students who participated in high-quality early childhood programs are less likely to require special educa- tion classes in elementary and secondary school than children enrolled in poor-quality programs (Committee for Economic Development [CED], 2006).

San Diego County Office of Education Keeping current on research and best practices are two ways early child administrators can show their commitment to quality.


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CHAPTER 1Section 1.1 The Benefits of Early Childhood Education

Focus On: A Commitment to Quality (continued) progress or levels of quality. Some of the most significant indicators of quality in an early childhood program include low teacher-child ratios; professional credentials of teachers; meaningful interac- tions between teachers, children, and families; a safe and learning enriched physical environment; a research based curriculum; and accurate child assessment.

Low teacher-child ratios

Having more teachers and fewer children in a class means the children will receive more attention from their teachers and, as a result, gain more from the experience. Minimum standards for teacher- child ratio are usually mandated by state licensing regulations, but these standards vary from state to state and many high-quality programs far exceed these minimum standards.

For example, while many states mandate a minimum four to one child to teacher ratio for infant child care centers, numerous research findings demonstrate that infants receive much more responsive, sensitive care when the ratio is three to one (Center for Law and Social Policy [CLASP], 2008). The NAEYC accreditation cri- teria, often the benchmark of quality for early childhood programs, requires teacher-child ratios for infants of either three to one or four to one, for toddlers 12 to 28 months no more than four to one, for 2-year-olds no greater than six to one, and for preschoolers up to 5-years-old no more than 10 to 1 (NAEYC, 2008).

Professional credentials and training of teachers

Unlike primary and secondary school teachers, there is no uniform set of credentials or competen- cies required for early childhood teachers. Yet the level of teachers’ educational backgrounds directly affects the benefits children receive in an early childhood program. Teachers with specialized college- level training in topics such as child development, teaching methods, and curriculum are better able to support and challenge the children in their care (North Carolina Rated License Assessment Project, n.d.). Hence, there is a direct correlation between the leader’s credentials and experience and the overall level of program quality.

NAEYC Director Qualifications

• 10.A.02 The program administrator has the educational qualifications and personal commitment required to serve as the program’s operational and pedagogical leader. This criterion can be met in one of three ways:

The administrator. . .

1. has at least a baccalaureate degree. [AND] 2. has at least 9 credit-bearing hours of specialized college-level course work in administration,

leadership, and management (which can be in school administration, business manage- ment, communication, technology, early childhood management or administration, or some combination of these areas.) [AND]

3. has at least 24 credit-bearing hours of specialized college-level course work in early child- hood education, child development, elementary education, or early childhood special education that encompasses child development and children’s learning from birth through kindergarten; family and community relationships; the practices of observing, documenting, and assessing young children; teaching and learning processes; and professional practices and development.


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CHAPTER 1Section 1.1 The Benefits of Early Childhood Education

Focus On: A Commitment to Quality (continued) • 10.A.03 The program administrator demonstrates commitment to a high level of continuing professional competence (see Program Administrator Definition and Competencies) and an ability to promote teamwork.

• 10.A.07 The program administrator and other program leaders systematically support an organizational climate that fosters trust, collaboration, and inclusion.

(NAEYC Accreditation Criteria, 2012a)

Interactions between teachers, children, and families

In high-quality early childhood programs, teachers are attentive and respectful to children and fam- ily members. For example, during classroom conversations they respond to children’s questions and requests, make eye contact, smile, and use a warm tone of voice.

Physical environment

Children benefit from a physical environment that is safe, comfortable, and that provides opportuni- ties for discovery and learning. Teachers in high-quality programs organize the space and the materials so that children have enough room to play and explore.


The curriculum implemented in a high-quality early childhood program fosters children’s cogni- tive development in key content areas such as language, literacy, mathematics, technology, creative expression, and the arts. Curriculum should also foster social, emotional, and physical development.

Child assessment

In high-quality early childhood programs, child assessment and curriculum goals are closely aligned. The child assessment process is ongoing and supports children’s learning.

Early childhood administrators must continually monitor and assess the quality of care and educa- tion provided in their programs. Formal, standardized measures of quality, such as quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) and accreditation processes, will be discussed in Chapter 3. Early child- hood administrators also monitor quality informally every day as they interact with children and staff members and observe classrooms and playgrounds.

Economic Benefits One of the great pleasures of working in the field of early childhood education is having the oppor- tunity to build relationships and provide learning experiences that will benefit children for the rest of their lives. Among early childhood professionals there is often a sense of shared optimism that our work with children will help make the world a better place. Research suggests that this convic- tion is, indeed, true. Studies indicate that children who participate in high-quality early childhood programs provide an economic benefit to society because as adults they make more valuable contributions to the workforce and the economy.

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.2 Early Childhood Programs: The Basics

High school dropout rates among students who attended high-quality early childhood programs is about 25% less than students who did not attend high-quality early childhood pro- grams. High school and college graduates earn higher salaries, which means they contribute more to the economy. Additional studies indicate that adults who participated in high-quality pre- school programs when they were young are more likely to be employed in higher-paying, skilled jobs (CED, 2006).

In fact, child advocacy groups often assert that every dollar invested in quality early care and education saves taxpayers up to $13 in the form of future contributions to society and savings in remedial programs (Calman & Tarr-Whelan, 2005). For example, funding invested in early childhood education that improves program quality will result in more children achieving success in primary and secondary school, and more young adults successfully entering the workforce. The dollars spent at the front end, in early childhood care and education, will diminish the need for remedial programs for students who drop out of high school and for job programs that provide training for adults struggling to find and retain employment.

The powerful message behind these projections is that everyone benefits from a commitment to quality in early childhood education, even citizens who are not parents of young children, because tax dollars spent on early childhood programs will, in the long term, enhance economic vitality.

Questions to Think About 1. In the United States today, which do you think is more important, early childhood educa-

tion or post-secondary (college) education? Explain. 2. What do you think would happen if more people were aware of the benefits of early

childhood care and education?

1.2 Early Childhood Programs: The Basics

The range of different kinds of programs providing early childhood care and education today is broad and varied. Unlike the systems of public and private elementary schools, the roots of which were established even before the American Revolution (Mather Elementary

School, n.d.), early childhood education has grown into a diverse professional field only in the last 50 years. The establishment of the federal Head Start program in the 1960s, combined with the growing need for child care to support working families in the 1970s, led to the rapid development and expansion of early childhood programs (Elkind, 2009). Today, the variety of programs avail- able is robust, and they are run or sponsored by entities as diverse as corporations, churches, the government, or private individuals or families.

Blue Jean Images/SuperStock

While the size, services, and structure of early childhood programs vary, all programs seek to create welcoming spaces for children where they can play and learn.

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.2 Early Childhood Programs: The Basics

Variations Among Programs Early childhood programs will vary in many ways, and the diversity of the programs can be seen in terms of who is served and what services are offered. Programs can fall into a number of cat- egories, including state agencies, federal agencies (like Head Start), college- and university-run programs (including lab schools), and private for-profit or nonprofit facilities (which include family child care homes and child care centers).

Variations in Terminology A program marketed as a school is usually a preschool or pre-kindergarten (pre-k) facility existing primarily to provide education services, while a program labeled as a child care center is usu- ally designed primarily to provide care and supervision for infants and young children of working parents. Programs that aim to blend both care and education are often called child development centers. In practice, the terms school and center are often used interchangeably in early childhood education, and both care and education occur in all early childhood settings.

Note that despite their name, early childhood pro- grams labeled as schools are not necessarily part of a larger academic institution. Some may be independent, freestanding programs. For example, Beacon Hill Nursery School is an independent early childhood program in Boston that offers half-day classes for toddlers and preschoolers. Likewise, the Child Care Center of Evanston in suburban Chicago is a full-day preschool program that both cares for and educates the children of working families. However, some early childhood programs are part of a larger public or private school, such as Anne Frank Elemen- tary School in Dallas, Texas, which is a large public school that houses several pre-k classrooms.

Some child care programs are part of a large child care corporation, such as KinderCare Learning Centers or Bright Horizons Child Development Center. Others may be part of community-based human service agen- cies, such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Employ- ers sometimes provide on-site child care, such as the Day Care Center at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut, which provides care for the children of hospital employees. Finally, some

early childhood schools include federally funded Head Start programs that provide a structured cur- riculum, which addresses specific learning goals in cognitive and language development.

Home-Based Programs In addition to schools and centers, most states allow individuals to become licensed to care for groups of children in their homes. While regulations vary from state to state, most licensed provid- ers must set aside a separate space, such as a basement, specifically for child care activities. Many of the administrative concepts and skills described in this book are also relevant to family child care homes, but on a much smaller scale.

age fotostock/SuperStock Anyone who works with young children will be both providing care and educating the children enrolled in their program.

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.2 Early Childhood Programs: The Basics

Yvette Cardozo/Photolibrary/Getty Images Some early childhood programs provide a specialized service, such as drop-in child care for parents while they use a fitness center.

Ages Served One characteristic that may differ from program to program is the ages of the children served. Generally, early childhood education is divided into four age groups:

• infants (0–18 months), • toddlers (18–36 months), • preschoolers (3–5 years old), and • school-age (5–8 years old).

Some programs specialize in meeting the needs of just one age group, such as a nursery school that offers preschool classes for children between the ages of three and five. Some programs may link two or more of these age groups, such as infants and toddlers, together, and offer services that extend across both developmental levels. Large early childhood programs may provide services to all four of these age levels, from infant child care up to after-school care for school-age children.

Hours of Operation Generally, programs can be divided into two categories, part-day or full-day. A part-day program might offer morning classes for preschoolers that run from 9:00 a.m. to noon. In contrast, a full-day program is usually open 10 or 11 hours each weekday in order to provide child care services for working families. Parents might drop off their children in the morning on their way to work, per- haps as early as 6:30 or 7:00 a.m., and pick up their children after work, around 6:00 or 6:30 p.m.

Serving Specific Needs While many early childhood programs are created to provide broad, general child care or educational experiences, some programs meet a very specific need, such as a program that offers gymnastics and dance classes to 4- and 5-year-olds, a parent group that organizes parent-tot classes and parent support meetings, or a drop-in child care program available for shoppers in a department store.

In some cases, programs primarily serve the needs of parents, providing child care, parent education, or parent support services. In other cases, the pur- pose of programs is primarily to serve the needs of children by providing educational, social, or enrich- ment experiences. But all early childhood programs provide some kind of balance, taking into consider- ation both the needs of parents and of children.

Children With Special Needs Many early childhood programs that serve a gen- eral population of families also enroll children with special needs, such as children with developmental

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.2 Early Childhood Programs: The Basics

delays or chronic medical conditions. These inclusive programs work to integrate quality program- ming for all children with the specialized intervention or support services that are targeted to benefit the children with special needs.

Other early childhood programs provide only services for children with special needs. Early inter- vention programs and therapeutic preschools provide therapy, care, and education to infants, toddlers, and young children with special needs, as well as support services for their families. Programs are designed to respond to the individual needs of each child; for example, a program might provide audiology services to a child with a hearing impairment. Some of these services are mandated and funded through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). More details about administering programs for children with special needs will be provided in Chapter 8.

Government-Funded Programs Programs that receive public funds are primarily those that provide full-day child care services to working families or those that serve at-risk populations, such as families living in poverty. Govern- ment funds or grants for early childhood programs are created when new laws are passed that mandate funding for a specific purpose. Funding levels may change over time, depending upon legislative decisions. The money for government funding comes from tax dollars, usually at the federal or state level.

Whether a program receives government funding and to what extent the program is funded by government grants will help determine the structure and size of the program. For example, a child care center that serves an economically diverse population of families may choose to expand its services to include infants and toddlers if it becomes eligible for Early Head Start funds.

For-Profit and Nonprofit Programs A for-profit early childhood program exists for the financial benefit of its owners or shareholders. Examples of for-profit programs include small neighborhood child care centers run by an indi- vidual or family, or a large child care chain, such as La Petite Academy.

A nonprofit organization does not have owners or shareholders. The organization exists for the greater good of the community or of society. A nonprofit organization may make a profit, but that profit must be used to further the mission of the organization. Common examples of nonprofit programs include small preschools associated with churches or other congregations, and larger programs associated with national human service agencies, such as the YMCA. A preschool or pre-k program that is part of a public school is a nonprofit program, as is a federally funded pro- gram like Head Start (see the Focus On feature box).

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.2 Early Childhood Programs: The Basics

Focus On: Head Start Head Start is a federal program that provides early childhood education to low income children in centers across the United States. Head Start serves children at risk for school failure and includes chil- dren, regardless of family income status, who have disabilities. In addition to the educational compo- nent, Head Start also provides health, nutrition, and family support services. Funding for Head Start is provided to public and private agencies in the form of government grants.

Head Start was founded in 1965 as a summer school program to help disadvantaged children get ready for kindergarten. It was soon evident that a few weeks of instruction was not enough to support children who were living in poverty and help prepare them for success in school. The program was expanded to year-round preschool for children ages three to five.

In 1994 an infant-toddler component, Early Head Start, was added to serve children from birth through age three. Over the years, more than 27 million children have enrolled in Head Start (United States Department of Health and Human Services, 2010).

The broad goals of Head Start are to enhance children’s cogni- tive, social, and emotional development. Head Start provides a learning environment that supports children’s growth in the following domains:

• language and literacy, • cognition and general knowledge, • physical development and health, • social and emotional development, and • approaches to learning.

Some studies of the outcomes of Head Start have been supportive, some critical, and some mixed. Many children who participate in Head Start still enter kindergarten with below-average skill and knowledge levels. Proponents of Head Start argue that the at-risk population of Head Start students would be at even lower levels without Head Start services (United States Department of Health and Human Services, 2003). The National Institute on Early Childhood Research has more information on research about Head Start.

John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images Nearly 30 million children and families have received services from Head Start since it was founded in 1965.

Sole Proprietorships and Franchises Among for-profit programs, there are a wide variety of profit-generating businesses models. One category is a sole proprietorship, a business owned by an individual. Family child care pro- viders who run programs in their own homes are often sole proprietors. Another common cat- egory is a franchise, a business operated under a license from a larger company. The Primrose Schools is an example of a corporation that licenses its business model in return for a share of the franchise’s profits.

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.2 Early Childhood Programs: The Basics

Administrative Accountability For both for-profit and nonprofit programs, an organization must set clear lines of authority for decision making and accountabil- ity in order to function efficiently and effectively. Typically, there is one administrator designated as the “director” of the program. There may be other administra- tors, such as an assistant direc- tor or curriculum director, who report to the director. However, the person with the title of direc- tor does not necessarily hold the highest authority. The direc- tor may report to a board of directors, to a program owner, or to a corporate headquarters, depending on the organizational structure, or chain of command, of the program. That structure is often represented in an organizational chart (Figure 1.1). The chart illustrates to whom each staff member reports and shows who is responsible for supervising other staff members.

Figure 1.1: Sample Organizational Chart for a For-Profit Organization

iStockphoto/Thinkstock Early childhood programs often receive funding from multiple sources. For example, a pre-k program in a public school may receive federal funds for meals for low-income students, state funds for the educational program, as well as parent tuition for after-school child care services.

In this small for-profit program, the site director supervises the teachers and reports to the executive director. In a nonprofit program, an executive director might supervise a team of administrators and report to a board of directors.

Executive Director

Site Director

Site Director

Site Director








Teacher Teacher

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.3 The Role of the Early Childhood Administrator

In many early childhood programs, the director reports to a board. Although board members are often volunteers, they are legally responsible for the governance, or oversight, of the organization. The responsibilities of board members are named in the board bylaws, a document that describes the rules and structure of the board of directors. Laws vary from state to state, but all corporate boards, both nonprofit and for-profit, must have bylaws to describe how they will be governed.

Questions to Think About 1. In your community, how diverse are the options for early childhood care and education? 2. If you had the opportunity to start your own early childhood program, would you choose

to make it for profit or nonprofit? Explain.

1.3 The Role of the Early Childhood Administrator

As demonstrated in the discussion of organizational structure, the term administrator cov- ers a broad category of different leadership roles in early childhood programs. Admin- istrators may include center directors and assistant directors, curriculum coordinators,

teacher supervisors, and program managers. Most frequently the leader of an early childhood program is the designated authority who holds the title of “director” and is accountable for the supervision of the program. For example,

• Muriel is the director of a small independent preschool. Her program offers part-day classes for three, four, and five year olds. Her program is housed in three classrooms in a community center that are rented from the local park district. Muriel’s program is small, serving about 50 children. In addition to directing the program, Muriel serves as one of the coteachers of the 3-year-old class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

• Pam is the director of a large child care center that is part of an urban human service orga- nization. Her center serves about 300 children in full-day programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, as well as an after-school program for children in kindergarten through fourth grade. Many of the families served by Pam’s program are low income and eligible for publicly subsidized child care. Pam oversees an administrative team that includes an infant-toddler specialist, a curriculum coordinator, and an after-school coordinator.

• Yvonne is the director and owner of a suburban child care center located near a com- muter train station. Her program offers full-day child care for about 100 children between the ages of three and five. In addition to child care services, Yvonne’s program offers enrichment programs such as dance classes and art lessons. Yvonne started the program as the only administrator. As the center grew, she added an assistant director and a bookkeeper to her staff.

Leadership Styles Having courage and confidence and being articulate and assertive are characteristics often associ- ated with strong leadership. But the repertoire of skills and abilities needed for effective leadership in an educational environment may be somewhat different from those needed in other contexts. For example, leaders in early childhood programs must be flexible and resourceful in order to man- age and respond to the ongoing changes in the educational environment.

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.3 The Role of the Early Childhood Administrator

It is easy to say good leaders must be flexible and resourceful, but it is more difficult to identify the specific behaviors and actions that demonstrate effective leadership. What does good leadership look like? Recent research that follows successful leaders in educational settings reveals some key leadership behaviors: establishing clear goals and expectations, using resources strategically, and ensuring an orderly and supportive work environment. Furthermore, good leaders promote and participate in the teaching and learning process (Fullan & Boyle, 2010). This research suggests that a successful leadership style in an educational setting is one that is collaborative and participatory.

Responsibilities The work of an early childhood administrator includes a very diverse mix of responsibilities. Chal- lenges vary from day to day and from season to season. Most of an administrator’s tasks can be categorized into three groups: responsibilities related to people, responsibilities related to resources, and responsibilities related to information.

People The broad purpose of any early childhood program is to serve children and families, which means that working with people is at the heart of the administrator’s job. The three primary groups of people administrators work with are families, staff, and community members.

Administrators respond to parent inquiries, lead parent tours, enroll children, and welcome fami- lies. They hire, train, and supervise staff. Early childhood administrators also work with community members such as neighbors, donors, business leaders, public school principals, or park district board members. Responsibilities related to this group might include attending neighborhood meetings or writing thank you letters to donors. Among these three groups—families, staff, and community members—administrative responsibilities are quite varied, yet all involve communica- tion and building relationships.

Resources Managing, which means directing or overseeing, resources is another important category of administrative tasks. Resources include physical things, such as the facility, the materials and equipment, and supplies, including food. Administrators carry out a broad range of duties related to managing these resources, such as supervising the janitorial staff, making safety inspections, and ordering snacks or meals. In addition to these tangible, concrete things, another important resource is the staff, the human resources. Responsibilities related to managing human resources include creating and managing staff schedules and documenting payroll.

Information Any administrative role in an early childhood program requires a great deal of documentation or paperwork. In the 21st century, the term paperwork now also includes managing a wide range of digital information as well as hard files. Responsibilities related to information management may include updating the program’s website, reviewing online child assessment portfolios, and completing the forms required for the annual renewal of the program’s liability insurance policy.

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.3 The Role of the Early Childhood Administrator

Setting Administrative Priorities Tackling the broad range of administrative tasks necessary to run an early childhood program can be overwhelming, and the ability to set priorities is key. Each day administrators must make wise choices about which tasks are most important to accomplish right away, such as responding to a parent concern, while still budgeting time for long-term projects, such as revising a staff hand- book. Often the key to managing priorities is finding a balance between different kinds of tasks.

For example, administrators who spend most of their time and energy in classrooms, observing teachers and talking with staff members, may neglect some of the important organizational tasks, like overseeing tuition payments. At the same time, administrators who spend most of their time and energy at their desks, managing finances and paperwork, may risk losing touch with what is happening inside the classrooms. All these tasks are important and require regular, balanced attention for a program to be successful.

A Day in the Life What is it like to balance so many different roles and responsibilities? Let’s look at an example of a typical day in the life of an early childhood administrator.

Suppose you are the director of a large child care center. Your work day may begin before you even leave home, with a call from a teacher who is ill and won’t be able to come to work. You quickly place a call to a retired teacher who has offered to be on call as a substitute and arrange for her to cover the shift.

Once you arrive at the center, you unlock the door and welcome the first shift of teachers and caregivers as they arrive to set up their classrooms. As you turn on your computer, one of the morning teachers informs you that the sink in the toddler bathroom is not working. You briefly meet with the toddler teachers and create a plan for the toddlers to share one of the preschool bathrooms until you can get the sink fixed. You make a quick call to the local plumber and arrange for a service call later that morning. Meanwhile, families are starting to arrive and drop off their children for the day. You greet the families and answer a few questions about tuition balances and an upcoming parent meeting.

The remainder of the morning is spent in an orientation session with a new preschool teacher. You review the employee handbook with the teacher and help her complete the necessary paperwork for the employee files. You introduce the teacher to the rest of the staff and spend some time with her in the classroom, demonstrating important health and safety practices. While you were work- ing with the new teacher, the plumber arrived and fixed the toddler sink.

After returning a few phone calls and email messages, you take a few minutes to complete a grant pro- posal to a local community foundation. As the teachers eat lunch with the children in the classrooms, you eat a sandwich at your desk and type up an agenda for the weekly preschool team meeting. Once the preschoolers are settled for their afternoon nap, you meet with the preschool teachers and address a variety of issues, from a discussion of concerns about a very quiet child who is reluctant to speak to adults, to a debate about what should be the curriculum focus for the next planning period.

Following the preschool team meeting, you complete attendance reports, observe the new teacher in the preschool class, and greet families as they arrive to pick up their children. As you put on

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.4 Philosophy, Vision, and Mission

your coat at the end of the day, you see the child who has been having trouble speaking to adults. She is leaving the center with her mom and waving to the new preschool teacher. The child calls out, “Bye! Bye, Teacher!” You smile to yourself as you turn out the lights and lock the front door.

Questions to Think About 1. Which category of responsibilities do you think would be most challenging—managing

people, managing resources, or managing information? Why? 2. Which category do you think would be the most enjoyable? Why?

1.4 Philosophy, Vision, and Mission

Suppose, similar to Lindsay in our opening scenario, you’ve just been hired to develop and administer an early childhood program in your community. Or suppose you’ve been hired to build a new program from scratch. How would you begin? Before you start making changes

in an existing program, or before you start ordering furniture and hiring teachers for a new pro- gram, it will be helpful to take a step back and ask yourself some important questions. What are your hopes for this program? How will this program help children learn and grow? How will it contribute to the community? These questions are related to how you will understand and follow or develop and define the program’s philosophy, vision, and mission.

Program Philosophy The vision and mission statements of an early childhood program often reflect the organization’s philosophy, that is, its beliefs about how children best learn and develop. A program’s philosophy

represents the core values and culture of an orga- nization and determines the roles staff members and parents will play in the care and education of the children enrolled there. The philosophy is used to guide classroom practices, curriculum develop- ment, the hiring of teachers, and the recruitment of families.

For example, a program that follows the Montes- sori philosophy might emphasize the presentation and organization of classroom materials, while a program based on the Waldorf philosophy might emphasize children’s participation in creative activi- ties such as music and dance. When parents read about the program’s philosophy in a brochure or on a website, they can get a sense of whether or not that program will be a good fit for their family.

The same is true when seeking a good fit in the hir- ing of teachers: Potential candidates for teaching positions can read about the program’s philosophy and decide whether their individual beliefs about teaching will match the program’s. Questions about

PhotoAlto/Sandro Di Carlo Darsa/Getty Images Parents are pleased when there’s a good fit between a program’s philosophy and what they want for their children.

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.4 Philosophy, Vision, and Mission

philosophy during the interview process also reveal whether a candidate’s ideas about teaching and learning are aligned with the program’s philosophy.

Here is an example of how an early childhood program that’s based on the techniques of the Mon- tessori method might describe its philosophy:

Montessori Garden Preschool, White Plains, New York

At the Montessori Garden our goal is to nurture and expand the minds of young children by providing a safe and peaceful environment. We believe in the Montes- sori philosophy, which supports the child’s cognitive, social emotional and physical development. We value cultural diversity and our teachers are dedicated to sup- porting and encouraging the growth of each individual child.

A basic idea of the Montessori philosophy is that carried unseen within each child is the person that child can become. To develop his or her physical, intellectual and spiritual powers to the fullest, the child must have freedom achieved through order and self-discipline.

Dr. Montessori developed what she called “the prepared environment.” Among its features is an ordered arrangement of learning materials in a non-competitive atmosphere, which helps each child develop at his/her own rate. Dr. Montessori also recognized that self-motivation is the only valid impulse to learning.

Permission granted by The Montessori Garden, Inc.

Early Childhood Theory The philosophy of an early childhood program is usually aligned with a specific school of thought about how children learn and grow, ideas based on research and child development theory. Current information about what is considered “best prac- tice” in the field of early childhood education can be found in the position statements and publications of professional organizations, such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Generally, high-quality early childhood programs today take a philosophical position that embraces constructivism. The main idea behind a constructivist approach is that children build their own knowledge through hands-on experiences. The constructivist philosophy was developed and endorsed by theo- rists such as Jean Piaget, who believed that young children develop their own intellect through explor- ing their physical environment (Piaget & Inhelder, 1969), and Lev Vygotsky, who believed that children develop intellect through their social interactions with other children and adults (Vygotsky, 1978).

iStockphoto/Thinkstock Programs that adopt a constructivist philosophy support the belief that children build knowledge through play.

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.4 Philosophy, Vision, and Mission

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock When early childhood administrators follow a vision for what children will experience in their programs, they are able to focus on what’s most important.

Creating a Vision While the program philosophy informs practice on a daily basis, a vision is an image or idea of the best possible outcome for an organization and the people it serves. The vision is what you want your students and school to become. A vision can be inspirational, a dream or hope for the future. An early childhood administrator must have an understanding of where the organization wants to go in order to move the organization forward.

An organization’s vision may be represented by a vision statement, which is a sentence or paragraph that describes what the organization hopes to accomplish. One leader, such as the program director, may write the statement, or a team of individuals involved in the organization may create it collab- oratively to increase support for the idea.

A vision statement should be written in a way that can be easily understood by staff, families, and community members; and its meaning should be broad enough to include all the functions

of the organization. An example of a very brief vision statement might be “Early education for all.” Or “A community of lifelong learners.” A longer example is, “The vision of Oak Street Child Development Center is to create a diverse community of young learners where every family feels welcome and valued.”

A vision statement may include additional details or bullet points that describe more specific com- ponents of the program such as, “Staff will serve as role models for the children by demonstrat- ing a lifelong love of learning.” The vision statement can then be used internally to help direct and motivate the staff. The vision

statement can also be used to support the administrator’s work externally by helping the administra- tor present the essential qualities of the program to the public, including potential funding sources.

Defining a Mission In addition to a vision, an organization also needs a clearly articulated mission statement, which describes why the organization exists, what it does, and who it serves. While a vision statement inspires dreams, a mission statement inspires action. A good mission statement is functional and concrete and helps staff members prioritize and focus their efforts. It should be concise, it should

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.4 Philosophy, Vision, and Mission

focus on the important outcomes the organization works to achieve, and it should be broad enough to include all the main goals of the organization.

A mission statement is an essential tool for an administrator leading and supervising the work of an early childhood program. It can be used to drive hiring practices, create or revise policies, guide budget planning, and make decisions about program growth and expansion. In a successful and efficient organization, every activity is aligned with and reflects the mission statement.

Here are three examples of strong mission statements from early childhood programs:

Flagstaff Cooperative Preschools, Flagstaff, Arizona

Our mission is to develop the intellect, personality, body and heart of each child by creating an environment and experiences in tune with individual characteristics and family backgrounds. We promote interactive experiences while at play, and support the development of every child’s self-esteem, self-reliance and positive view of life through family and community involvement.

Used by permission of Flagstaff Cooperative Preschools.

This mission statement explicitly names family and community involvement as an important char- acteristic of its program, and the use of phrases like “body and heart” of each child emphasizes the program’s holistic, developmental approach to early childhood education.

The mention of “play” here suggests that learning through play is a significant part of the pro- gram’s philosophy.

The Compass School, Cincinnati, Ohio

The mission of The Compass School is to provide a safe and nurturing environ- ment that promotes your child’s depth of knowledge while inspiring a life-long love of learning.

Used by permission of The Compass School.

This mission statement is brief and direct. Unlike the previous example, this statement does not use the word “family.” However, the phrase “your child” implies that the statement has been writ- ten specifically for families. The phrase, “depth of knowledge” emphasizes academic learning, while adjectives like “safe and nurturing” soften the statement.

Rockford Public Schools Early Childhood Program, Rockford, Illinois

The mission of the Rockford Public Schools Early Childhood Program is to empower all young children to become effective, enthusiastic, and socially competent learners by creating a bond among children, their families, the school and the community.

Used by permission of Rockford Public Schools.

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.4 Philosophy, Vision, and Mission

This mission statement is also brief and direct. The words “empower” and “competent” empha- size the child’s active role and responsibility in learning. The final phrase in the statement (“among children, their families, the school and the community”) explicitly names all the important stake- holders in the school’s mission.

Table 1.1: Philosophy, Vision, and Mission as Administrative Tools

Tool What is it? How do administrators use this tool?

Philosophy Beliefs about how children best learn and develop that represent the core values and culture of an organization.

Administrators describe the program philosophy during the enrollment process to let families know what to expect; in the hiring process to determine a good fit between teachers and program; and to shape curriculum development.

Vision statement A sentence or paragraph that describes what the organization hopes to accomplish.

An administrator uses the vision statement to inspire staff members and volunteers to strive for the best possible outcomes for their organization and to build consensus, collaboration, and commitment for the work of the organization.

Mission statement An organization’s statement of purpose.

Administrators use the program mission statement to determine program goals and to assess how well the program’s outcomes match the purpose of the organization.

Writing the Mission Statement Program administrators usually do not create mission statements by themselves. A mission state- ment is often developed or revised by a team of people, such as a board of directors, as part of a strategic planning process. The process usually begins with an information-gathering stage in which leaders conduct discussions or focus groups with key stakeholders, such as staff members, parents of enrolled children, and community members, such as neighborhood associations, park district boards, and local business owners. Participants may be asked questions such as, “What do you see as the major purpose of our organization?” “What do you think are the major strengths of our organization?” or “In what ways do you think our organization could improve?”

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CHAPTER 1Section 1.4 Philosophy, Vision, and Mission

What Would You Do? Andrea is the director of a small child care center that is part of a church. She was recently promoted to this administrative role after working as a teacher in the program for many years. Andrea is also a member of the church where the center is located. While Andrea’s center has a clearly articulated philosophy statement, the program does not have a mission statement. Recently, when Andrea asked the chair of the church board about whether the child care center could create a mission statement, his response was, “Well, obviously the mission of the center is to provide child care. You don’t need a special statement to say that.”

If you were in Andrea’s position, what would you do?

a. Ask the board chair for a formal meeting and present to him some articles about the impor- tance of a mission statement for a child care center.

b. Go to the church’s head minister and ask him to support the idea of writing a mission state- ment for the child care center.

c. Write a mission statement for the center on your own and post it on the center’s web page. d. Do nothing for now and wait until you’ve been in the director position for at least a year

before bringing up the issue again.

Explanation: Having a mission statement will benefit the program and help direct and define Andrea’s leadership of this program. Andrea should certainly work toward the goal of creating a mission state- ment, but there are many different paths toward that goal. As a new director, her first priority is to build strong collaborative relationships with colleagues, staff, and families. It will be important for her to advocate for the creation of a mission statement in her work with the other leaders in the organiza- tion, such as the church minister. Ideally, the mission statement would be created through a collabora- tive process so that everyone involved in the program feels invested in the creation of the statement.

San Diego County Office of Education People are more likely to support a decision when they feel their voices have been heard.

The team of leaders uses this information to discuss and draft a mission statement. All parties involved then consider the draft of the mission statement and make comments or suggestions for the final version. This type of process, in which many opinions and perspectives are considered, is called a consensus-building process. Though time consum- ing, consensus building often results in a stronger and more lasting outcome than a decision that is made quickly by just one or two people.

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CHAPTER 1Chapter Summary

Questions to Think About 1. What steps would you take to ensure your program’s philosophy is represented in your

vision and mission statements? 2. Which staff members do you think would be most helpful when creating a vision or mis-

sion statement?

Chapter Summary • Quality early childhood education creates lasting benefits for children, families, and

society. • Early childhood administrators have an ethical responsibility to advocate for quality. Two

important indicators of quality are low teacher-child ratios and high levels of teacher training and credentials.

• There are many different kinds of early childhood programs in the United States. All early childhood programs provide both care and education, though some may be labeled schools and others labeled child care centers.

• The legal and fiscal structure of early childhood programs varies. Some early childhood programs are for-profit and some are nonprofit. Programs may be created and run by a diverse field of operators, including individuals, churches, corporations, schools (such as public school districts or universities), and state and federal agencies.

• The organizational structure of a program determines who is in charge and who is responsible at each level of authority. In some cases, directors may report to a board or corporate management.

• The three primary roles of the early childhood administrator are to manage operations, coach staff members, and build community.

• The program philosophy influences everything that happens in an early childhood pro- gram including instructional practices, curriculum, daily schedules, hiring, and enrollment.

• Administrators use an organization’s vision and mission statements to guide and shape their programs.


1. Longitudinal studies show that children who participated in high-quality early childhood programs are more likely to? a. get married. b. become teachers. c. finish high school. d. have children.

2. Which of the following is NOT an indicator of high quality in an early childhood program? a. professional credentials of teachers b. meals prepared from fresh ingredients c. interactions between teachers, children and families d. low teacher-child ratios

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CHAPTER 1Post-Test

3. The words “school” and “center” are often used interchangeably in early childhood edu- cation because? a. most centers are a part of a larger school system. b. the name of a program is not important to families. c. infants and toddlers are too young to go to school. d. all programs provide both education and care.

4. Which of the following is NOT a type of early childhood program? a. a public playground b. an early Intervention center c. a family child care home d. a church preschool

5. Funding for government programs comes from? a. legislator salaries. b. campaign donations. c. raffle tickets. d. tax dollars.

6. A nonprofit child care center is not allowed to? a. ask parents for toy donations. b. enroll children all year round. c. hire teachers with advanced degrees. d. pay dividends to shareholders.

7. The responsibilities of an early childhood administrator usually fall into the following three categories: a. people, resources, and information. b. people, time, and money. c. children, staff, and community. d. people, places, and things.

8. A leadership style considered appropriate for an early childhood setting might be described as? a. open and variable. b. confident and collaborative. c. structured and strict. d. warm and friendly.

9. Which of the following is an example of a type of early childhood philosophy? a. Head Start b. conservative c. Montessori d. nonprofit

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CHAPTER 1Additional Resources

10. Which of the following texts is most likely to contain the most detail related to curricu- lum and teaching practices? a. the statement of philosophy b. the mission statement c. the vision statement d. the name of the program

Answers: 1 (c); 2 (b); 3 (d); 4 (a); 5 (d); 6 (d); 7 (a); 8 (b); 9 (c); 10 (a)

Discussion Questions

1. Think about the type of early childhood program that is most familiar to you. What type of early childhood program described in this chapter is least familiar to you? What are some of the differences between these two types of programs?

2. Why might it be difficult for an early childhood administrator to set priorities? Give an example of a situation when an administrator might have to choose a priority between two different tasks.

3. How are a vision and a mission similar? How are they different?

Answers and Rejoinders to Pre-Test

1. True. Children who participated in high-quality programs achieve higher test scores in math and reading than children who did not, and they are also more likely to finish high school and attend college.

2. True. The establishment of Head Start was a significant milestone in the history of early childhood education and marked the beginning of a period of rapid growth that contin- ues today.

3. False. Early childhood programs run by public school systems are just one type of pro- gram among a very broad variety of program types and structures.

4. False. The responsibilities of early childhood administrators usually include managing program finances, but there are many other kinds of responsibilities including supervis- ing teachers and enrolling children.

5. True. Curriculum development, hiring practices, and parent communication are just a few of the administrative functions influenced by program philosophy.

Additional Resources

Web sites National Association for the Education of Young Children NAEYC is a membership organization for early childhood professionals. The website provides access to valuable resources such as position statements, publications, and information about accreditation.

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CHAPTER 1Key Terms

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities The NICHCY website is a source of information on disabilities in young children, including infants and toddlers. Online resources include information on IDEA, the law authorizing early interven- tion services and special education.

Office of Head Start The government website for the Department of Health and Human Services provides informa- tion about Head Start for professionals, families, and the general public. The site also includes a Head Start locator tool, links to research summaries, and downloadable fact sheets.

Resources for Nonprofit Organizations: What Should a Mission Statement Say? is a clearinghouse of information for nonprofit organizations established by the group Action Without Borders. The article “What Should a Mission Statement Say?” describes two helpful approaches to writing a clear mission statement.

Further Reading Bloom, P. J. (2003). Leadership in action: How effective directors get things done. Lake Forest, IL: New Horizons.

Leadership in Action is filled with practical suggestions and from successful early child- hood administrators. The text demonstrates the value of creating a compelling vision statement for an early childhood program.

Carter, M. & Curtis, D. (2009). The visionary director: A handbook for dreaming, organizing, & improvising in your center. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.

The Visionary Director is a practical guide to creating an inspiring program vision and offers a concrete framework for organizing an early childhood center administrator’s ideas and work.

Key Terms

competency A skill, knowledge or ability that is required to fulfill a certain role.

consensus-building process A decision- making process that includes opportunities for all the individuals involved to have a say in the final decision.

constructivism A philosophical perspective that emphasizes the idea that children con- struct their own knowledge through hands-on experiences.

credential A certificate or document that is evidence of a certain status or accomplish- ment, such as completing a college degree.

early childhood administrator The profes- sional leader of the staff of an early childhood program, responsible for all or part of the management of the organization.

early childhood care program An educational or per stylesheet child care service provided to young children, including infants through 5-year-olds and often also inclusive of older children in after-school programs.

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CHAPTER 1References

for-profit Operated for the purpose of earn- ing a profit for the owners or shareholders of the business.

franchise A business operated under a license from a larger company.

Head Start A federal program that provides early childhood education to low-income chil- dren as well as health, nutrition, and family support services.

high quality Meeting the criteria for an advanced level of excellence.

managing Directing or overseeing.

mission statement An organization’s state- ment of purpose.

organizational structure The framework within which an organization arranges its lines of authority.

nonprofit Without the intent or goal to make a profit; existing for the greater good of the community or of society.

philosophy Beliefs about how children best learn and develop that represent the core values and culture of an organization.

sole proprietorship A business owned by an individual.

standard A benchmark or basis for measuring progress or levels of quality.

vision statement A sentence or paragraph that describes what the organization hopes to accomplish.


Calman, L. J., & Tarr-Whelan, L. (2005). Early childhood education for all: A wise investment. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Workplace Center. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from /early-childhood-education-for-all.pdf

Child Trends Data Bank. (2006). Early childhood program enrollment. Retrieved December 12, 2011, from

Children’s Defense Fund (CDF). (2012, January 30). Children in the States: Factsheets 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). (2008). Policy solutions that work for low-income people. Charting progress for babies in child care: Improve center ratios and group sizes. Retrieved February 11, 2012, from _print?id=0006&type=policy_ideas

Committee for Economic Development (CED). (2006). The economic promise of investing in high- quality preschool. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from http://leadershiplinc.illinoisstate .edu/researchcompendium/documents/summary_prek_economicpromise.pdf

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CHAPTER 1References

Elkind, D. (2009). “History of early childhood education,” from The wisdom of play. Retrieved December 14, 2011, from /approaches/historyofECE.html

Forum on Child and Family Statistics. (2010). Child care: Primary child care arrangements for children ages 0–4. Retrieved February 1, 2012, from /tables/fam3a.asp

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center. (1999). Early learning, later success: The Abece- darian study. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina.

Fullan, M., & Boyle, A. (2010). Reflections on the Change Leadership landscape. Retrieved November 17, 2012, from

Mather Elementary School. (n.d.). Public school history. Retrieved November 15, 2012, from

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). (n.d.). Critical facts about programs for young children. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from http://www.naeyc .org/policy/advocacy/ProgramFacts

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). (2006). Code of ethical con- duct: Supplement for early childhood program administrators. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). (2008). Teacher-child ratio chart. Retrieved November 14, 2012, from /Teacher-Child_Ratio_Chart_9_16_08.pdf

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). (2012a). NAEYC accreditation: All criteria document. Washington, DC: NAEYC. Retrieved December 21, 2012, from

National Center for Early Development and Learning. (1999, June). The children of the cost, quality, and outcomes study go to school. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from http: //

North Carolina Rated License Assessment Project. (n.d.). What we gain from teacher education in terms of child care quality. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from /ncrlap/pdf/whatwegainfromteachered11_4_03.pdf

Piaget, J., & Inhelder, B. (1969). The psychology of the child. New York: Basic Books.

United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2003). Strengthening Head Start: What the evidence shows. Retrieved November 17, 2012, from /strengthenheadstart03/index.htm

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CHAPTER 1References

United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). Administration for Children and Families. Head Start Program Fact Sheet. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from

United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2008). Employment characteris- tics of families in 2008. Retrieved February 1, 2012, from .release/pdf/famee.pdf

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind and society: The development of higher mental processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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