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Guidance

Philosophy

I feel that the ultimate goal of guidance is for a child to develop self-regulation and a positive self-
concept. I believe that discipline should be handled in a way that respects the dignity, individuality and
the will of the child. It is important that children participate and have input in guidance process.
Children do not follow blindly because someone told them to do something. They do something because
it makes sense, because it is needed. Helping children learn to make good choices is a day-by-day, year-
by-year process. With the proper guidance and support, each child can become a caring, responsible and
self-confident person.

Methods I use to provide positive guidance


1. Environment Accommodating the needs of all the children is a top priority. I believe that if a child
has his/her needs met, the child will feel secure enough to be able to cooperate and participate with
others. I strive to provide an environment that is developmentally appropriate for each child: one that is
challenging without being too frustrating. I work to provide an environment where children feel free to
try new things because they know that help is there if things dont go as planned. Children are
encouraged to make choices according to their interests. Children who are actively involved are much
less likely to engage in mistaken behavior. Boundaries and consistency are important parts in producing
an environment in which the child will feel secure.

2. Modeling Adults in a childs life serve as role models for behavior, set expectations, which children
can handle and are there to provide support. I strive to be an excellent role model in by body language
and my speech. I am fully aware that each mistaken behavior creates an opportunity to develop problem-
solving skills. Disagreement provides practice in verbal skills, conflict resolution, recognition of and
empathy for the needs of others.

3. Redirection This is a guidance technique in which I suggest an alternative choice in order to avoid
conflict. This method is particularly effective with the very young children, who have not yet developed
reasoning skills.

4. Positive Encouragement Not only do children need to know when they are doing something good,
but they also need to recognize on their own they did something good. I provide positive reinforcement
through the use of hugs, smiles and verbal encouragement to children throughout the day. We really
focus on the positive aspects of each childs behavior. I also encourage children to describe what they
have done. Such as, what was the best part? What was the hardest part? This method is preferable to
good job and great type comments.

5. Balance Center A balance center takes the place of time-outs The purpose of the balance center is
to allow children some time and space to regroup. When a child feels they are in control of themselves
they are free to join the group. A balance center is preferable to a time out, because a child has a choice
and input. The goal of the balance center is for a child to decide they need a break away from everything.
And then go the balance center to calm down, gain control and get some private time for themselves.

6. Opportunities Each moment of a childs life is an opportunity for a child to discover something.
And myself to further my knowledge about the child. Children need to run, scream, kick, punch, yell and
jump. Along with a whole host of other behavior many adults would find irritating and dangerous. I
understand that while they could be dangerous, children still need to do so when the need strikes. I use
my creativity to create opportunities for children to do all those things and more in a safe and healthy

way. It looks like you need to throw something (when I see a child throwing toys) How about we find
you something better to throw? Or You can punch this, instead of

How to put the goals of respecting a childs dignity and encouraging a healthy self-concept into
practice.

There are a number of techniques that I have found helpful and effective. The best of these methods
encourage children to think for themselves. This allows the children the opportunity to participate that
gives them a sense of responsibility.

There are many ways of asking a child to do something. These ways can be examined in light of two
criteria: (1) whether they further our goals of respecting a childs dignity and encouraging a healthy self-
concept, and (2) whether they work. Fortunately, the methods that work best usually further our long-
term goals.

Emotions

Emotions can be found at the root of actions that we would consider both positive as well as
negative. I feel that the ability to recognize, accept and express emotions is part of a healthy self-
image. I encourage the expression of emotions in acceptable ways: Its ok to be angry, its not ok
to hit. I also avoid denying any emotion; all emotions are valid. Children cry, they get mad and
sad, lonely and tired. They need to learn how to handle their emotions in a productive manner,
not deny them.

Responsibility
Children can learn responsibility by experiencing the consequences of their behavior. This is
more effective than lecturing, yelling or moralizing a child. A logical consequence for not putting
the scissors away is that a child may not be able to use them later that day. (Because I have very
young children, it is vital that I teach children how to be responsible with objects that might be
dangerous for young children).
Another way to encourage a childs participation is to offer a choice. You can pick up your toys by
yourself, or I can help you. Do you want me to help? It is important to realize when a choice is
being offered and to accept the childs decision. Or asking a child, Will you find the place for
this? This helps a child focus on one thing at a time, therefore they are not overwhelmed by the
mess of toys to put away even though picking up toys is NOT the most important part of the
dayJ However having toys put away saves future conflicts when the child cannot find a certain
toy, because it was just put somewhere

Consistency
Children often test limits as part of their growth. It is important to provide them with the security
of consistency. Imagine the ever-present fenced play yard. But every day the fence moves. Some
days it is giant and other days it is so tiny you cant even bend over to touch your toes. In a
situation like this, a child is guaranteed to test where the fence is that day, or test the limits or
boundaries. On the other hand, if the fence is strong and stable and remains in place, they child
will know just how far they can go. Therefore testing less often.

Education and learning philosophy


I feel that no education can be complete without play. Each child learns at his or her own pace. They
learn best through play and having hands on materials. Children also learn best when engaged in

activities of their choosing. To accomplish this, I need to observe children during their play and plan
activities based on their interests. A critical part to engaging children and managing behaviors is to plan
an effective environment.

Worksheets and preplanned themes may teach children how to print letters & numbers and about a
variety of topics. But having child-directed topics is a better way to teach to the whole child. Literacy,
math, science, social, and even art skills can be adapted to work within any topic or theme. Allowing the
children to chose the topic of learning keeps them engaged. Therefore the children will have a more
concrete understanding of those topics and skills.

My role as a facilitator

My role as a facilitator is to plan activities and topics of learning based on a childs interest.
Through careful observation I can determine a childs developmental level and interests. With this
information to guide me, I can then plan new topics of learning we will discover together and
activities to support those interest and learning growth.

In planning activities I need to keep the childrens developmental levels in mind. The activities
need to be carefully planned so that children can succeed on their own or with a little help. But
also allow children opportunities to develop new skills.

With careful observation I can also address concerns children have about things happing in their
lives and world. Many times children are not even aware they have concerns but those concerns
present themselves in self-directed play.

As a facilitator I also need to ask children open-ended questions. These types of question have
children think to the next step and draw their own conclusions. Therefore teaching children to
think and express themselves.

One of the most important teaching opportunities comes with planning the environment. There
needs to be well thought out and defined areas for play. Low open shelving allow children to
gather and put away materials without the help of an adult; making them more self sufficient and
confident in their abilities. Picture labels and word rich environments also help children to
maintain the environment.

How I apply child development theory to practice.


To truly understand child development I must understand child development theories. While there
are many child development theories, on the following pages are a few of the more common ones.


I feel it is critical to a high-quality childcare environment for the staff to understand child development.
Because each child learns at his or her own pace, it is important to assess where they are individually.

Children are constantly learning, but the concepts that stay are the concepts they can hold in their hands.
Things they can move and manipulate. Play is how they do this best. My role as a teacher is to provide a
safe environment that allows children to explore concepts at their own pace. We dont have to sit down
and have a math lesson. I can provide many activities based on the childs interests that work with math
concepts. To know what the children are interested in and their developmental level, I need to observe
them in their natural play. I will learn their interests & questions as well as where they are
developmentally. Then I can plan engaging activities throughout the environment for children to build
their skills while playing.


Our world is ever changing and so is how we teach children. In my opinion, I think sometimes too much
focus is put on the future and not enough right now. I believe that if we teach in the now, we will have a
future to look forward too. If we are only teaching for the future not only will the children suffer but the
society as a whole. We need to take the opportunities we have and maybe even create some ourselves to
teach children about their (and others) emotions, social skills and creativity.

Play is a critical part of any childs life. Though play children learn a wide variety of skills. Social and
Emotional skills are learned through every day interaction with other children and adults. Children also
learn scientific, math, and problem solving skills in most every areas of play. The bottom line is that
children learn best and the most though play. My job is to create a safe environment full opportunities for
children to expand their learning.

How I cultivate relationships with children, families and the community

Cultivating positive relationships with children, their families and the community is essential to running a
high-quality program. Just as we all learn in different ways we all need different ways to communicate.
Welcoming children and their families each day verbally is a good start, in their native language when
possible. Understanding that for some only face-to-face works. Others need texts and emails for effective
communication.

We can also communicate with newsletters, texts, and pamphlets. We can pass along information about
general topics this way, such as child development, or what a child is learning when they play in the block
or dramatic play area. We can also communicate important dates to remember. Such as, birthdays or
school closings.

We also communicate by documenting what we are doing in class. Such as documentation panels and
having childrens works on display or portfolios. Using pictures of the children at work, with labels of
what the kids are doing or how they made something for parents is another good way to keep the lines of
communication open, without having to verbally explain everything. This also gives parents the
opportunity to ask questions to me or to their child.

And last, but not least is non-verbal communication. Actions speak louder than words. Smiling at
appropriate times or pointing to a classroom rule. Body language is so important; it is amazing how many
people forget this. It is talking to child on their level, focusing on them when they are talking to you
instead of being distracted by what else is happing in the room.

To have positive communications with families, I also need to respect each family. I need to understand
and accept each familys individual culture. When possible, I should communicate with families in their
native language. I should ask questions about cultural events that I might not be familiar with. I can also
ask them to be a guest speaker in our classroom, to teach us all about their traditions.

Parent involvement with their childs learning is so important. When parents are involved with their
childs learning when a child is young, they are starting a trend. They are more likely to be involved with
their childs learning throughout school. Thus, helping their child succeed and make positive changes
with the school system. Helping parents understand that it does not have to be hours of commitment
each night, but rather reading together, talking about their childs day, singing songs the child has learned
at school, etc. These are little things parents can do to be involved with their childs learning. Involved
parents help a child build a positive self-image.

Knowing my community resources is an important part of communicating with families. You never know
when a parent might be struggling with something like paying the bills, medical services, child
development, etc. Knowing community resources ahead of time and having info that is easily accessible
for parents is part of being an advocate for children and their families. Having the info available without
parents having to ask for it, gives parents the opportunity to get the information without feeling
embarrassed. Other times, it is handy to have that info ready when a parent does ask.

I use my interpersonal skills to properly interact with children and their families. Interpersonal skills
include everything from communication and active listening skills to attitude and deportment. Things
like asking how their weekend went or how grandma & grandpa are, because I know they went to visit
last night. The relationship I have with all my families have a foundation of business but have grown into
something more, friendship.

I can initiate and foster positive relationships with children and families by opening the lines of
communication; making each person feel welcome and they belong. I let them know their thoughts and
opinions matter.

Best practices in teaching and learning

Best practices in teaching and learning is teaching each child at their own level of development. Because
each child develops at his or her own pace, I need to be able to effectively teach at all levels. One way I can
do that is by having a learning topic based on childrens interests vs. preplanned themes. Once I have the
childs interest narrowed down to a topic I can then find out what they already know and what they want
to know more about. Then I can plan activities around those interests.

I include culturally responsive materials and activities. I use pictures displayed around the room of
different cultures doing everything things like we do. I have pictures of people in non-traditional roles
and different ages. We sing and count in other languages. We also talk about differences and similarities
we see. Such as dogs come in all shapes and sizes just like people, but they are still dogs and people and
we need to treat everyone with respect.

The whole idea of play-based learning is the teacher following the children's led in planning materials
and activities to go along with their interest. Here is where the will acquire the skills they will need later
on in life.

Because children learn best through play, I facilitate learning by planning activities and having a variety
of materials all of which they can hold in their hands. Then I help children draw conclusions about what
they are doing by asking open-ended questions. We keep building on the things that interest us until the
children are ready to move on. Maybe tomorrow or even a month from now.

I find that is this a natural teaching and learning relationship. Routines are part of a childs life why not
use them to teach.

Caregiving routines can be used for developmentally appropriate learning activities. Such as talking to
babies while changing diapers. Talking about animal sounds, or body parts or just having a conversation.
It could be proper hand washing. Or setting the table (one to one comparison). Or even talking about
proper dress for outdoors, whether a winter coat and snow pants is needed or sunscreen and shade and
why.

I use the positive guidance techniques described in my Guidance and Learning Philosophy (at the
beginning of this document)


Part of having intentional teaching is the environment. It is really the 3rd teacher. I need to have enough
space for children to move about freely, but not so much that it encourages mistaken behaviors. There
needs to be places to create, be loud and quiet. The room arrangement is key in making these areas
function. Spaces can be easily defined with flooring differences or low open shelving and furniture
placement. You can also use streamers or materials hanging from the ceiling to help define areas.

Demonstrating professionalism

A Professional is:
Knowledgeable in their area of expertise.
Dresses appropriately and is cleanly put together.
Works toward continuing their education.
Is up to date on the latest scientific evidence.
Has excellent communication skills.
They have a code of conduct and privacy laws.
Has an open mind, and is willing to listen to others thoughts and ideas.
Belongs to professional organizations.
Reflect on their practice.
And more.
Following the NAEYC Code of Conduct is a tool for all professionals in the child care field. It can be
difficult to choose between what is comfortable and what is easy or what is right. By following the code of
conduct, the families of children I care for will be confident in my ethical choices. And I will have
somewhere to turn in sticky situations.

One of the most important things for me as a professional is to practice confidentiality each and every
day. It can be tough, especially in a small town family setting. Everyone knows everyone. And many do
not think twice to inquire about a child or their family. I have found myself defending my privacy
statement in my policies more than once.

I advocate for childcare as a profession, by being up to date on bills going before the state and writing my
congressperson.

I advocate for children and their families by helping them get the services they need. I write newsletters
talking about different areas of development, developmental milestones, health safety and nutrition. I
stay up to date on the latest scientific evidence in best practices and share that info with parents.

I collaborate with other professionals at conferences and trainings. I also run a local networking group of
family providers.

And I reflect on my practice(s)regularly. I think about what works and what does not. And how
something can be made better.

Integration of Health Safety and Nutrition practices


I have training in the following:
SIDS
Shaken Baby
First Aid
CPR/AED

Active Early
Healthy Bites


Health, safety and nutrition are all interrelated. I cannot do well in one area, while lacking in another.

We care for children who cannot otherwise care or defend for themselves. That statement right there
says it all. My top priority is the well being of children. If child abuse or neglect is suspected I have to call
child services. I am required by law to do so and also document the call and any and all reasons that
made me feel that I needed to call.

The following pages list more ways I integrate health, safely and nutrition practices.

I provide/contribute to a healthy and safe environment by:


I am able to provide a safe environment for children in my care by having age appropriate toys
available and a non-restrictive environment. Toys are stored according to weight and age
appropriateness. Which are younger children's toys on the bottom shelves and the older
children's toys higher up. Toys and equipment are often checked for damage. Most furniture is
child sized and equally checked over. Outside we have an enclosed play yard and handrails by the
stairways. We also have pea-gravel 9 inches thick to soften any fall a child might have.

Children also know that my house is a safe place where they will not be threatened or hurt in
anyway by any staff or myself.

Children's and providers hands are washed regularly. Such as before and after meals, before meal
preparation, after using the restroom or diaper changes, coming in from outside, after blowing
noses, etc. I also have a cleaning schedule for washing toys and equipment.

We brush our teeth each morning after breakfast.

Parents are required to have current "Child Health Reports" and "Immunization Records" for their
children. I also have an illness policy, taken from the state guidelines, that I strictly ahead to. I
also inform parents when their child has been exposed to a contagious illness and provide
literature for illnesses I am not familiar with. Universal Precaution policies are followed, such as,
wearing gloves when dealing with bodily fluids (diapers, mucus, blood, vomit, etc.)

We also practice fire and emergency drills, to avoid fear and confusion in the event of an actual fire
or emergency.

I follow the licensing book in regards to documenting medications administered, suspected child
abuse and injuries that have occurred in my care.

All special diets are documented in the child's file and with the food program. They are also listed
in my "Sub/Emergency Back-up" binder.

Also work to stay updated on the latest government data as it pertains to children's health, safety
and nutrition. Such as, having updated forms, curriculum, and meal planning. As well as working
within the "active early" guidelines.

I also follow the licensing rules when it comes to ratio, hours of operations, documentations,
equipment safety, continuing education, and the list goes on. I have only had 1 minor violation in

all the years I've been in child care (11 years). (I missed an authorization to administer
medications for diaper cream on month for one child)

In my childcare I provide nutritious healthy food for all children in my care. I follow proper
portion sizing and limit salt and sugar intake. I also serve a variety of fruits and veggies that are
fresh whenever possible. About once a week I have a vegetarian lunch meal as well as fish. I have
NO fried or pre-fried foods and we try and make most things from scratch. I also include dishes
from other cultures. I follow special dietary needs and make modifications of food choices
depending on age and ability.

My menu cycle currently runs on 41-day cycles -no lunches are repeated.

One thing I work hard at is letting kids plan the menu. They are given the choice (one for each
day of the week) for the main course and then they choose the other components. We end up with
some interesting combinations. But they are more willing to try new things, and often complement
each other on the foods that were chosen.

When preparing meals and snacks my hands as well as the children's are washed properly. Meats
are well cooked and checked with and instant read thermometer before serving. The refrigerator
is set for 39 degrees & the freezer for -2 degrees Fair height. Milk and other dairy products are
always placed back in the refrigerator when not in use -milk does not stay on the table during
meals. However is available to children if they would like more.

Sanitation is an important part of providing a safe environment for children. We wash our hands
many times each day. Not just the, after going to the bathroom wash. But before and after meals,
after diaper changes, after coming in from outside, upon arrival from school, after feeding the fish
and of course after messy projects and sensory.

The table has a 2-step sanitization process before and after meals, after projects. The changing
table has the same process after each diaper change.

Toys are routinely washed, as well as sleeping bags. Floors are swept and vacuumed daily. Hard
surface floors are washed weekly. Carpeted areas are cleaned as needed. And the bathrooms are
sanitized daily.

Children are also taught why we do all the washing and sanitizing. They are taught the proper way
to wash their hands. How to clean up after themselves and even how brush their teeth.