Sunday, May 23, 2010

On Improving Outcomes for Young Children: Tend the young trees of the Abha Paradise

Tend the young trees of the Abhá Paradise with the welling waters of His grace and peace and joy. Make them to flourish under the downpour of His bounty. Strive with all thy powers that the children may stand out and grow fresh, delicate, and sweet, like the ideal trees in the gardens of Heaven
I participated in a early childhood mental health consultation group on Friday with a diverse group of providers who work with young children. We are all motivated by the prospect of improving the outcomes of young children with severe behavioral and emotional problems through our collaboration. -gw
Child care, early childhood education, and early intervention programs for children with special needs are provided in a wide variety of settings. These settings include centers operated on both a for-profit and a not-for-profit basis, such as family child care homes, public and private nursery schools, prekindergartens, and home-visiting programs. The quality of these arrangements varies dramatically. Some factors related to quality of care are regulated by government (for example, child and staff ratio, group size, physical facility features, and minimum caregiver training). But other critical components are more subjective, and their quality cannot be easily regulated. Examples of these components include the nature and frequency of caregiver-child interactions, teaching and learning styles, and sensitivity of programs to the cultures, languages, and preferences of the children and families they serve.
Early childhood providers report that they see increasing numbers of children with special needs (who may or may not meet eligibility criteria under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA], Part B or Part C). Violence, abuse, prenatal substance exposure, losses due to incarceration or death, or residing with multiple caregivers or in foster homes often has significantly affected the lives of children who display severe behavioral and emotional problems (Sameroff & Fiese, 2000). The literature suggests that children who struggle with behavioral and emotional problems at this young age have a 50 percent chance of continuing to struggle into adolescence and adulthood.

Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation,

Elena Cohen & Roxane Kaufmann

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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