As Child Care Services Association (CCSA) celebrates the Week of the Young Child, T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® North Carolina would like to recognize all early childhood programs that meet the needs of young children in our great state. Early care and education teachers are essential to our communities, families and children, yet never has it been more evident than during the current world health crisis. While a number of careers have been classified as essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, early care and education teachers have been at the forefront of caring for one of the most vulnerable groups.
As an early care and education teacher, you have made children feel safe during an uncertain time continuing to exhibit why you make a difference for young children. In 2012, The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center at CCSA launched the “I Make A Difference” campaign, and today, through adversity, the early care and education community continues to demonstrate those 10 Ways I (You) Make A Difference. You have done so by:
- delivering high-quality early care and education to ensure all children are ready for school and life;
- helping all children to gain the early language and literacy skills to prepare them for reading;
- modeling respectful, nurturing relationships to help all children learn to work and play well with others;
- promoting cognitive development by posing questions and providing developmentally appropriate materials and activities that stimulate children’s interest in pondering ideas, posing theories, formulating thoughts, growing skills to support persistence and attentiveness to solving a problem and experimenting with materials;
- providing rich learning environments that promote children wanting to learn new things every day;
- supporting children’s understanding of key mathematical concepts;
- creating skill development opportunities that support children’s physical health and growth, including large and fine motor development and eye-hand coordination, healthy nutrition and children’s awareness of personal health and fitness;
- partnering with all families around their children’s development;
- allowing parents to work and supporting families’ contributions to our economy; and
- continuing your education to ensure you know the latest research and have the resources needed to be an effective teacher.
The world has witnessed your relentless commitment to the field as an essential worker, and as a result, has enhanced the public’s education of how essential early care and education professionals are to our community. Through this, may more advocates and champions rise up to fight for better compensation and recognition of the early childhood workforce and recognize the important role teachers have in ensuring children’s well-being.