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Best Practices in Early Childhood Education

In this section you will find useful information about Best Practices in Early Childhood: articles and other resources that offer strategies you can apply in the important work that you do with young children and families.

General Best Practices in Early Childhood Education

  • Instead of Saying: Learn how to replace negative statements with positive language to effectively guide children’s behavior and the best ways to resolve issues that arise during play time and other routine activities.
  • Time for Play, Every Day: It’s Fun – and Fundamental Adobe Acrobat IconThis document from the Alliance for Childhood describes the important benefits of play for children of all ages, offers ideas for guiding children’s play, and lists resources for reviving play.
  • Discipline Policy Adobe Acrobat Icon This handout was adapted by A Small Wonder Preschool in Las Vegas, NV, from Jennifer Birckmayer’s work in "Seven Procedures of Discipline," (Discipline is Not a Dirty Word, Jennifer Birckmayer, New York: Cornell Cooperative Extension, 1995)and provides guidelines for ensuring effective discipline with young children

Best Practices for Infants and Toddlers

  • Environmental Chart: Learn how to set up both the physical and the social environments to promote the healthy development of infants and toddlers. (Adapted from Infants, Toddlers and Caregivers, Janet Gonzalez-Mena and Dianne Widmeyer Eyer, New York: McGraw Hill, 2007.).
  • Best Practices for Infants and Toddlers: The New York State Child Care Coordinating Council has published guidelines for working with infants and toddlers, including 10 components of Quality Child Care for Infants and Toddlers, Attachment at Home in Child Care, Primary Caregivers and Continuity of Care, and Responsive Caregiving for Babies and Toddlers.
  • A Day in Day Care: A Program for Two-Year Olds Adobe Acrobat Icon: This document written by Jennifer Birckmayer and published by Cornell University Media Services offers a good description of a safe and interesting day care program for 2 year olds that can be used by parents as a guide to select a good day care center or by a program to estimulate planning and implementation.
Useful Links in connection with Best Practices
Childcare Exchange - Promotes the exchange of ideas among leaders in early childhood programs worldwide through its magazine, books, training products, training seminars, and international conference.
NAEYC Technology Interest Forum- To lead discussions, share research and information and demonstrate best practices regarding technology so that it can be used to benefit children 0-8 years.
NIEER State of Preschool Yearbook- The 2007 State Preschool Yearbook is the fifth in a series of annual reports profiling state-funded prekindergarten programs in the United States.
New York State Preschool Planning Guide - The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to those responsible for planning and implementing programs for young children including those funded under the universal pre-kindergarten (UPK) legislation.
Positive Approaches to Challenging Behavior for Young Children with Disabilities - Early Childhood Behavior Project - The purpose of this website is to discuss positive behavioral supports for young children who engage in challenging behavior. The information on this web site is intended to help families, caregivers, and service providers: understand why a particular behavior may occur; help service providers develop intervention strategies for organizing environments to decrease the possibility of challenging behaviors in young children; and help families and service providers to learn more about strategies to support children with challenging behaviors.
Read to Me - This program offers a hands-on series of activities and supervised practice sessions that guide caregivers and parents to read with their babies. The purposes of READ TO ME are to: 1. Offer reading as a resource for pleasure, tips, and psychological insights; 2. Stimulate imaginations and initiate early literacy education; and 3. Improve the potential for healthy parent-child relationships.
The Science of Early Child Development - An online resource for teachers of young children focused entirely on the science of child development. This reource presents 5 modules, each focused on specific areas of child development, including developmental health, brain development, genetics and experience, coping and competence and communication and learning.
Teaching Our Youngest - A Guide for Preschool Teachers and Child Care and Family Providers - This booklet draws from scientifically based research about what you can do to help children to develop their language abilities, increase their knowledge, become familiar with books and other printed materials, learn letters and sounds, recognize numbers, and learn to count. Many examples of strategies you can use for teaching these skills are included here. Also included are examples of ways to create an environment in your preschool classrooms that will nurture children’s natural curiosity and their zest for learning.
The Safe Nursery - A booklet to help avoid injuries from nursery furniture and equipment.
Which Toy for Which Child - A consumer’s guide for selecting suitable toys.