This structured book offers a solid overview of the types of early childhood programs available today, and explores all aspects of their administration. Rooted in the philosophy that thoughtful planning and administration are essential to the success of early childhood programs, it examines how specific program bases affect decisions in all areas of program planning. It is designed to equip readers with the necessary strategies, tactics, and resources to make better judgements in administering early childhood programs. Chapter topics include an overview of these programs and detailed information pertaining to operationalizing and implementing of them—such as considering regulations and establishing policies, leading and managing personnel, planning the physical facility, financing and budgeting, and working with families. For administrators of early childhood programs.
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Planning and Administering Early Childhood Programs, Seventh Edition, is built on the conviction that thoughtful planning and administration are essential to the success of early childhood programs. Our main priority is to present the rationale for thoughtful planning and administration. The more administrators know about factors influencing quality programs, the better equipped they will be to plan and administer programs. From our perspective, each child, parent, staff member, and sponsor deserves nothing less. Because we know how important planning is, we are committed to helping new and experienced administrators and students of administration make sense of what they are doing. TEXT ORGANIZATION
The text begins with a request for its readers to approach the new millennium by simultaneously looking forward and backward at the profession of early childhood care and education. Chapter 1, "Overview of Early Childhood Programs," thus traces the growth of early childhood program practices and the issues that confront early childhood at the beginning of the new millennium.
The text is organized to suggest how early childhood administrators must structure their thinking as they make decisions about their local programs. To do this, the text is, divided into three parts.
Part One, Constructing the Early Childhood Program's Framework, comprises two chapters. Chapter 2 explains the need for a program base to determine practice—all the decisions that an administrator must make. Five major early childhood program bases that have been used and how each of these choices affects the operational and pedagogical components are explained in detail. Research studies on program outcomes and professional arguments over the bases are presented. Chapter 3 examines the protective regulations moving from baseline (minimum) to the highest (most stringent) regulations. Legal or business regulations and fiscal regulations are also described. The chapter closes with how policies and procedures stem from various regulations and are designed and implemented to meet the needs of local programs.
Part Two, Operationalizing the Early Childhood Program, includes four chapters on the more purely administrative topics. Chapter 4 overviews staffing needs and the hiring process and then discusses in depth the administrator's responsibilities in leadership (sometimes called human resources management) and management (the technical aspects). Chapter 5 explains how the physical facility must physically and psychologically enable the program to meet its care and educational goals in a healthy, safe, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing environment. Chapter 6, "Financing and Budgeting," examines one of the most frustrating aspects of administration, that is, how meager funding weakens the quality and quantity of early childhood services and thus compromises the lives of young children and their families. Sources of funds and the process of developing budgets are included.
Part Three, Implementing the Children's Program, discusses the administrator's role in planning and overseeing the program's services. Chapter 7 discusses how the selection of the program base determines both the curriculum and pedagogy of the children's program. Chapter 8 concerns the administrators' roles in providing up to 80% of a young child's nutrition requirements, controlling infectious diseases, and ensuing a safe environment as well as instilling lifelong nutrition, health, and safety habits. Chapter 9 examines the issues and gives practical suggestions concerning assessing, recording, and reporting children's development and learning. Chapter 10 summarizes the historical trends in working with parents to the present-day family resource and support programs and provides many suggestions for working with families. Chapter 11 concerns the highly important and dynamic process of professionalization of early childhood care and education. The book closes by once again asking readers to take a forward and backward look at the "internal and external challenges" of the field (Goffin & colleagues, 1997). NEW FEATURES
The seventh edition of the text reflects a balanced concern for all types of early childhood programs with their varying purposes, sponsorships, and ages of children. Early childhood is becoming a more broadly based field, and this text reflects that outlook on early education and child care aspects.
The perspective of this new edition is that administrative decision making must be based on a chosen theory, perspective, or philosophical position. Several of these alternatives are discussed along with the reasons for the lack of consensus in program goals and the discrepancy between beliefs and actual practices. Throughout the text there are discussions on how a chosen view affects decisions in all areas of program planning.
In addition to the extensive updating of the content and the references and resources, the following new features are included in the seventh edition:
Five models of program practice are presented in chapter 2. Chapter 3 has been totally revised to illustrate the various levels of protective regulations. Business and fiscal regulations are also given. Chapter 4 has been revised to show both the leadership and management aspects of administration. The leadership or human resources management is stressed, because it affects the quality of a program more than any other aspect of administration. Research on developmentally appropriate practices and emergent and integrated curriculum is explained. Much more emphasis and descriptive detail are provided on developing and using portfolios. A "To Reflect" section has been added to each chapter. These questions should stimulate reflection and thoughtful discussions and can be used as a springboard for other questions that are so critical to reflective, creative decision making by administrators. PEDAGOGICAL FEATURES
Readers will find the three subdivisions of the book helpful because they parallel the planning processes of an administrator—namely, deciding on the program's framework, placing the program into operation, and implementing the children's program. Tables and figures are used throughout the text to (a) summarize research or show conflicting points of view, (b) visually present the organization of a concept, and (c) give practical examples. The trends and issues and summaries sections of each chapter will also help readers focus on the main themes of the book.
We have raised issues to stimulate early childhood leaders to reexamine their own beliefs and then take another look at their program's rationale and practices. Thus, relevant studies are included throughout. Cookbook formulas are omitted and options are given because single solutions axe obviously not appropriate for everyone.
The text provides information needed by all early childhood programs. The field is diverse, but there is a great deal of overlap of the types of competencies needed in various programs. We have attempted to provide a balance among research and supported statements, applied ideas for implementation, and resources for further thought and consideration.
Like the six editions before it, this edition will aid in initial planning of early childhood programs and be a source of helpful information after programs are under way. The purpose of this book will be fulfilled when the reader makes wiser judgments about planning and administering early childhood programs. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
We thank the following reviewers of this edition for their helpful comments: Jill E. Gelormino, Hofstra University; Craig H. Hart, Brigham Young University; and Kim A. Madsen, Chadron State University (NE).
Celia A. Decker
John R. Decker
CELIA A. DECKER has been actively involved in early childhood education for over 30 years. She is currently serving a dual appointment in the Department of Education and Family and Consumer Sciences at Northwestern State University as professor of early childhood education. She is the program coordinator of graduate studies in early childhood education and teaches courses in early childhood education, child development, and dynamics of family relations.
In addition to co-authoring this text, she has published a secondary school/junior college text, Children: The Early Years, along with the teaching supplements. She has presented papers at national, regional, and state annual meetings of professional associations such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Southern Early Childhood Association, and the Association for Childhood Education International. She does extensive consulting work for Head Start, Even Start, and local school systems.
During her years of teaching as a kindergarten teacher in an inner-city school system and as a college professor, she has received many honors. Dr. Decker has been named to the Who's Who in Child Development Professionals, Who's Who in Personalities of the South, Who's Who in American Women, and the World's Who's Who in Education. In 1994 she was selected as the Outstanding Professor at Northwestern State University. She and her husband are the parents of twin sons in graduate school and a daughter who graduated from college in the spring of 2000.
After graduating from Hutchinson Junior College in Hutchinson, Kansas, JOHN DECKER graduated from Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri, with a BS in Human Relations. Following 2 years of military service, he served as a district scout executive for Kau Council, BSA, Kansas City, Kansas. He obtained a teaching certificate from the University of Kansas and taught in two inner-city elementary schools in a large midwestern city. While completing the requirements for his masters and doctoral degrees in Educational Administration, he continued his teaching career at the elementary and college levels, respectively.
Since living in Louisiana, he has taught college classes as an assistant professor of education and has taught elementary school and high school classes in the public schools. He continues to take graduate courses and teaches college courses in the summer sessions as an adjunct professor as needed. He belongs to several organizations in which he gives workshops and speeches. Dr. Decker has been recognized for his 30-year membership in Phi Delta Kappa.
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