This text explores and explains the basics of how to manage a childcare center. It is shorter and less comprehensive than Hildebrand and therefore, is very appropriate for community college programs. This edition has a new chapter on health and safety and two chapters devoted to management techniques and theory.
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This popular book offers future early childhood caregivers all of the hands-on guidance they need to create, enhance, and administer quality child care programs. The Third Edition continues to emphasize the importance of good management--from setting up program philosophy to creating optimum conditions for children, employees, and families.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
By the fact that you are browsing through this text, it is assumed that you plan to operate or own a child care center, want to learn more about the tasks of owning/ operating a child care center, are interested in applying at a government (Head Start) program, or are considering preschool teaching in an early childhood education center. You may be saying to yourself, "I enjoy young children, and I want to gain knowledge and experience so I can effectively guide their growth, development, experiences, and attitudes!"
Your next thought may be, "But where do I start? The field is so broad and my influence on young children and families will be so lasting. How do I prepare myself for this tremendous undertaking?" You do it one step at a time! You listen carefully, you read for meaning, you ask questions, you watch others, you are perceptive and teachable. You share your talents and you broaden your interests to what is going on around you and throughout the country that will have a permanent bearing on children and families. What is happening in social/cultural circles? What bills are being proposed and passed in state and federal legislatures that affect families? What are the concerns of child care directors, teachers, staff, and parents, and how can they be resolved? You'll want to ask yourself (and others) this question: "Is early care good for young children?" What about the different types of care for young children—and how can you make it better and also prepare children for their future experiences? Let it be clearly stated here and throughout the text that there can be no division between "care" and "education" of young children. They are inseparable; for when one is caring for a child, one is also educating the same child, and vice versa.
WHY THIS BOOK?
Today more than ever, the education and care of children is the shared responsibility of parents, educators and other professionals, and the children themselves. The unique pressures of our times demand a cooperative plan, so that all these parties can work together comfortably In colonial days, parents reared their children in the home, schooled them, and prepared them for careers or occupations through experience or apprenticeship. Travel was limited, families produced their own food and clothing, and printed materials were luxuries. Today the situation is different. Children have many encounters that influence their lives, both outside the home and within it. Public-, private-, and home-schooling options are available to students. Employment opportunities change—jobs once considered stable are phased out and new types of jobs are created. For a variety of reasons (including lack of time, know-how, and patience), parents need or want help with their infants, toddlers, and preschool children, whose needs are different from those of schoolage children.
It is often difficult for parents to find the type of substitute care that they desire. However, it is extremely important that during the children's early years both they and their parents interact with individuals who are capable of building self-confidence, satisfaction, happiness, and trust.
This text addresses the need for out-of-home care, the provision of quality care, and the value of a harmonious balance between the two. Throughout the text, the worth of all individuals (whether children or adults) is emphasized, as well as the need to appreciate the significance of building their relationships with others.
Among other inquiries, you'll want to know what this book is all about and how it will help you understand the needs of children and families in our country today. You will wonder how it will help you to be a good teacher, administrator, parent, or advocate for young children, and if choosing this field is wise for you as you learn about the needs of children and others and study related issues. Much of your commitment to children and issues will depend on you. Hopefully, you will take more responsibility in discussing and promoting important issues and possible resolutions—in other words, being an informed voter and supporter of important educational, social, legal, and community issues.
In the earlier chapters the reader becomes acquainted with the past, present, and future needs of children and families (Chapters 1, 2, and 3). Then the discussion turns to the philosophy, organizational structure, and management of personnel, programs, resources, and time (Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7). The text continues with a discussion of the health of children and staff, environmental hazards, and safety in child care (Chapters 8 and 9).
After providing background in philosophy, management, resources, health, and safety, the text turns to physical considerations: planning space, purchasing equipment, finance, and budgeting (Chapters 10, 11, and 12). The final section of the text is divided into eight appendixes, including Handbook for Parents, ChildCare Applications, Children's Records, Contagious Diseases and Immunizations, First Aid, Job Descriptions and Announcements, Employee Records, and Inventories. The text ends with the glossary and the index. The appendixes, glossary, and index contain valuable and supportive information. They are important and should be consulted frequently.
Goals cannot be achieved without an organized plan. To develop a successful program, each chapter should be considered on its own and then all chapters should be used as an integrated unit.
At the beginning of each chapter is a Guide for Readers, which presents a quick chapter overview A Chapter Summary concludes each chapter. Also included in each chapter is a feature called Participators, which are actually application exercises or "stimulators" to help the reader focus on particular principles presented in the chapter. A list of references cited appears at the end of each chapter.
For the sake of convenience, masculine and feminine pronouns are used alternately in chapters: "she" in odd-numbered chapters and "he" in even-numbered chapters.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM USING THIS TEXT?
This book is designed for training programs at various levels: community and state colleges, universities, private companies, government, and others. It can be used as a self-help aid by individuals preparing for credentialing and by administrators or employees who have no opportunity for other means of instruction (corporate day care, family day care providers, and others).
Parents, lawmakers, and community-minded individuals will find this text helpful in understanding the needs of young children and families in promoting legislation that will build community cohesiveness and strengthen families.
WHY INTEGRATE HUMAN AND ADMINISTRATIVE NEEDS?
When the child-care needs of parents and children are considered in the context of entrepreneurship, results are more likely to be successful than if the two aspects are considered separately. For example, when parents need child care, they must seek or create solutions. On the other hand, before any child-care business can be successful, it must consider various risk factors, such as location, finance, and need. By working cooperatively, parents and center operators can address their needs and limitations; otherwise parents may have to settle for less than desirable circumstances, and centers may be unsuccessful.
I would like to thank the following reviewers for their assistance and helpful suggestions in the preparation of this text: Toni Campbell, San Jose State University; Jill E. Gelormino, St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn, New York); John R. Hranitz, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania; and Herman E. Walston, Kentucky State University.
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