Saturday, January 28, 2012

Zero to Three Website and Public Policy

What specific section(s) or information seemed particularly relevant to your current professional development?

The Zero to three website offers an interactive “Baby Brain Map”. Visitors are able to click on specific ages, including prenatal, and the site will tell you which areas of the brain are most active at that age. It also offers ideas to improve the quality of interaction in each area.

Which ideas/statements/? resources, either on the website or in an e-newsletter, did you find controversial or made you think about an issue in new ways?

The  Zero to Three organization has a Court Team, that offers help and information to professionals dealing working within the child abuse court system on how to provide the best outcome for the infant.  They offer ideas such as more parent-child contact and placement stability

What information does the website or the e-newsletter contain that adds to your understanding of how economists, neuroscientists, or politicians support the early childhood field?

 Zero to Three offers a  link to a podcast given by Dr. Ross Thompson.  Dr. Thompson discusses the importance of parents nurturing their child’s social and emotional development from birth forward. Dr. Thompson is a  psychology professor at UC Davis University.

What other new insights about issues and trends in the early childhood field did you gain from exploring the website or e-newsletter?

Zero to Three offers link to many public policies agencies and organizations.  They offer a free downloadable brochure entitled Early Experiences Matter,

“The Early Experiences Matter Policy Guide offers you a wealth of policy options and strategies to use in your efforts to affect policy change for infants, toddlers, and their families. It includes mini policy briefs, practical tools, in-depth policy papers, and more (Zero To Three, 2011).”

The information available talked about the importance of public awareness in  quality early childhood care. I enjoyed reading the brochure and will be printing some out to give to my parents in the coming months.


Zero To Three. (2011). Early Experiences Matter. Retrieved from

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Professional Contacts

My appologies for posting this entry late.  We have a had a week of snow storms here in the mountains. Between lost power and lost internet, I have struggled to play catch-up this week,
I have been corresponding with  Dr. Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson, she is a professer and head of the Education, Communication, and Learning  Department at University of Gothenburg in Sweden.  I have  had a few email conversations with Ingrid about the issues facing preschool children and teachers in her area.  She talked about the changes that are happening in the curriculum.  In the past individual districts and even teachers were allowed to choose the types of curriculum they used.  There were no national tests given to children in the early years.  Currently the Government is looking at providing a National Curriculum for all schools and possibily lowering testing ages.

Dr. Samuelsson has written several papers and co authored books in Sweden.  Some of those papers have been reprinted in English.  She gave me a reading list of her papers on these issues. I have read two of them already.  The first paper was a comparison how teachers regarded the importance of play in Sweden, Japan and the U.S.  It was an interesting paper and  from the answers to the survey questions, it appears as if Sweden places the highest value on play folowed by the US, and then Japan.  Although, all of the teachers stated the importance of allowing children time to be creative.

The second international contact I have made is with Maria Hill.  She is a child care provider at the YMCA in Calgary Canada.  Maria and I have talked about poverty in Calgary.  She feels that it is very similar to the US in that they have a lot of immigrant families that have migrated to Canada and face language and cultural barriers.  The types of funding for programs there are are very similar to what we have here.  There are government funds available for families who cannot pay for preschool but those who can afford it  pay for preschool and childcare.
I look forward to hearing from both of my contacts and enjoy learning about the issues and trends in the various countries.  I wish more of the emails I sent had been returned, this is a very interesting assignment.

Pramling Samuelsson, I. (2007). Democracy: The Curriculum Foundation for Swedish Preschool. In R. New & M. Cochran (Eds.), Early Childhood Education – An International Early Childhood Encyclopedia. Vol. 4, pp. 1270-1273. Westport: Praeger Publ. [209]

Pramling Samuelsson, I. & Fleer, M. (2009). Commonalities and Distinctions Across Countries. In I. Pramling Samuelsson & M. Fleer (Eds.), Play and learning in early childhood settings: International perspectives, Vol. 1, pp. 173-190. New York: Springer Verlag. [218] (GUP 86890)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Professional Web Site

I chose to learn more about the Zero to Three website .
This site is design to provide information on issues facing infants and their families.
The section I read this week, had to do with Public Policy and how to advocate for positive changes for infants and families.
The site offers tool kits for people to down load that gives the updates of laws and Public policy that affects young children. I joined their public policy alert site, this should sent me emails when there is an opportunity to let officials know how I feel about new laws.

I have always looked to the Zero to Three website for brain development information but I was surprised to find out home much of there site is dedicated to the support of Federal and State policies.

The issue I studied on the site talked about the effect of toxic stress on children.  We have touched on these issues in some of the classes we have taken recently.  When we do not provide resources for parents who are suffering with stress, financial, health, job loss etc, that increases the  stress we place on the children in their homes.  Chronic stress in a child's life will have long lasting effects on their social-emotional development as well as how they learn to react to stress.  There is a growing number of families in this country who are homeless.  The children in these families are at an extremely high risk for Chronic and toxic stress.  Working to positively change public policy to increase resources for these families is one one way to help children live happier healthier lives.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Making Professional Contacts

This week's blog assignment seemed a little overwhelming. I'm not sure if it was because of the time off from the holidays that I got out of "school mode" or what.  So, after a read it a few times, I set off to find some new professional pen pals from around the world.  I sent emails to a few of the people listed in the resources and got some invalid email address returns. I lucked out though when a professor from Sweden answered my requests and said she would be happy to converse with me about early childhood issues.  I'm so excited, I think this exchange is really going to add to my understanding of global childhood issues.  I am still hoping to hear back from some of the others I sent request too. I may need to pick a few more names tomorrow just in case.

The second part of the assignment was to read and review early childhood organization websites. I looked at quite a few and subscribed to a couple of news letters, I am kinda of an information junkie and already subscribe to many professional ECE blogs and discussion forms.  I chose to focus on the Zero to Three Website, as this is the age of child that I primarily work with.  I love their site because it has great interactive presentations on brain development.

I hope everyone had a great break and that your all moving seamlessly back into "School Mode".  Hopefully after this weekend, I too will be back on task~  ;)