Monday, September 9, 2013

When company comes to visit

"This year they're real big on family engagement."  
"Just show 'em what they want to see."
"Where is all the money going that the centers get?"

It's alarming to me that this is the culture of early childhood education.  Giving them what they want, putting on a show, doing the dance for the moment.  But what do you do when there's no one around?  Isn't that what matters?  Who cares if you can put on a good show because there's a visitor.  I want to know that there's quality programming being offered after the lights go down and "they" leave the site.  Our center is preparing for a federal review with Head Start this year and not only am I not nervous, I'm prepared.  We run our program according to the (many) Head Start regulations and I don't care who walks into the center, we operate the same way. My teachers know that no matter who walks into that infant room, they need to wash their hands and put on the booties.  Regardless of their pay grade or status.  I've heard my infant teachers ask visitors (including the Program Director and myself) to follow this procedure without missing a beat.  And to me, that's a sign of a high quality program.