April 27, 2013

Time Well Spent

Three Deeply Felt Learnings from this Program:

For children, play is as natural as breathing—and as necessary.
—Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld,
U.S. early childhood educator and author

One Long Term Goal:

One long term goal that I have for myself is to continue my education by staying aware of current issues in the early childhood field. This will include scheduling more frequent professional development workshops for myself and staff members.


The completion of my Masters program here at Walden University marks the start of a new chapter in my life. As I approach my 4th month of pregnancy (things are going well), I look forward to raising my child in a world that will hopefully continue to offer great early childhood opportunities for everyone. 

Thank you to everyone that I have met along the journey as it gives me great hope for the future of all children. You all have been inspiration to me as I continue my work in the field. Best wishes to all of you in the future! Congratulations to all of you in the completion of your programs as well :)

April 13, 2013

Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: Internationally

In this week's post we are asked to find 3 organizations, or communities of practice that serve the early childhood community on an international level.

Association for Childhood Education International

The first organization that serves the worldwide early childhood community is the Association for Childhood Education International or ACEI (2011). According to their homepage, the ACEI (2011) works  to promote and support the optimal education, development, and well-being of children worldwide, and to influence the professional growth of educators and the efforts of others who are committed to the needs of children in a changing society. They also work within the United Nations. 

Something that I found interesting about ACEI is their ability to reach out and provide professional development opportunities for administrators and teachers. This year they are holding the Institute for Global Education from April 17-20 in Washington, DC.

Although ACEI didn't seem to have job opportunities posted on their webpage, I would be interested in sitting on one of their Committees for Special Education as that relates to my challenge of early childhood special education funding. It might be interesting to have a global perspective on the issue and gain more insight on how to fight the issue here. 

Child Rights International Network

The second resource that I came about relating to international early childhood organizations was the Child Rights International Network or CRIN, (2013). The organization is passionate about social and legal change, and CRIN is building a global network for children's rights. The network strives to bring children's rights to the top of the international agenda by launching advocacy campaigns, leading international children's rights coalitions, and striving to make existing human rights enforcement mechanisms accessible for all. 

By signing up for the monthly newsletter from CRIN, you can be e-mailed about job vacancies and volunteer opportunities. Much of the work is done in London, England and they ask for a commitment of one to two days a week for a minimum of three months (CRIN, 2013). Since I haven't received one of their newsletters, I don't know exactly what their jobs or volunteer work might require of me. Therefore,  it is difficult to know what skills or experience I might need to work with their organization. 

Free the Children

A third resource that I found to work internationally in the field of education is Free the Children headquartered Canada.  As an international charity and educational partner, Free The Children (2013) believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change. This organization works in many countries and that is something I feel strongly about, being a part of a wider network of individuals all working toward educating youth. 

There are many job opportunities posted on the webpage for Free the Children. Since I am not familiar with the organization other than what I've read, I would apply to be an intern for a few months to get my feet wet and learn more about them. This would be an important step in my career (right out of college) as I look for support and resources in becoming a strong leader. Looking back on my early childhood career, It would have been helpful to have this type of experience under my belt before taking on a teaching and eventually, a higher leadership role. 

This internship would have the following responsibilities:

  • Engage new schools and youth in the Minnesota portfolio through phone calls and email
  • Book outreach for the Youth Programming Coordinators and Outreach Speakers in this portfolio to support growth and engagement, and the use of Free The Children programming
  • Initiate contact with new schools to sign-up and attend We Day

I have learned how to go about completing some of these tasks by getting my Masters in Administration Leadership and Management from the Walden University program. 


Association for Childhood Education International. (2011). ACEI. Retrieved April 13, 2013 from http://www.acei.org/

Child Rights International Network. (2013). Retrieved April 13, 2013 from http://www.crin.org/

Free the Children. (2013). Our mission and our model. Retrieved April 13, 2013 from  

March 29, 2013

Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: National/Federal Level

Zero to Three

     One of my favorite organizations that I have come across in my early childhood studies is the Zero to Three National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families. This organization provides a lot of helpful information for families and educators about the issues surrounding children ages birth to three. I even found a catalogue with books and resources that centers can obtain for curriculum development (Zero to Three Catalogue, 2013). Zero to Three also provides an opportunity to get on a mailing list to learn about the developmental stages of children and what to expect monthly about a child's milestones. 

     Although there are currently no jobs available, it could be interesting to me to be a part of one of their teams that works on influencing policies and practices within the field of early childhood education - specifically raising awareness for special needs funding at this level. I would need quite a few years experience in a school setting that allows me to see the needs of children first hand; this way I could have strong supporting statements toward gaining funding for services.

National Education Association

     According to the National Education Association (2013), they are committed to improving early childhood education. The organization believes that a high quality early childhood education represents one of the best investments our country can make. NEA (2013) also recommends the following in early childhood education:
  • "Free, publicly funded, quality kindergarten programs in all states.
  • Mandatory full-day kindergarten. Just 14 states require school districts to offer full-day kindergarten. 
  • Optional free, publicly funded, quality "universal" pre-kindergarten programs for all three- and four-year-old children whose parents choose to enroll them. Three states are moving toward such a program - Georgia, New York and Oklahoma.
  • Federal funds to make pre-kindergarten programs available for all three- and four-year-old children from disadvantaged families. State and local governments should provide the additional funds necessary to make pre-kindergarten available for all three- and four-year old children.
  • Dedicated funding for early childhood education. Public schools should be the primary provider of pre-kindergarten programs, and additional funding must be allocated to finance them in the same manner as K-12 schools."

     The NEA does not have any jobs in my surrounding areas, I would like to be part of the organization on a team that works together to organize teams of teachers. Most of the job descriptions required many years of organizational skills within their career.

The Division for Early Childhood

     The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) is an international membership organization for those who work with or on behalf of young children with disabilities and other special needs. Their mission (DEC, 2013) is to promote policies and advance evidence-based practices to support the optimal development of young children with special needs.

     The DEC could be a big help in my goals of working toward special education funding by becoming a part of my community of practice. This organization provides information to parents and educators about how to work with children that are classified as special needs. They also provide videos and books about recommended practices for working with special needs children and their families. 

     Through the DEC, I could get a job as an early intervention specialist or counselor. They have posted many roles at the college faculty levels as well, such as assistant professors or Early Childhood Directors for campus child care facilities. Since I am in a Director role, this could be a good move for me professionally, because I have thought about teaching at the college level.


National Education Association. (2013). Retrieved March 29, 2013 from http://www.nea.org/

The Division for Early Childhood. (2013). Retrieved March 29, 2013 from http://www.dec-

Zero To Three Catalogue. (2013). Retrieved March 29, 2013 from

March 16, 2013

Exploring Roles in the ECE Community: Local and State Levels

           There are many organizations within the field of early childhood that assist me in working with families and young children on a daily basis.  The first organization provides evaluations to children with special needs under the age of three: Birth to Three in the state of Connecticut. I have always enjoyed working with the consultants and specialists that have come through my classrooms over the years. The work they do serves so many people on a regular basis, and is provided to parents on a sliding scale based on their income.

Birth to Three works in hospitals, schools, and agency settings (where children might go to an office to work one on one with a therapist or specialist). One of the agencies I worked with most was Abilis, providing support to the families that I worked within Stamford, Connecticut. This would be an agency I would love to work for down the road as I feel I could contribute to helping children with special needs by becoming an intervention specialist with the organization. In this role, I could utilize my leadership skills as well as observation tools I have learned in the teacher and director roles. Then, with Abilis, I would visit schools and observe children to help provide additional support to children with learning disabilities, or those that may be on the spectrum.

The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance (2011 A) is a statewide membership and advocacy organization committed to improving outcomes in the areas of learning, health, safety and economic security, for children from birth to age eight. When I came across this webpage, I immediately signed up to become a member and get on their mailing list. As I perused the different pages, I found out that one of the platforms they are working for is the preservation and expansion of funding for early childhood services (CT Early Childhood Alliance, 2011 B). This is the issue I am choosing for my Capstone, and having this organization as a community of practice, will help me to achieve that goal some day.


Abilis. (2013). Abilis. Retrieved from: http://www.abilis.us/
Birth to Three. (2013). Birth to three. Retrieved from: http://www.birth23.org/index.html
Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance. (2011 A). About. Retrieved from:   
Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance. (2011 B). Policy platform 2013. Retrieved from:   

March 6, 2013