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