Discussion – Current Trends In Early Education Discussion – Current Trends in Early Education Directions Reflect on what you have learned regarding the cur

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Discussion – Current Trends in Early Education

Directions

Reflect on what you have learned regarding the current trends of health, safety, growth, and nutrition.

For your initial post, address the following:

  • How do      these trends impact the Early Childhood Education field?
  • How do      these trends impact YOUR work with children and families every day?
  • What      trend impacts you the most and why?

Discussion – Current Trends in Early Education

Discussion Topic

Top of Form

Activity Time

2 hours; Additional Time for Study, Research, and Reflection: 1 hour

Directions

Reflect on what you have learned regarding the current trends of health, safety, growth, and nutrition.

For your initial post, address the following:

· How do these trends impact the Early Childhood Education field?

· How do these trends impact YOUR work with children and families every day?

· What trend impacts you the most and why?

Bottom of Form

I have sidenote on the next page to help you understand. Thanks for your help

Current ECE Trends in Health, Safety, Growth, and Nutrition

· Early childhood professionals promote physical and mental health and appropriate nutrition. In partnership with families, they also provide an emotionally and physically safe environment for the young children in their care.

Keeping children of all ages safe and healthy is one of the most important duties of childcare providers. Whether children are in a home-based, preschool, Head Start, or other early childhood education program, providers are responsible for ensuring health and safety both inside and outside their childcare setting.

· Health

Current Trend: Focus on Mental Health

You can hardly watch the news or read an article without something about mental health or mental health issues. When you think of mental health or mental health issues, what do you think of? Depression? Anxiety? PTSD? These are common mental health issues that have been popular in the media.

Mental health itself focuses on emotional wellbeing. It affects how we feel, act, and think. For example, a child’s mental health determines how she handles stress, makes choices, and forms relationships.

As early childhood professionals, we need to aware of what is going on in our programs and what is happening in the lives of each child. It is important to talk to families and children daily. Communicating with families every day will help educators learn about any major changes/stressors in the child’s life.

Some major changes/stressors include:

· Divorce

· Death of a friend or family member

· Birth of a sibling

· Move into a new home

· Injury

· Loss of a pet

· Parent’s job loss

· Parent’s extended absence (for example, military deployment)

Pay close attention to any changes in the child’s behavior and keep accurate notes. Provide support and guidance to the family. Be ready to refer the family to community resources that can guide the family through their specific situation. Keep a resource library of different resources so you are ready for these situations.

· Safety

Current Trend: Outdoor Play

Everyone loves to be outdoors–especially children! For children, daily outdoor activity helps them stay healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

Outdoor play in early education typically includes a playground, whether at a park, the backyard, or on the grounds of the center. Educators need to keep these outdoor play areas safe for everyone. Here is a checklist to provide guidance:

· Look for trip hazards.

· Inspect equipment and identify items that need to be repaired or replaced.

· Ensure there is adequate space between equipment.

· Make sure the equipment is appropriate for each age group.

· Ensure that the foundation of the playground provides cushion to prevent or lessen injuries.

Your childcare licenser can provide guidance and regulations for your playground. If the playground you use it not yours and you see safety issues, contact the local park district.

Supervising young children outdoors helps decrease the potential for accidents. Being outdoors can be fun and relaxing to everyone. As professional educators, you need to make sure you are paying attention to your young charges. Walk around the play space frequently, and do a head count often. In addition, always have a first aid kit ready for any minor injuries that may occur.

· Growth

Current Trend: Brain Development

In the early childhood education and development field, there has been a great emphasis on brain development–especially in the first three years of a child’s life.

There is so much that influences brain development, and the brain is particularly vulnerable in the early years. We know that a strong, healthy brain allows children to form relationships and to learn how to communicate, solve problems, and succeed in school. Educators need to encourage parents to boost their children’s brains by doing these activities with their children:

· Read daily.

· Sing songs.

· Play games.

· Be attentive to needs.

· Choose toys wisely.

· Talk often.

· Play outside.

· Provide proper nutrition.

Be prepared to share resources and written information with families so they know the importance of these activities. Our role as educators is not only to educate the children but also to educate the families on the best care and practices for children.

For more information on brain development, refer to these websites:

Zero to Three

National Association for the Education of Young Children

· Nutrition

Current Trend: Childhood Obesity

Obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex (CDC, 2015).

With the growing trend of children engrossed in technology and media, there is a concern that inactivity will lead to obesity and other health risks.

Obese children are at risk for a number of serious health problems such as:

· Diabetes

· Asthma

· Heart Failure

It is imperative that educators provide families with information about how to lead a healthy lifestyle. Two keyways that parents can help children maintain healthy weight are:

· Provide proper nutrition: Limit sugary beverages and food. Encourage children to eat lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. Provide appropriate portion sizes.

· Encourage physical activity: Limit technology and screen time. Encourage at least 60 minutes of exercise per day. Participate in the activity with the child.

Encourage parents to talk with their child’s doctor for medical information and tips for helping their child stay healthy. In addition, if you are on a food program, the representative can provide you with nutritional and food safety guidelines.

For further information on this topic, refer to the following resources:

· For nutritional information: ChooseMyPlate.gov

· For ideas for physical activity: Children’s Activities: Get Kids Moving

Reference

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2015). Defining Childhood Obesity. Retrieved March 29, 2017 from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/defining.html

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