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Little Kids, Big Questions
is a series of 12 podcasts that translates the research of early childhood development into parenting practices that mothers, fathers and other caregivers can tailor to the needs of their own child and family. Click here to listen to or download the podcasts. This podcast series is generously funded by MetLife Foundation.

Changing Practices In Early Childhood Programs

Leaders of early care and education programs expect professional development to introduce new ideas and teach new skills to their staff. When planning professional development, organizations commonly consider all the aspects of this first goal of professional development including the nature of new strategies and how to support individual staff members as they gain new attitudes and skills and integrate them into their daily routines. However, leaders often neglect the second goal of professional development, which requires that new ways and skills become a part of the vision, systems, policies, and daily life of the organization. If not, many new ideas and innovations fade and are forgotten over time. When leaders strive to accomplish both goals of professional development, children, families, staff members, and organizations reap the benefits.

Strategy #1:
Shared ownership and active involvement from all levels of the organization

Strategy #2:
Understanding that a culture of continuous improvement leads to excellence

Strategy # 3:
Significant, reciprocal community collaborations and productive partnerships

Strategy #4:
Time to plan and implement new skills and strategies, to practice, and follow up

Strategy #5:
Administrative support

Strategy #6:
A clear purpose and direction

Excerpted from Knapp-Philo, J., Hindman, J., Stice, K. & Turbiville, V. (2006).  Professional development that changes practice and programs:  Six successful strategies.  Zero to Three (26)3.

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