Open Discussion – Comparing Workplaces
In this activity you will be analyzing different preschool curricula and programs available to families in your area. You may use personal experiences or the internet to determine local programs and curricula. This will be a discussion where you will be able to compare programs and curricula of different areas.
Compare two preschool programs, using a local preschool program or center and another center of your choice. Determine how they set up classrooms, the curriculum and activities provided to the students. You may use the internet to gather information needed for this activity or ask the questions to an employee of a center.
For example, my four-year-old child attends a preschool that only services children from two years old through five years old. The classrooms are set up by age such as 2-3 years old, 3-4 years old and 4-5 years old. Their curriculum is based on the same curriculum the local school district practices, following a Developmentally Appropriate Practice model. The center provides snacks to the children and offers both half and full day programs. The daily schedule offers both indoor and outdoor open-ended play experiences, sensory exploration, and opportunities for interactions between children.
The local private school offers only full-time schedules for children three to five years old. The preschool program is for the children from three to four years old, and the Pre-K program is for children four to five years old. Their preschool program focuses on getting children adjusted to the schedule and activities of the day and working together, while the Pre-K program focuses more on pre-academic skills the children will need to move up to the Kindergarten program. The school follows the Creative Curriculum which promotes social, emotional and intellectual development of children. Families have the choice to provide their own snacks and lunches or eat what is offered based on the school menu. All foods must follow a specific healthy foods policy, in addition they grow many of their own crops for snacks. The daily schedule includes indoor centers and outdoor exploration and open-ended activities the children can engage in based on their interest.
The preschool program my child attends is affordable and offers one year of preschool free, whereas the private center can be costly. Both programs follow state requirements which require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree and have completed an education program. Some programs only require a CDA or Child Development Associate and certain number of credits in an education program to be a teacher.
In this module, you will have explored the different programs and various requirements needed for a career in early childhood education or preschool program. Keep in mind each state has different requirements and the results may vary. The setting or type of program also may vary in requirements based on the type of program it is and what type of funding helps keep it running. In the coming activities there will be a focus on the development of preschool aged children in all areas of development which will lead to a final review.
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