RU Advocacy Strategies Interview and Reflection Essay

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Overview

In early childhood education, ECE professionals are encouraged to “advocate” and become involved in issues that affect children and families. We advocate by being a voice for those who cannot speak, identifying and providing solutions to problems, supporting causes, and promoting change. We advocate for children and families, our ECE programs and the profession, and ourselves. ECE programs make a commitment to early childhood education by advocating for support of early childhood education, ensuring that high-quality programming is a top priority and that children enjoy health, confidence, and success later in life.

Scenario

One of your professional goals is to improve your advocacy in early childhood education to support the children, families, and communities you serve. You decide to interview your center director to find out how they use their voice for ECE advocacy.

Instructions

For this assignment, you will be interviewing a member of your early childhood program’s administration team (director, asst. director, family childcare owner) to learn about their advocacy strategies.

Part One – Interview

First, select a member of your early childhood program’s administration team. Or, if you do not currently work in the field of ECE, interview staff from your child’s school, an ECE program in your local community, or a program where you have conducted observations or volunteered.

Next, create interview questions that focus on the following advocacy topics and complete your interview (make sure to take thorough notes to support your reflection in part two of the assignment).

Advocacy for children – approaches to advocacy in ECE that foster a greater understanding of the value of early childhood education while enriching the lives of the young children served.

Advocacy for families – engagement practices for parents and families and ensuring accessibility and responsiveness to the needs of diverse families.

Advocacy for educators – opportunities for teachers and staff professional development to hone skills, grow capacity and work more effectively with young children and their families.

Advocacy for communities – work in creating partnerships with community organizations, businesses, agencies, and advocates to create stronger early childhood systems.

Advocacy of policies and systems – promoting and enhancing policies and systems that support high-quality educational programs for young children.

Part Two – Reflection

Lastly, in the same document as the interview questions and notes, write a 2 to 3-page reflection on the program that:

Describes the program type (e.g., center-based program, faith-based organization, family childcare home, licensed/accredited, etc.), including the name and address of the program, children served by the program, and name, title, and background of the administration person interviewed.

Explains the program’s approach to advocacy in ECE that fosters a greater understanding of the value of early childhood education while enriching the lives of the young children served. If the program does not have an approach to advocate for children, you will need to recommend a strategy.

  • Discusses the program’s engagement practices for parents and families and ensuring accessibility and responsiveness to the needs of diverse families. If the program does not have an approach to advocate for families, you will need to recommend a strategy.

Describes the program’s opportunities for teachers and staff professional development to hone skills, grow capacity and work more effectively with young children and their families. If the program does not have an approach to advocate for educators, you will need to recommend a strategy.

  • Examines the program’s work in creating partnerships with community organizations, businesses, agencies, and advocates. If the program does not have an approach to advocate for communities, you will need to recommend a strategy.

Illustrates how the program promotes and enhances policies and systems that support high-quality educational programs for young children. If the program does not have an approach to advocate for policies and systems, you will need to recommend a strategy.

  • Recommends two additional advocacy strategies for the ECE program to improve the effectiveness of its advocacy efforts.

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