Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

October 24, 2002

How to evaluate childcare programs

Dorothy S. Strickland, a national advocate for early childhood literacy, spoke at Pitt Oct. 5 as part of a conference on early literacy.

Strickland has received the International Reading Association’s Outstanding Teacher Educator of Reading Award, the National Council of Teachers of English Award as Outstanding Educator of Language Arts and the 1994 NCTE Rewey Belle Inglis Award as Outstanding Woman in the Teaching of English.

Strickland’s publications include “Beginning Reading and Writing,” the third edition of “Administration and Supervision of Reading Programs” and “Supporting Struggling Readers and Writers: Strategies for Classroom Intervention 3-6.”

She offered some advice, in the form of a checklist, for parents and guardians of young children when evaluating a childcare or other early education setting.

1. Do adults interact with children in a positive, engaging manner?

2. Is the ratio of children to adults suitable for the age group, so that children can get sufficient appropriate attention?

3. Do adults attempt to converse with children one-to-one and in small groups throughout the day?

4. Are children read aloud to on a daily basis?

5. Is the number of books available to children sufficient? A minimum of five books per child should be readily accessible to them and these should be rotated.

6. Is a variety of types of books offered for children: story books; nursery rhymes; poetry; concept books, such as number, color, and ABC books; informational books, such as those about nature, trucks, neighbors, etc.

7. Do adults model the uses of literacy, so that children begin to understand how it functions in their lives?

8. Are regularly scheduled meetings held with parents in which language and literacy development are discussed?

9. Are informal conversations and conferences held with parents in order to learn about their children from their point of view?

10. Are child caregivers and educators involved in an ongoing program of professional development that includes support for their understandings about how to foster young children’s language and literacy?

Filed under: Feature,Volume 35 Issue 5

Leave a Reply