Action Research Plan
EDU 671: Fundamentals of Educational Research
Area of Focus Statement
This study will explain and find resolutions to common problems family daycares have when dealing with mixed age children. Daycares are normally known for having age groups ranging from 6 weeks to 12 years old; which causes challenges on meeting each students need based on their developmental stage. It is my belief that this is a common problem in other daycares and my goal is to discover their solutions for my program.
Problem – Interest
Some of the challenges that I have faced are those parents that are looking for a specific curriculum that caters to every age level that will meet each student’s need.
Problem – Background
I have operated a small daycare for about 4 years now. In those 4 years, I have witnessed many challenges when working with mixed age groups at different developmental levels. Some of these challenges added negative effects on the program. There are parents who do not consider you an option because you do not have the preschool setting, there have been times when parents felt there child’s need was not met in a quickly enough and decided to leave the program and there have been parents who expect for me to feed all of the children (primary elementary) attending the daycare. Since I have personally witnessed the many struggles and challenges working with mixed age students over the past 4 years, I know that it is certainly a problem that should be address for the success of my program.
Problem – Prior Interventions
To prevent the challenges that I face with the mixed aged students in my program, I have tried many interventions. I have taken courses on child development and behavior and applied the concepts learned to daily routines. I have had program training specialist to conduct trainings, observe and offer suggestions on how to improve the program. These suggestions were good; however, they did not help the need for my program.
Finally, I have made changes to various procedures, schedules and hours; which only showed a minimum improvement.
- Two-year old female (Part-time: 3 days a week)- Comes from a Black middle-class family with both mother and father in the home working fulltime jobs. He is developmentally age appropriate.
- Eighteen month old female (Part-time: one day a week in the afternoon)- comes from a black middle class family. Mom and dad both work full time in the public schools setting. Mom teaches at an Elementary School and Dad teaches Physical Education at a High School.
- Five-year old male- In Kindergarten fulltime. Black middle class family. Youngest of 4 siblings. Very active, high energy and receives occupational therapy and speech during school. Lives with mother only.
- Seven year old male- In the second grade. Black middle class family. Oldest of two children. Dad is a truck driver and on the road a lot and mother is home with the children. Active and developmentally appropriate.
- Twelve year old female in the 7th grade. Black middle class family. Lives with the step mom and dad, older brother and step sister. Biological mother is deceased. Being monitored and treated for ADHD and has an IEP for Intellectual Disability. Old enough to stay home alone; however parent is afraid that she is not mature enough to make the right choices.
- Thirteen year old male- in the 8th grade. Black middle class family. Mom and Dad are divorced. Child spends school year with dad and summer and vacation days with mom. Has social and emotional problems about mom spending more time with other siblings living with her.
I have chosen to work with these individuals for the sake of this discussion. I based this decision on the fact that they are currently enrolled under my daycare program. They also attend regularly and I see them on a daily basis. The mix of ages were to show the challenges that are faced in dealing with mixed age students with different needs.
Idea – Teaching and Learning
- What are ways to help in managing diversity in a daycare program?
- What are ways for families to manage the diversity that exists?
- What programs are available that help small programs handle diversity and challenges?
It is my belief that a combination of teaching for all parties, the provider, children and the daycare program. It is my responsibility to ensure that the program run smoothly, follow the guidelines and schedules. The typical job description for a daycare provider are as follows:
It is a must that an individual possess the required skills to work with young children and an enjoyment when working with families and different cultures. It is my job to provide a curriculum that meets the need of all students in the program.
- Has knowledge of child development, safety rules, and nutrition and health guidelines.
- Utilize great communication and listening skills.
- Plans activities and develop a routine that meets each child’s physical and academic need.
- Obtain critical, analytical and problem solving skills.
It is the responsibility of the child to learn and grow while they are in the program. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that skills taught are implemented at home and partner with the program. When children play they are performing different experiences that they have had or seen (Davis, 2011). In play students are introduced to decision making, how to follow directions, practicing their social skills and how to behave. They learn from what they see, hear, touch, smell and taste (Davis, 2011). To understand those experiences and understand the world, children need to learn through practical life skills.
Idea – Locus of Control
Based on Fourneir (n.d.), an individual who has an “internal locus of control believes that they are able to effect the outcome of events, while someone with an “external locus of control,” blames the outside world for everything. The concentration on this research paper is within my internal locus of control. I believe that I have the talent, resources and capabilities to find answers to these challenges that I am facing.
Idea – Passion
It is my desire to find answers about this study because I know that it will make my program run smoother. I cannot say that I have a passion in find these answers.
Idea – Inspiration
Executing changes that will help my program run smoother is extremely inspiring. It is my desire that all of my families leave my center happy and are provided with the necessary skills needed to move on. If I find a way to improve my program, I will gladly take on the job of implementing changes.
Davis, J. (2012). What is Imaginative Play and How to Encourage it. Retrieved from: https:www.learning4kids.net on March 3, 2018.
Earlychildhood.org. (n.d.). Exploring Positions. Retrieved from: http://www.earlychildhood.org/cdrg/ on March 6, 2018.
Fournier, G. (n.d.). Locus of Control. Retrieved from: https://psychcentral.com/encylopedia/locus-of-control/ on March 5, 2018.