EDU 671: Fundamentals of Educational Research
There are many challenges in working with mixed groups in a family daycare. Most of these programs are ran with one provider; which has to cover all areas. This can be challenging when trying to meet the need of each child.
Intervention – Overview
There are a number of interventions that are available for the providers who struggle with meeting the need of their mixed age group children. It is my plan as a provider to establish daily routines to ensure that the needs of different age groups are met in the program (How to Daycare, 2012). This structure can cause for a smoother transition when trying to work with each child on a daily basis.
It is imperative that you remember that flexibility is key, while implementing that daily routine or schedule (Child Care Lounge, n.d.). One must be reminded that when it comes to working with children, things and situations happen; keeping that it mind, there may come a time with the routine may change a little. It is important to remain flexible and prepare for those detours.
It is also important to adjust to those students that are in your program. It is your responsibility to know those differences as well as know some of their likes and dislikes. Targeting a child’s interest and giving them the opportunity to explore, will make learning more enjoyable and reduce the anxiety that sometimes comes with it (Flavin 2012). My plan is to communicate with each individual child as an added effort of getting to know them. I will ask them their interest and dislikes. This can be useful when planning their day. Developing activities that sparks the interest in children in the program, can reduce behavior problems and increase active involvement.
Separating children into smaller age groups helps in keeping each activity age appropriate and preventing boredom (Himama, n.d.) Age appropriate activities will assist in helping to certify that each child is engaged and manages the mixed groups efficiently.
There are often times when providers are needing assistance in their program and Himama (n.d.) suggests that they offer class helpers from the older students to assist the smaller children in the program (Himama, n.d.). Implementing tasks that the older students can be involved in will help the provider as well as teach accountability. These tasks can be given on a daily basis to assist in teaching responsibility, duties and to relieve the load on handling mixed group students.
Working with children I have observed the difference in interacting they have with their peers versus adults. I like to see them when they are helping each other with tasks. Although each child comes with different skills and abilities, this is what makes them unique and are still able to utilize those skills to help each other. Teachers are great at answering problems in a group (Pre-K Pages, n.d.). Encouraging peer learning should be implementing in each class setting to support team work and cooperation with children.
Intervention – Literature Review
The gathering of all scholarly writings that are available to me for my action research project on challenges that daycares face with mixed age groups, helped me to further understand exactly what I am researching. There are many providers that are having a hard time with mixed groups. These sources have stated their challenges and reported them along with solutions. The review has gave me ideas on how to resolve these challenges that are faced in my program as well as improve practices through action research in my program.
Intervention – Benefits
It is not necessary to utilize an intervention if it is not beneficial to the student or provider. A benefit of the interventions is the encouraging of mixed pro-social behaviors in age groups. It has been stated that older children develops compassion, problem solving skills, endurance and sympathy by helping in assisting with those children that are younger than them (Himama n.d.). Younger children are motivated and influenced by older children to complete more difficult activities. With assisted help, support and modifications, younger children will be successful in doing these difficult activities (Fairlie, n.d.). Older children feel appreciated and take great pleasure in helping and being asked to help (Schmidt, n.d.). Younger children also benefit from older children, from the consistent exposure to older children talking, singing and reading. This inspires and promotes caring for others.
The plan for my intervention is to continued development in my daily routines and construct a program schedule that permits flexibility when working with students of vast age groups (Early Childhood Consultation Partnership, n.d.). My plans are to purge those materials that are no longer of use and replace them with material that open ended and provides aide for mixed age groups to play with the same items at their developmental stage. Some of these materials that can be utilized for different age groups are balls, blocks and arts and crafts (Early Childhood Consultation Partnership, n.d.).
My next plan is to provide each child ample opportunity to participate in an assorted amount of daily tasks in an effort to make use of their own individual ability. The opportunities that will be presented are cleaning as a group, cleaning off the table, setting the table and other tasks that exist for a mixed age group.
I also plan to motivate students on sharing their similar interests between older and younger children (Early Childhood Consultation Partnership, n.d.). This gives me the opportunity to focus on each individual strength and talent of every student and ensure that they are used properly to find a mutual ground; as well as motivating the student to find ways to involve other children when they play.
My final plan is to alter the way I supervise activities. I will offer activities that everyone can take part in. This may decrease reading time; however, recommend extra time in activities. These activities may include but are not limited to, dancing to music, counting and finger painting. This helps in keeping children engaged and encourages participation.
Ethics – Philosophy
As a daycare provider and Early Childhood Administrator, it is ethically imperative to me to find the greatest way to meet the needs of each child in my program. My programs philosophy is in education we are concerned with the total person; the complete intellectual, spiritual, physical, and social being. We exist to educate all students to high levels of academic skills and knowledge, while fostering positive growth in social and emotional behaviors and attitudes. We seek not only to maximize every student’s knowledge and positively affect attitudes and behaviors. Caring about children if the substance of my programs existence. The success is based on communicating with families daily in an effort to focus and care for each individual need and understanding and acceptance of each child’s developmental level. The goal is to act in the best interest of the child (Lenhardt-Betts, 2017).
My goal is to be the best every day and ensure that each child is well cared for. I do this my doing action research and finding better ways to meet my philosophy and meeting each need in my program.
Ethics – Social Principles
It is my belief that Early Childhood Educators have a responsibility when it comes to caring for families in their program. This responsibility starts with an ethic of compassion, nurturing and concern for these families that chose your program. This intervention assist me in holding to those morals and responsibilities that I have with those families that I am serving and it motivates me in finding better ways to meet the needs.
This intervention line up with my belief in that all children can learn given the right opportunity and the one that will keep them engaged in encouraged. Being aware and responsive to the needs and interests of each child in my program shows that I care about them and I want them to be effective participants in the growth. Letting the children to be active participants of their growth and playing an active part in my role in the program is a major component for the success for all.
Ethics – Harm
After reviewing my literature of choice, I believe that my intervention plan is appropriate. Every article read was looking out for the best interest of the child. It specified the benefits of programs that supported mixed age groups and provided ideas on making the program run smoother to meet the needs of each child. It is my belief that this intervention will benefit the children.
Ethics – Protection
In order to keep the participants protected, I will allow them the option to participate in the intervention and research project. If parents and children do not have the desire not to participate, they will not be coerced to. I will also input false names to provide confidentiality, maintain trust and protect the personal rights of the families involved.
Ethics – Bias
It is imperative that my intervention and research paper does not contain any bias information. I will not change any outcomes of studies researched. I will check for accuracy and make certain that the wrong information is not given. Lastly, I will make note of all incidents related to intervention and action research study.
Data Collection Procedures
|Research Question||Data Collection Tool||Why this Tool?How does it match what you are attempting to find and to measure?||Timeframe|
|What are ways to help in managing diversity in a daycare program?||Rating Scales||A rating scale can give me a vivid picture of the areas that I may be lacking and enhance my program in an effort to make it run smoother. The rating scale will also show me how a quality program can meet the individual needs of diversity and challenges to help me find where I need to make changes.||I will utilize different rating scales to collect further data.In the first two weeks of the action research plan.|
|What are ways for families to manage the diversity that exists?||Family Questionnaire and Follow-up Interview||Parents will answer and questions and elaborate on their answers on provided form. This will give me the opportunity to collect and go over data from all families. I will then be able to request a follow up interview (if permitted). Giving parents the option to answer these questions helps in finding out how they are feeling regarding diversity and challenges and how they may be able to help.||Have parents to complete the questionnaire by the fourth week of the action research plan. Follow up will be held at the fifth week of the action research.The questionnaire will be printed from parents to complete and bring back in a sealed envelope. Interviews will be held to address concerns (if needed).|
|What programs are available that help small programs handle diversity and challenges?||EmailingInterviewing||This tool can be utilized in an effort to interview staff at child care solutions. Child care solutions manages small day care centers and preschools. The staff will be able to respond to email inquiries at work on home; to reduce the face to face meetings during work hours. Using this tool will provide different answers from staff that should have this information available.|
Early Childhood Consultation Partnership.com. (n.d.). Supporting family Daycare Providers: Managing Mixed age Groups. Retrieved from: http://www.eccpct.com/resources/family-daycars/tips-for-tots on March 5, 2018.
Fairlie, K. (n.d.). Managing Play with Children of Different Ages. Retrieved from: https://childhood101.com/managing-play-with-children-of-different-ages/on March 5, 2018.
Flavin, B. (2017). How to Run Daycare: 9 Tips to make Life Easier. Retrieved from: http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/education/on March 5, 2018.
Himama.com. (n.d.). Caring for Mixed age Groups in Early Childhood Education. Retrieved from://https://www.himama.com/caring-for-mixed-age-groups-in-early-childhood-education on March 4, 2018.
HowtoDaycare. (2012). Your Daily Daycare Routine. Retrieved from: http://www.howtorunahomedaycare.com/articles/your-daily -routine/on March 4, 2018.
Lenhardt-Betts, K. (2017). Parent Manual Policy, Procedures & Resources. Unpublished.
Schmidt, R. (n.d.). Using a multi-age approach to Learning in an Early Childhood Education Program. Retrieved from: https://www.daycare.com/story/multi-age-learning/ On March 5, 2018.