It’s the beginning of a new course and we’re already starting to build the foundation of our projected ECP. Imagine being given the opportunity of a lifetime! Your dreams for your own early childhood program have come true. You have a fully funded program that you may design in any way you wish, in the location of your choosing.
As a program director, we tend to be placed in a position of making decisions that are essential to our program’s philosophy, operations, policies, and systems. As we go through this, we learn that “part of the process of building a new program (and inherent to the success of any quality program) is the development of a detailed and meaningful vision” (Laureate, 2011).
As I imagine, my program has been running successfully for the past year. We’ve had twenty new children enrolled during each fiscal year as children graduate and progress to the public school system. Many of our parents have expressed gratitude and have become a part of our center’s family. The community has been involved in volunteering their time by reading for our children, chaperoning on field trips during the summer months, and donating equipment and items for our classroom centers.
With our parents and community involved with the development and learning of our children, the components of our vision have been most compelling. Kennedy (2008) states that ‘providing high quality programs or services for young children and families is a professionally challenging and highly complex endeavor” (p. 46). Having a vision and mission statement is critical to any center and the development of their programs. Our vision is to create and maintain a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment, where staff, children and their families are able to grow and develop naturally. Our mission statement is to celebrate the strengths of all learners and promote physical, socio-emotional, language, and cognitive growth of all children through developmentally appropriate practices that serve as a foundation for future learning.
Hay (2010) explains that the importance of having a mission statement in to inform others of our “values, those aspects of the organization which are not subject to the benchmarks others impose, and which we do not seek to trade” (p. 94). I remember one of my colleagues mentioning in our last class that they revamp their mission statement yearly to accommodate their programs. I believe that this is a great idea for centers, as they evolve over time to accommodate the children they service. “The more clearly you can envision all aspects of your program, the better you can articulate your vision for your program” (Laureate, 2011).
Hay, S. (2010). Why have a mission statement? Exchange, (191), 94–96.
Kennedy, A. (2008). You are welcome: An ethical approach to child care. Exchange, (183), 46–48.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Planning and Managing Early Childhood Programs: Developing Your Vision. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu