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Being developmentally appropriate while complying with health & safety social distancing measures

  • 1.  Being developmentally appropriate while complying with health & safety social distancing measures

    Posted 10-02-2020 03:19 PM
    I am hoping to get some suggestions to share with programs about being developmentally appropriate while complying with COVID-19 health & safety measures. I would love to hear what creative ideas have worked!

    Here is the dilemma shared by one child care center: "We are looking for some ideas for our interest centers. With COVID-- We took all the "good stuff" out of our centers and we're trying to find alternatives. For example-- our cozy corner consists of vinyl mats and some handmade "lava lamps" from soda bottles-- no pillows etc. The Dramatic play is just sad-- no dressup clothes etc. We can put these back and wash them every night- but this is so time-consuming with washing and sterilizing every toy in the dishwasher etc. Any ideas? We're trying to think outside the box-- but :(
    I have decided to make some "bolster- style pillows by rolling blankets and then covering them with a vinyl tablecloth ( It will look like a piece of candy) This will be easily sprayable.  Any and all feedback will be welcomed!"

    Another program (PreK in a public school building) has been directed to stop all group work, in order to maintain social distance. Specifically, "Please continue to work diligently to keep students at least 6 feet apart.... group work will have to be something done creatively maintaining social distance requirements."

    So what have you found that works?! Thank you!

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    Mira Berkley
    Quality Improvement Specialist
    QUALITYstarsNY
    Fredonia NY
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  • 2.  RE: Being developmentally appropriate while complying with health & safety social distancing measures

    Posted 10-03-2020 10:03 AM
    What a dilemma. My only thought about such situations is to keep in mind that the goal of development is mastering one's environment. Helping a child pay attention to her environment and to the consequences of her behaviors both positive and negative is still the basics of what we are trying to do as early childhood educators.

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    Jack Wright
    Child Development Consultant
    Success With Children
    St Ignatius MT
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  • 3.  RE: Being developmentally appropriate while complying with health & safety social distancing measures

    Posted 10-04-2020 10:43 AM
    Thanks, Jack. Great way to think about your role and the concept of developmentally appropriate practice. I have only one fear that children may become very anxious about all the distancing and disease possibilities. We need a careful balance in how we present these behaviors in the environment to young children.

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    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
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  • 4.  RE: Being developmentally appropriate while complying with health & safety social distancing measures

    Posted 10-04-2020 01:28 PM
    I also find this to be a daily challenge. So far, my only Dramatic Play center has been the mechanics shop. All of my tools are plastic (easy to spray). I hung an old pegboard on the wall and found some printable sheets to circle repairs being done. These are in wipable plastic sleeves. Then I have a cardboard box car that can be sprayed down up on plastic milk crates. I keep some naked dolls and a plastic carrier so they can take their babies on errands (no cloth allowed on my school).  I pull out a set of smaller blocks for the block corner so that I have a manageable anoint to clean daily.  The kids have their own playdough so that rollers and cutters are sterilized after each use.  The sensory table is either water or soapy water that can be drained and the table wiped down daily. I keep track of who gets what center each day and make sure everyone gets to visit each center weekly. This is not ideal, but it's the best I can manage. The rest of the day is outdoor learning and individual projects (painting, cutting, stories, science experiments, singing, etc) whole sitting at tables. I still spend 45-60 minutes sterilizing after school every day.
    I'd also love to hear what others are doing to get more ideas.

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    Dawn Hale
    Preschool Teacher
    ASA at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
    Hazelwood MO
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  • 5.  RE: Being developmentally appropriate while complying with health & safety social distancing measures

    Posted 10-05-2020 01:21 PM

    The Hunt Institute is collaborating with NAEYC and several other organizations to host a panel on this topic Thursday night:

    On Thursday, October 8, 2020, we'll be joining forces with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) for a special online event: Ensuring Developmentally Appropriate Practice Amidst a Global Pandemic. In order to accommodate the participation of early childhood professionals from across the nation, we are holding this event at a special time: 7pm eastern.

    We'll be joined by an amazing panel of experts:

    • Barbara Cooper, Alabama Secretary of Early Childhood Education,
    • Tamara Johnson, NAEYC Governing Board and Exec. Director of Malaika Early Learning (Milwaukee, WI),
    • Edward Manuszak, Superintendent, Dundee Community Schools (Dundee, MI) and Co-Chair of the AASA Early Learning Cohort, and
    • Tabatha Rosproy, National Teacher of the Year, Winfield Early Learning Center (Winfield, KS).

    If you've not yet registered, you can do so now by visiting:

    https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5jYRvJbtReWFpRySdecEcQ



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    Jill Bella
    Director of Professional Learning
    McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership
    Wheeling IL
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