What we believe
Importance of Play
Play is the work of childhood, and it provides fertile ground for development and learning. ACCESS provides children with an intellectually engaging curriculum and believes that play is an important vehicle for learning and development. ACCESS recognizes that children learn best when engaged and play is the medium that is most highly engaging.
Play is the foundation of a well-constructed early childhood curriculum, and it is vital that the teachers stage the environments to support children in their play. Intentional teachers have a good understanding of the types of play that each of the children in the class engage in. It is best that this understanding be informed by documentation of children's progress collected overtime.
We have found that intentionally collecting data about children's play provides more accurate data and a wider scope of understanding to that helps teachers choose the optimal opportunities for social and cognitive development. Once teachers understand how their children engage in social and cognitive play, they can stage the environment differently or provide support that encourages children to grow.
Play is an important teaching strategy that is vital to learning for children ages birth through age eight. Supporting play is difficult as many teachers want to either take a hands-off approach or become too directive. ACCESS stresses the importance of the teacher's role in play by following the child's lead and then staging the environments to support the children's growth. Based on a belief that child-centered practice follows the needs of children, ACCESS recognizes the importance of teacher support and direction as well as child-directed experiences.
Child-centered education is complex and requires that teachers are well informed about child development and spend time observing and connecting with children. Teachers who practice child-centered education collect documentation about children's developmental skills and interests while staying familiar and up to date with learning standards. Their documentation is used to make decisions about how to stage environments, how to choose authentic materials and when to (or not to) incorporate teacher-directed instruction.
ACCESS REFLECTS THE CURRENT STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
- ACCESS Curriculum aligns with the Developmentally Appropriate Practice Position Statement released by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) released in 2020.
- ACCESS supports NAEYC's Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education Position Statement published in 2019.
- ACCESS incorporates the Professional Standards for Early Childhood Educators released by NAEYC in 2019.
- ACCESS incorporates the ZERO TO THREE Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators™