More than 100 local early educators gathered to explore child development at a recent Childcare Resources workshop, “Why our children don’t need pushing and what they do need instead.” Funded by Indian River County Children’s Services Advisory Committee and PNC, the workshop provided educators with tools and knowledge to support child development in their classrooms.
“Anyone who has met more than one child knows that each child is different,” said presenter Amanda Morgan, early childhood expert and creator of Not Just Cute, a whole child development resource for teachers and parents. “In a developmentally appropriate practice, we respect those differences that are inherent in human development.”
In addition to reviewing common early childhood milestones, educators were asked to reflect on how their classrooms currently support student growth as well as their expectations for development in the crucial pre-kindergarten years.
“Kindergarten has changed dramatically, but children have not,” Mrs. Morgan emphasized, “The developmental process is not something we can speed up.”
Instead of focusing on speeding up development, attendees explored how to support their students’ growth through high-quality interactions that follow each child’s lead. As one attendee summarized, “Developmentally appropriate practice is about respect. Respect for their childhood, for their development processes, and most of all respect for children as individuals.”
Registration is currently open for Childcare Resources’ next professional development opportunity, “Teaching with Intention and Powerful Play”, on February 5, 2022, again featuring Mrs. Morgan.
Additionally, Mrs. Morgan will be the featured speaker at Childcare Resources’ annual two-day Starfest event featuring a dinner held February 7 and a luncheon held February 8. For the dinner, Mrs. Morgan will be joined by Meredith Egan, CEO of United Way of Indian River County, and Jeff Pickering, CEO of Indian River Community Foundation, for an intimate and robust panel conversation about both the progress to date in providing high-quality early education, and what the next steps are or should be. During the luncheon, Mrs. Morgan will focus on exploring what we as a community can do to help children reach their full potential, including highlights of Childcare Resources’ accomplishments. Both events will be held at Quail Valley River Club. More information about Starfest can be found at www.ChildcareResourcesIR.org.