Mississippi Building Blocks’ overall goal is improve the school readiness of young children. To achieve this goal, Mississippi Building Blocks works with existing licensed child care centers to increase the quality of care that is currently being provided. Our scope of work includes four areas, which are outlined below. All functions help to impact the overall development of children and their learning.
Early Childhood Coaches: Providing Instructional Practices and Increasing Children’s Knowledge and Skills
As defined, coaching is aimed to build capacity for specific professional dispositions, skills, and behaviors, and is focused on goal-setting and achievement for an individual group. Mississippi Building Blocks’ Early Childhood Coaches provide on-site technical assistance for all teachers in the early child care setting. The Early Childhood Coach helps equip teachers with skills and hands-on knowledge by providing developmentally appropriate instruction and practices for all classrooms, infant through preschool.
The physical environment should anticipate individual and small group involvement with a variety of manipulative materials (Kostelnik, 1992). Spaces should be arranged to accommodate movement of children among equipment and materials. Interest centers should invite children to explore. Play items should contain the seeds of learning. For example, if you want children to be creative, you need to provide them with appropriate supplies and tools to implement their creative ideas (e.g., scissors; glue; cloth scraps; and varieties of paper, markers, paint, soft wood scraps, tape, staplers and yarn). Children should be able to obtain these materials on their own when they need to use them.
Developmentally appropriate classrooms include play areas for manipulatives; blocks; dramatic play; books, puzzles and table games; water and sand; puppets; woodworking; and large muscle activities. There should be a variety of quiet and more active areas to accommodate children’s different temperaments and needs. Props contained in these learning centers should be changed to reflect themes or areas of interest to the children (Ryczynski & Troy, 1996).
Our Family Advocates provide education services to families, focusing on children’s growth and development as well as families’ involvement in their children’s education – joint efforts to enhance community involvement to local child care centers.
Business advisors are here to assist child care directors in their quest to providing the best child care program. This is done with the use of the Program Administration Scale. This scale is designed to reliably measure the leadership and management practices of center-based early childhood organizations. This is the only instrument of its kind to focus exclusively on organization-wide administrative issues.