“Early childhood has always been a passion of mine. I’ve been fortunate to make that the focus of my career. I’m the Director of Early Childhood Education and Child Development at Madonna University. We train over a hundred future educators in our College of Education each year, and graduate approximately thirty teachers each year.
Our Early Childhood program starts with the basics of brain development. From birth well into early childhood, a child’s brain makes over 700 neural-connections every second. A teacher with a college degree in early education is specially trained to support the child throughout this wonderful time of growth and learning.
In these early years, cognitive and physical development, receptive and expressive language, and social emotional development are all occurring rapidly. Yet, children at this age aren’t able to tell us what they need. A trained teacher who understands what young children need is critical. And much of this learning can be nurtured through play, which is impressive.
All of us who do this work are really trying to advocate for more teachers who have earned these specialized degrees. We want children to have the finest teachers.
Early Head Start and Head Start have these requirements for their teachers. These programs are good places for children to begin their life experience with school and with other children.
Children are like little sponges. They soak up everything. They learn from all the loved ones in their life – parents, teachers, family, and friends. It’s additive. When there is responsive and respectful input from all of these people, the child grows up to be more resilient, stronger, better prepared to take on whatever life is going to bring their way.
It’s the most challenging time to work with a child, but it’s also the most rewarding time to work with these little somebodies – to help them unfold, to be the person each is meant to be.”