Quality Training Programs in Early Childhood Education
The effect that higher education has on the quality of a childcare setting is currently unknown. Early et al. (2007) suggest that higher education may not be affecting the quality of care in a childcare setting because the educators are not being provided with practical training or support within their Early Childhood Education (ECE) preparation courses. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to examine the 16 mandatory courses within the Brock University Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (BECE) program to determine if, in fact, the courses align with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (2009) Program Standards. The researcher conducted a qualitative content analysis to ascertain the results of the study. To begin, course outlines were obtained from previous courses the researcher engaged in. Each course outline was reviewed in detail so that the researcher could become familiar with the assignments, lecture topics, and learning objectives within each course. Once each course outline was reviewed, the researcher created a list of the topics that were used to establish categories for coding. The themes that emerged from this process included theorists, program models, families, and knowledge of the ECE field. In addition, life-long learning, teaching specific subjects, and inclusion were also themes that were derived from the data. Within each category, the topics were scrutinized to determine the specific NAEYC Program Standard that the topic supported. A frequency chart was then created for each course to identify how many times each topic adhered to a specific standard. The results of the study concluded that the BECE program at Brock University aligned with all of the NAEYC program Standards. Consequently, Early Childhood Educators can have confidence in the quality of Brock University’s BECE program.