Early Childhood Academy Services
The Early Childhood Academy (ECA) offers a variety of services and programs designed to meet the early education needs of children across the state of Mississippi. Our services include resources and referral; assistance for families searching for child care; training, coaching, and technical assistance for early childhood professionals; and working with other service organizations and the business community.
The ECA meets with child care center directors, teachers, and parents to provide practical guidance on the qualities of how to run an effective child care center, enhance classroom teacher practices, and increase parental involvement.
High-quality, developmentally appropriate materials for high needs child care centers are available to promote learning and child development.
Coaches and Professional Development Specialists work with early childhood professionals in child care centers to support the improvement and quality of classroom instruction, the classroom environment, and teacher-child interaction by:
- Encouraging, supporting, motivating, and working interactively with teachers and assistant teachers to develop and implement ongoing goals.
- Supporting the teacher and teacher assistant to provide a learning atmosphere and opportunities which promote: the child's growth and development, approaches to learning, social-emotional development, creative arts, science, and mathematics.
- Assisting teachers and assistant teachers to structure environments, routines, and interactions that contribute to positive social-emotional outcomes for the children and families in a program.
- Focusing on specific tasks, skills, or techniques which can be mastered and measured.
- Implementing developmentally appropriate infant and toddler teaching techniques and a search-based curriculum for infant, toddler, and preschool aged classrooms.
- Engaging in ongoing learning conferences that provide applicable instruction on implementation of best practices in early childhood education.
Children's Knowledge & Skills
The ECA partners with public school districts, Child Find Coordinators, and community stakeholders to help identify the needs of children, specifically any potential disabilities or developmental delays. Partnerships also include school visitations and elementary teacher/coach team meetings.
- Letters and Numbers Assessment
- Progress Monitoring and Assessments
Program Business & Administrative Practices
Business Advisors use the Program Administrative Scale and the Routes of Business Curriculum. This scale and curriculum are used in a variety of ways, which include:
- Program Self-Improvement-Business Advisors will help child care center directors implement program goals to improve administrative practices. Profiles will be used to benchmark a center's progress in meeting the goals over time.
- Technical Assistance and Monitoring-Business Advisors will offer technical assistance to directors that will provide them with clear guidelines to improve organizational practices and ensure high-quality programming for children and families.
- Research and Evaluation-Business Advisors will use the PAS to pre-and post-test evaluation designs.
- Public Awareness-The PAS will be used to inform a wide range of stakeholders-center directors, agency administrators, state policy makers, licensing representatives, teacher trainers, parents, and resource and referral specialist about the components of high-quality programming.
Early Childhood Academy Resource Center
The Lending Library is a collection of age-appropriate early childhood resources with a variety of learning materials that include: multiple books, games, puppets, etc., for the use of parents and providers who serve early learners. Items available for lending include puzzles, age-appropriate books, sensory items, infant and toddler resources, dramatic play materials and much more. Materials are distributed on a "borrow basis" to providers and families.
The ECA creates Family/Center Partnerships that:
- Strengthens home-to-school and school-to-home connections through parenting seminars and workshops. The partnership has aided in the creation of lending libraries in some child care centers.
- Identifies and integrates resources and services from the community to strengthen the center's programs, family practices, and student learning and development.