As a member of leadership, it falls on you to ensure one of the most important aspects of developmentally appropriate practice: Creating a caring community of learners.  It is a safe bet that everyone you encounter as you open your program will have experienced some type of disruption or stress due to the coronavirus.  Leading from a place of positivity, empathy, and possibility will help normalize the new regulations and safety practices that are now in place.

Whether you are interacting with employees, children, or family members, be sure to acknowledge the challenges that are now on all of our minds. Recognize stress and frustration, validate the emotions that others feel, and then create a plan to move forward. Encourage teachers to think outside of the box, to evaluate previous practices, and to practice flexibility as they plan experiences for young children.

Listen to the tone of voice that teachers use with children, families, and one another.  Gently, but firmly, make teachers aware of how their tone communicates just as much as their words do, if not more. It is possible that even your most patient teachers will have moments when the stress becomes too much.  Coach employees to watch out for one another and to step in to support each other when necessary.  It is going to take strong teamwork to move through this pandemic.

Check in frequently with staff members and families so you can address any issues proactively. Provide stress-reducing ideas and activities for families and employees to try over the weekend. And while you are doing all of this to lead your team, be mindful of your stress level.

We all know the importance of creating a safe and clean physical environment for children and employees but is also vital to create a supportive and caring emotional environment as well.

Be well.

For the main article Remembering the Principles of Developmentally Appropriate Practice, CLICK HERE

For the article Reflecting on Development and Relationships, CLICK HERE

For the article Reflecting on Play and Motion, CLICK HERE

For the article Reflecting on Variety and Influences, CLICK HERE