As a caregiver, you spend many hours planning for and then providing activities and learning materials for the children in your care. Understanding the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ behind what you do can help these activities be even more meaningful for children. I call this ‘Purposeful and Intentional’.

Excerpt below is from the Early Learning Success Curriculum Manual, available in the Store – ELS Curriculum Manual

Caregivers that base programming on early learning standards are purposeful and intentional in providing learning opportunities. Early learning standards are strength-based, child-focused and tell us what children can do. They provide a blueprint to follow when planning activities so a caregiver can encourage and nurture the appropriate skills for development. This Kite Activity outlines how to use early learning standards to promote the development of skills.

No matter the setting—family child care homes, center based childcare or preschool programs, or school age programs, today’s caregiver has a responsibility to children and families to support school readiness and, they need to blend their teacher and childcare provider roles. The Generations of Care Theory (Ollhoff, L., 2000), looks at how the caregiver role has changed, paralleling the evolution from program standards to early learning standards.

• Generation 1– formed out of the necessity of working mothers to have their children in safe places while at work. In Generation 1 programs, children are supervised in a setting where the adults are in charge, and safety and control are the primary focus. Caregivers find this sterile and boring and soon move on to Generation 2.

• Generation 2– developed because caregivers grew tired of just supervising and ‘putting out fires’-they wanted more personal interaction with children. Generation 2 childcare is very busy – busy with projects, busy with play, busy with going places. And children making choices an integral part of the process. Caregivers in Generation 2 may find themselves getting burned out from the hectic pace of constantly needing to find and provide new activities and games. Today’s national emphasis on early learning has encouraged not only more education and training for caregivers, but the desire to look beyond the busyness and onto Generation 3.

• Generation 3 -moved early childhood education and care into purposeful learning activities and opportunities facilitated by the caregiver. Caregivers in Generation 3 programs use early childhood and youth development best practices to provide a program that supports positive growth and development. Children are still safe, still busy with activities, but now the activities have an identified purpose that caregivers can articulate. The next step, or Generation 4, is to not only be purposeful with activities and opportunities, but to use intentional planning based on observation and assessment so that each child is individually supported for school and life success.

• Generation 4– is programming where each child reaches their optimum level of success. Caregivers in Generation 4 are committed to excellence in early childhood education and care. They continue their educational journey to be current with new research and practice. They use observations and assessments to guide programming and to purposefully and intentionally plan for each child’s success. Generation 4 engages parents and families so children are supported on all levels.

Consider where you are and where you want to be. The Early Learning Success curriculum can help you plan and implement learning activities that are purposeful and intentional. Visit the Store to see all of the Units of Study that are available or download the current Catalogue