Families are of primary importance in children’s development. Because the family and the early childhood practitioner have a common interest in the child’s well-being, we acknowledge a primary responsibility to bring about communication, cooperation, and collaboration between home and early childhood program in ways that enhance the child’s development. –NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment
The NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and its supplement for Early Childhood Program Administrators provide guidance for programs striving to develop and maintain strong collaborative relationships with families and communities.
Early Childhood educators experience many situations in which they felt torn between a parent’s request and what they felt was best for the child, ethical dilemma situations, such as the case below.
Ellie, the mother of Mia, a child in Alicia’s class of 3-year-olds, has asked Alicia to keep her daughter clean and not allow her to participate in any art or sensory activities that are “messy” or “dirty.” She tells Alicia that it is difficult to remove the dirt and stains that Mia brings home after doing art projects. She also says that it is important to her that Mia looks neat and clean when she comes to school and that messy play activities have led her to have to replace many of Mia’s everyday pants, tops, and dresses. She also described the difficulty she has getting Mia clean at night when she has to meet her other family obligations.
What is your first reaction to this situation? To whom does Alicia have obligations? What factors should she consider in making a decision? What should the ethical early childhood educator do? Explore several avenues open to resolving this situation. Identify the core values involved in this situation and the ideals and principles in the NAEYC Code and Administrators’ supplement that guide your ethical decision-making. Write out the ideals and principles. Describe a defensible course of action that is true to these ethical principles. Address all prompt questions in your response.
Responses to Prompts
All prompts addressed clearly: reaction, obligation, factors for decision, ethical action.
Resolving the Situation
Several avenues to resolution discussed clearly.
NAEYC Core values, Ideals and Principles
NAEYC Core values, Ideals and Principles that guide the situation are clearly identified.
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