Starting a child care organization from scratch is less about the logistics and bureaucracy it takes, and more about the philosophy and values that will serve as its principles. Child upbringing and education are extremely important for the society, and an active participant in this process – like an institution that provides child care – is meant to provide a relevant system of values for the community it will serve.
If you are passionate about education and childcare and you want to become a childcare provider, you should take your time and think thoroughly about what your philosophy will be.
What Is Child Care Philosophy about?
There is so much literature on child care and psychology and so many studies and experiments done that the vastness of this subject might be overwhelming for a parent or an entrepreneur who wants to become involved in the system themselves. We recommend taking your time to study the existing childcare philosophies and their principles, and then decide if you will follow one of them or if you will adapt your own philosophy.
The most well-known childcare philosophies are Montessori, Waldorf, developmental, Reggio-Emilio, progressive, and cooperative.
What Are Your Child Care Beliefs?
The best way to start the process of choosing a philosophy is to ask yourself what your personal beliefs are on the subject. If you believe that a child should be mainly encouraged to play, Waldorf methods might be the ones for your center. If you dream of educating children to be better citizens, the cooperative method or Reggio-Emilio would serve your purpose.
Write down the principles you would like to teach the children and use them to sculpt the general shape of your curriculum.
How Do You See a Teacher’s Role?
Since teachers will be your most valued “asset”, you must define the teacher’s role in your childcare philosophy. Do you expect the teacher to lead the children to great academic results? Or do you want them to provide a positive and secure environment where they can be independent and guide the activities themselves?
The teacher’s role should be compatible with the philosophy you choose, and the teachers you will hire should be chosen on that principle.
What Do You Expect the Children to Gain from the Program?
Again, when choosing a philosophy for your child care organization, you should think about the bigger picture and ask yourself what the children will gain from your program. Naturally, most child care programs include both academic and play-based activities in their curriculum, but the ratio and focus are different from one philosophy to another.
Make it clear for both parents and collaborators what you commit to offering to the children and how you see their development under your guidance.
Developing a Fitting Curriculum
Once you have decided on the principles and philosophy you will apply, you need to rationalize it and lay down an actual plan on paper. Your curriculum should revolve around the values and priorities you have already set, and not confuse the children and parents with different expectations. Carefully edit the curriculum to guide the child to where you want him to be.
Gather up Partners Who Believe in the Same Philosophy
As said before, your teachers are your most important collaborators. But a successful child care unit should be involved in the community on many levels. Be involved in specialized events, get in touch with parent communities and other child care providers, search for other businesses that can support your philosophy.
Offering the children, the right start in life is a great mission. Being very serious about how you choose your philosophy will have a great impact on how your services will be and how the children will ultimately feel in your care. Good luck!