Carlow education students (left-right) teach art to preschool children at the Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library (PTLL): Erin DiSanti, Janelle McIntyre, and Amanda Knobeloch. Read this storyThe Early Childhood Education program at Carlow University focuses on educating children from birth to grade four in any context—school, family, or community. As a signature mark of the program, students learn how to honor diversity and form strong inclusive relationships between child and caregiver/teacher. They learn that a child’s environment needs to be rooted in trust; physically and psychologically safe. They learn that the caregiver/teacher relationship needs to be collaborative and characterized by advocacy for the child. Principles of child development and constructivist approaches to learning ground the program along with the belief that strong relationships among the child, family, and community form a healthful child who has the necessary foundation to succeed in a 21st century and beyond.
The program uses the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) guidelines for ethical behavior to demonstrate professionalism. Competencies for early childhood education are based on current research and child development theory, NAEYC standards and guidelines, and the pedagogy of relationship.