Monday, July 30, 2012

Sharing Web Resources

The website that I have been navigating through for the past few weeks is the: ZERO TO THREE WEBSITE. There are many links offered on the website for parents and teachers and a lot of informative information that has definitely been useful for me over the past few weeks and that will benefit me in my career as a teacher. Not only as a teacher but as a parent as well.

Some of the outside links that I have not yet explored are: The Public Policy Link, they offer a "Download of the week" which I have yet to look at, and I have not been to the Military Family Projects link. The public policy link lead me to two paragraphs that explained what the public policy was for Zero to Three and information about their policies and it also provided me with six links: The Action Center, Building Early Childhood Systems, Federal Policy,  Infant-Toddler Policy Issues, Policy Guide, and a link to the State and Community policy article. Each link brought me to a new page where there was even more and more resources and articles to read. LOTS OF GOOD INFORMATION! The download of the week was titled "Your Child's Development". It talked about things your child can do such as feed themselves, walk, and scribble and it also provided facts about things that parents can do such as encourage your child to use his fingers/hands, and ask your child questions. It was definitely worth the read- for any teacher/parent!
  When I clicked on the Military family projects link I learned that the Zero to Three organizations works to support military families. "We work to increase awareness and collaboration throughout the military community so that parents and professionals can more effectively care for very young children and their families." ("Military family projects," 2012)

I decided to thoroughly search one area of the website. The part of the website I chose to search was: Maltreatment: Child Abuse and Neglect. It offers me a pargagraph of information on abuse and neglect and two different resources at the bottom of the page that I can click on.

I do receive a newsletter from the Zero to Three Website but since joining the website, I have only received a total of two newsletter. One of the issues that I have been following on the newsletter is: Spotlight on:  Making the Most of Your Child’s “Language Explosion” I was instantly interested in this article because I have a 21 month old who doesn't say a lot of words yet. I even took her to the Pediatrician at 19 months to see if this was normal or not because I was so concerned she should have been talking by now. Reading this article was very re-assuring. It made me realize that children are not always going to pronounce things the right way, they are going to make a lot of mistakes in language and it's completely normal, especially for young children. The article also provided information for parents/teachers and things they can do to help improve their child's/students speech/language. I LOVED this section of the newsletter! Since receiving this newsletter and reading this article; I have not yet seen any new information on the topic.

The website does provide a link and has very limited information about equity. The website has a search bar where you can type in anything you want and it will let you know if it has what you typed in. I typed in "Equity" and I came across one little page that had information on equity. You can see it here:

On the Zero to Three website I have been reading about the importance of promoting and supporting early brain development. This is the newest information I have gained this week. It offers information on children from 2 months all the way up to 36 months.  

Military family projects. (2012). Retrieved from

Friday, July 27, 2012

Getting to Know Your International Contacts—Part 2

I was not shocked to find out that my international contacts did not know much (If anything at all) about the issues related to excellence and equity in their country. My international contact from Italy (Serena) said she did some research since she wasn't really aware of this topic and she came up with this resource: <<That was all the help she could provide me with on this topic as she was not educated on this.

My international contact in Canada did not know anything about this topic and could not provide me with any resources. With that being said, I did my own research. I did find this informative article on excellence and equity in Canadian schools. A lot of it is difficult to understand but for the most part it's just a lot of reading and knowledge. You can read about it here:

This is a wonderful website I found on education, excellence, and equity. It helps you to better understand what is means to have equity in education. The website provides detailed video presentations for you to watch.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sharing Web Resources

1. What specific section(s) or information seemed particularly relevant to your current professional development?

I feel that every section on the ZERO TO THREE website is relevant to my current professional development. It provides information to people like me that will help me to become a better professional. It offers many helpful resources including articles, information, and even a fun fact video. Every section of the Zero to Three website is beneficial for me as a student, and a future professional. The three parts of the website that stand out the most to me as a future teacher are: Behavior and Development, Maltreatment, and Care and Education. It has a lot of information on the website about children and the ways in which children develop.

2. Which ideas/statements/resources, either on the website or in an e-newsletter, did you find controversial or made you think about an issue in new ways?

Since signing up for the Zero to Three newsletter, I have only received one thus far. One of the articles in the newsletter is titled "Let’s Play: Activities That Nurture Bonding and Learning" This article offers suggestions to parents as to what types of activities they can do at home that will promote fine and motor skills. It really makes you realize how important play is for children. It has so many benefits and it teaches them skills not only that they need now as young children but it helps them to gain skills they will need later on. For example: The website suggests parents buying water paint and letting the child paint anything he/she wants outside. This will get the child to move his hands/arms/wrists which will later help them write. This article made me think about play in a new way just because I was a preschool teacher for so many years and a lot of the teachers I worked with never worked with their students on learning/educational things like I did. All they did was babysit the students while they played in centers. Although I feel that play time should be limited throughout the day and other things need to be done, I now realize that these children were not only playing but they were learning while they played.

3. What information does the website or the e-newsletter contain that adds to your understanding of how economists, neuroscientists, or politicians support the early childhood field?

The website adds to my understanding of how economists, scientists, and politicians support the early childhood field because it adds information that points out just how important is for lots of different people to work together to make the early childhood field safe, successful, and effective.

4.  What other new insights about issues and trends in the early childhood field did you gain from exploring the website or e-newsletter?

When it comes to the Early Childhood field, there are always so many new things to learn. I feel that it's important for professionals to keep up with research because there are always new laws, new information, new policies, and so much good news and even bad news that we need to be aware of. Knowing what is going on in our world can help us gain knowledge and it can allow us to be most effective teachers. One issue that is mentioned on the Zero to Three website that caught my attention was "Parenting from A Distance." More often then we realize, children are separated from their parents (Sometimes just one parent) and there are several reasons as to why parent and child separation may occur. I feel that this is an important issue that happens quite often and it's something that children are affected by so we need to learn about it, study it, and find ways to help contribute to these children in a positive way.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Getting to Know Your International Contacts—Part 1

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT ITALY: Pregnancy, Childcare, school, etc.
(Direct wording comes from Serena who lives in Italy)
Over the past few weeks I have been in contact with a woman named Serena from Italy and a girl from Canada named Amanda Ripsam. Serena is a preschool teacher in Italy and she has taught me a lot about Italy thus far. Per conversation, this is Serena's point of view and this is in her own words! (Her spelling and sentence structure is not the greatest so I had to edit this the best I can so my audience would be able to understand it!)

Here in Italy after you have a baby, if you're working and you took maternity leave, you are allowed to stay at home and still get part of your salary for the first year after the birth of your child. After the first year, you either go back to work or you lose your position. Now lets say that you decide to go back to work sooner and you cant afford a babysitter or you really don't trust a babysitter... in that case you can enroll your child to NIDO. In Nido you find children from few weeks old to 3 years old. The hours are usually from 8.00 am till 6.00pm. You can choose from a private Nido which is usually more expensive or the Nido communal which is like a public school. Over here there is a monthly fee that needs to be paid. The amount is still high if you compare it to the states. 

Over here we got euro which is about 1.3 to the dollars but it changes all the time but you can pay up to about 350.00 euro per month which is about 410.00 dollars just to get your child into Nido. Most of the time people choose to keep their children at home until they are 3 years old. At that point you can enroll them into ASILO or SCUOLA MATERNA l which is a type of preschool. The duration is 3 years during which the children starts writing and starts developing skills that later on they wiil need for actual school time. They also engage in drawing activities, reading books, learning how to count. Those are pretty much are the basics for elementary schools. NIDO and ASILO are not mandatory. The hours of Asilo are usually 8.00 am till 6.00 pm but if you want you can go and pick your child up at 12.45 after lunch. The school year for nido and asilo usually starts between the first two weeks of September and it ends at the end of June. 

Elementary school goes from 6 years old and it has the duration of 5 years. At the end of each year the children gets an evaluation and if it is positive they are allow to go forward otherwise they must repeat the same grade. At the end of the 5th year they have to take a lot of different written and oral tests about everything they learned. If they pass they are allowed to start the following cycle of study otherwise they have to repeat the same grade. Elementary school is mandatory here. There are usually 3 teachers per classroom. If the teachers thinks that the child has problems at home or is being abused or things like that they have the authority and the power to inform social service. Most of the time if that happens the child gets removed from the environment right away and an investigation starts. Obviously that happens when there is actual proof of a bad situation in the family.
After 5 years of elementary school or SCUOLA ELEMENTARE , the child goes to middle school or SCUOLA MEDIA for the duration of 3 years. At the end of each year the child gets an evaluation and if everything is positive he can keep going otherwise he gets to repeat the same year of school. At the end of the 3rd year the child has to pass lots of tests written and oral once again about everything he learned and if he doesn't pass he has to stay in the same grade and repeat it. If you are advance and very good you cant skip grade and graduate sooner than the others.

At the end of that the child can choose what kind of study they want to keep doing. That is the equivalent of high school. Here its called SCUOLA SUPERIORE and it can be 3 to 5 years. As far the evaluation it goes like in the scuola media. Once u complete 5 years of that you usually get a diploma and u are ready to either go to college or go to work.
Over here when you are expecting you are followed very closely by your provider. Ultrasounds and blood work are more frequent than in the states. Running a day care at your own house is not common at all. (Serena, 2012)


"Close to 2 million kids live in poverty in Europe's third-largest economy, according to a new UNICEF report. The country has the highest percentage of child poverty in all 25 European countries, a longstanding crisis that predates the nation’s current economic woes."  (Nadeau, 2012)

Every morning in Italy, hundreds of children wake up hungry. What a shame! A lot of the children in Italy have never even used a computer because the schools can't afford to have them in the classrooms. With that being said, a lot of children don't even attend school in Italy! A lot of those that do attend school end up dropping out. Due to lack of childcare, children stay home with infants and take care of their siblings. After doing research on poverty in Italy I was amazed at the statistics! I just couldn't believe it! I feel that this should not be happening! Children do not deserve this!

Poverty in Ontario, Canada
 (Direct wording by Amanda Ripsam who lives in Ontario Canada)

In terms of my experience living in poverty, I grew up with parents who were on welfare. My mother for her disability and my father for his laziness. They were both on welfare. I ended up supporting my self until that time I had to go on welfare my self.  The program was called Ontario Works. They help people find jobs and provide you with resources so you can go to school. They also give you  about $500 a month to live off of.  There are no food stamps programs in Ontario Canada but they have food banks. I was lucky and didn't need the food bank but I'm sure my cousin has used it. He used to be involved with gangs and drugs and ended up on the streets. He cleaned him self up, got help, and is now on his own and in his own place with a room mate and is working at a grocery store pushing buggy's. He has to start some place. In terms of poverty there are always a gap where people can't qualify for benefits.

What I have learned about poverty in Canada:
Poverty is such a reality in Canada! So many children and families are suffering due to living in poverty. Some reasons for families living in poverty are: Death of a spouse or family member, loss of health, unable to afford housing, health insurance, food, and lack of wages from employment. The impact of poverty in Canada (And anywhere really!) is HUGE! Not only does poverty take a toll on people individually and/or socially but it affects us economically. "Poverty also has an economic cost. These costs include the impact on our health care system, loss of productivity and increased policing and judicial costs as social breakdown results in crime." (Justice, 2008) poverty affects many areas around the world and I feel like everyone can do something to play a part in helping eliminate families suffering! The smallest act of kindness can make such a HUGE difference!

Justice, C. (2008, April 29). Poverty in canada. Retrieved from
Nadeau, B. (2012). Italy has europe’s highest percentage of children in poverty, says unicef. The Daily Beast, Retrieved from

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sharing Web Resources

 National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families.
Brief description of the Organization's focus:
 Zero to Three is a non-profit organization that helps people of all kinds to improve the lives of infants and toddlers. Their mission is to help promote the health and development of infants and toddlers. They offer help on how to promote good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences for all infants and toddlers. 
One current issue/trend from the newsletter/website that caught my attention was: IMPACT OF TRAUMA. Young children are affected by events that take place around them everyday. Although babies are not old enough to truly understand what is going on around them they pay close attention to what is around them, what they hear and see,  and they absorb images that surround them. They are deeply impacted by the emotions of the people they rely on for love and security; such as their parents.  When a child experiences trauma there are developmental consequences. Professionals need to always keep an eye open for children that may have experienced a trauma so they can get the help they need sooner rather then later. "Parents and caregivers play a very important role in helping infants and toddlers cope and recover from traumatic and stressful experiences." (Zero to Three, 2012) There are many signs of infants and toddlers who experience trauma. Some of them include: decrease in activity level, decrease in appetite, increase in irritability/change in personality,  and even sleep disturbances. There are things we can do as parents, teachers, and professionals to prevent our children from experiencing trauma. We can't always prevent it but there are things we can do to help prevent it. Let's work together so our precious children do not have to endure this pain. They sure don't deserve it.