How factors external to infant settings such as government policies and funding impact quality care.

Application: Infant Settings as Supportive Systems
As you have been learning throughout your program and in the first week of this course, quality infant settings provide supportive environments for very young children and their families. In this course, you are exploring the role developmentally appropriate practice and programs play in creating nurturing, respectful environments that emphasize partnerships with families.
Before you begin your Week 1 Application, review the outline below in order to plan effectively:

Week 1: Infant Settings as Supportive Systems. You will develop a newsletter that provides information on the role infant settings play in supporting young children and their families.
Week 2: Observing Infant Development. You will practice observation skills within an infant setting and learn more about the development of a child between the ages of birth and 18 months.
Week 3: There is no Application this week; however you will apply much of what you learn in Week 3 when you participate in the observation assignment in Week 4.
Week 4: Observing Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Part 2: You will observe and reflect on the role indoor and outdoor environments and curriculum play in supporting healthy infant development and learning.
Week 5: Developmentally Appropriate Programming from the Teacher’s Perspective. You will interview an infant teacher regarding the role s/he believes developmentally appropriate programming plays in supporting healthy infant and family development and learning.

For your Application assignment this week, imagine that you are a director of an infant program, and have been asked by a community leader to create a newsletter that brings to life the role infant settings play in supporting young children’s healthy development and learning. Reflect on what you have learned in Chapters 1 & 2 about the vital role infant settings can play in the lives of very young children and their families, and how infant settings are impacted by community, state, and national factors. Be sure that your newsletter addresses the following:

How infant care meets pressing family needs today
The role of infant teachers in supporting infant and family development and learning
How factors external to infant settings—such as government policies and funding—impact quality care
Why high-quality, developmentally appropriate infant care is an important aspect of every community

Before you begin, note:
Take time to think about what you want to say and how you can make the information you want to communicate clear and useful. Though an elaborate design for your newsletter is not a requirement of this assignment, give your newsletter a title and also consider charting the information into short articles using titles that will capture the attention of readers. To cover the points above, you may also include a short editorial that expresses your professional views on at least one of these topics and sections that use a series of bullet points to communicate your thinking in concise and clear ways. Additionally, do not forget to cite your sources to substantiate your thinking and recommend one or two resources to your readers.

Assignment length: 2 pages 

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