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State University of New York

Introduction to Early Childhood

State University of New York via Coursera


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This course is targeted toward individuals wishing to operate a family day care center, and it covers topics including the fundamentals of early childhood development; the importance of play and Developmentally Appropriate Practice; and the significance of building strong family-educator relationships and how to achieve them. Since a Family Policy Handbook is essential for anyone operating a family day care center, this course includes the development of one of three imperative sections of the handbook. The remaining two sections are created in subsequent courses of the Home-Based Childcare series available on Coursera.


  • Introduction: Family Policy Handbook Project
    • The intention of this module is to introduce you to the Home-Based Child Care Final Project, including the rubric which will be used to score your final project submission.
  • Foundations for Early Childhood
    • In this module, we define Developmentally Appropriate Practice and discuss the importance of play in early childhood. We also outline the domains of children's learning.
  • Family Engagement
    • In this module, we discuss teacher/family relationships, including ways to communicate and involve families in early childhood programs.
  • Observation and Assessment of Children
    • In this module, we will explore the use of observations in early childhood settings along with the varied assessments utilized and their purpose. In addition, we will look at developmentally-appropriate assessment strategies.
  • Guiding Children's Behavior
    • We will explore factors that influence behavior in this module. We will also discuss the importance of regular, predictable, and positive learning environments along with various guidance techniques for young children.
  • Inclusion and Diversity
    • This module is geared toward understanding strategies for teaching in an inclusive setting, recognizing culturally-diverse classrooms and establishing anti-bias curriculum.

Taught by

JoLynn Fiorentino


4.8 rating at Coursera based on 48 ratings

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