Saturday, April 25, 2015

My International Contact

When I had to set up an international contact for my blog assignments in this class, I did not really expect to be able to set up a correspondence. This was not something I expected to do nor wanted to pursue. However, I was utterly pleased when my correspondent responded with robust answers to my initial questions.

Fortunately, I was able to reach out to my three lab colleagues. They gave me names of prospective international early childhood educators. Only Kelly, the director of the Hong Kong co-enrollment (deaf and hearing) program, responded to my initial inquiry. I realized that this is one of the ways that early childhood educators can reach out and get input for some necessary issues.

I learned – which is my second consequence -- is that we were more alike than different. Her professional goals for herself and for her staff are the same as mine if I ran an early childhood program. Her aims for her students are the same as mine. She showed the same dedication as would any early childhood educator in the United States. Their funding ran out, and they came up with alternative sources. It was clear that issues of educating deaf children all over the world are pretty universal.

Third consequence, we are now increasingly global. We can reach out to them any time.

One way that we can utilize our international contacts is if we have a family that speaks a different language, it would be helpful to reach out to the international contacts that speak the family’s language and ask how we could help the family feel more welcome. Today we can even reach out to them through video. Another way would be to share research with each other.

When I visit Hong Kong, I feel as if I could stop by and visit her program.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Getting to Know Your International Contact—Part 3

I feel fortunate that my professional conversation partner has been patient and responsive to my inquiries. She even gave me a list of approved courses where students can get their certificates or degrees when I asked if their early childhood educators have opportunities for professional development.

She gave me a link that has an overview of high-quality preschool program:

Her professional goals for herself is to continuously engage in professional development. Her professional goals are that her students have equal opportunity to learn and their potentials explored and to support parents by sharing her professional knowledge and experiences. Her dream is that all teachers for the Deaf will have better and professional training.

She believed that all Deaf children have equal opportunities to enroll in their school. They have at least one or two counseling sessions and classroom observations for parents. When they do decide to enroll in their co-enrollment program, they are then referred to partner kindergarten. The kindergarten teachers will interview with parents and observe the child’s learning and any other needs.

I hope that when I visit Hong Kong some day, I will get an opportunity to meet my email correspondent and her program. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sharing Web Resources

The childhood organization that I selected, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, does not seem to have any outside links. The “outside” links that they have lead to other offspring of their own efforts under the tab called Activities. In their website, their Activities tab includes a portfolio that includes initiatives, activities, and projects. All the links are to their internal Resources such as reports/working papers, briefs, multimedia, tools & guides, and articles & books.

There is a working paper #7 that somewhat addresses this week’s topic of equity in early care and education. The paper asks the following question: what kind of work supports matter most for improving child well-being? Frequently, some of the anti-poverty policies have unintended and negative consequences, so they suggested that we need to understand how our effort to improve adult workforce participation can have positive and negative outcomes for children.

There are two kinds of policies for families: make work pay by increasing both work and total family income and simply mandate work. The former has more positive outcomes for the children’s school achievements.

The mandate to work will cause families to have reduced income from other sources whereas the “make work pay” will actually increase the family’s income. Typically, a family can increase their income by $1500-$2000. That’s a lot of money for families living in poverty.

How do children generally improve as a result of their families’ “make work pay policy? Not only do their school performances improve, but their social behaviors.

Again, child care supports is an effective factor in children’s early school success. The make pay work policy would enable more families to afford center-based care which we know has more high-quality standards.


Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2011). Issues and trends in the early childhood field: Excellence and equity of care and education for children and families—Part 2. Baltimore, MD: Author.

National Forum on Early Childhood Program Evaluation. (2008). Workforce development, welfare reform, and child well-being: Working paper #7. Retrieved April 2015from:

Friday, April 3, 2015

Getting to Know Your International Contacts – Part 2

My contact decided to take me up as her professional pen pal because she was a kindergarten teacher and principal for about 15 years; she answered my questions with robust answers. I feel grateful for her cooperation.

She works for the sign bilingual and co-enrollment (SLCO) since 2007. From reading their website, it appeared and was confirmed that the funding for early childhood might run out. I asked if they did get more funding for early childhood program. “Our programme was sponsored by Jockey Club from 2006-2014 and we won't get any funding from Jockey Club now. Fortunately, we got some donors to support our programme to develop the SLCO model.”

It appears that the Sign Bilingual and Co-Enrollment (SLCO) is a part of the Kindergarten program. Parents of deaf children pay directly to the Kindergarten. Pre-school is not free in Hong Kong and receives no subsidies from government. Their SLCO programme staff's salary are supported by donors and their Deaf Education Fund.

The sign-bilingual programmes that are provided by their center:
·      Baby Signing Programme (0-3 years old) every Saturday
·      Parent Signing Programme
·      Baby Signing Programme @ 5 day Creches
·      SLCO progamme at mainstream kindergarten (3-6 years) towards the academic year from September to mid of July.
·      Reading Programme in sign bilingual programme (3-6 years old) every Saturday

I asked how the families are involved; I think something was lost in translation. She gave me the numbers of deaf and hearing students in each level of the SLCO:

Three deaf and 285 hearing children are in Baby Signing Programme.
22 deaf and 8 hearing children are in the Reading programme.
39 deaf and 42 are in Kindergarten co-enrollment.

They maintain daily communication with families through phone, what apps, and email. They also have a parent-sharing session every month. The sign bilingual and co-enrollment (SLCO) staff would share their teaching experiences with parents and home teachers. Staff is expected to have good communication with both parents and home teachers. They also have an Individual Educational Plans (IEP) for each Deaf student.

My last question was whether the Deaf children were performing grade-level academically. She answered, “U know, every Deaf child has their straight (sic) and weakness in difference area of development. It's hard to say that they are all doing well or not good enough. But I can say all Deaf children enjoying their schooling in Deaf and hearing community.” That seems to be an universal response.