Policy Development and Advocacy
When I graduate in July, I would like to be engaged in policy development and advocacy because it involves collaboration with elected officials, schools, and program administrators to create policies that foster the health and development of children and families (Kieff, 2009). We have an ethical responsibility to “recognize and work to resolve issues that disenfranchise others and/or create barriers that prevent children and families from reaching their optimal potential” (Kieff, 2009, p.6).
The first principle of the National Association of Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is:
Above all, we shall not harm children. We shall not participate in practices that are emotionally damaging, physically harmful, disrespectful, degrading, dangerous, exploitative, or intimidating to children. This principle has precedence over all others in the Code.
I would like to educate our government agencies and private foundations that some of their public policies are harming our deaf children. Kieff (2009) said “Since it is virtually impossible for children to speak for themselves regarding their health, educational, emotional, and physical needs, advocacy is a high priority among early childhood professionals” (Henniger, 2008).
Henniger, M. L. (2008). Teaching young children: An introduction (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.
Kieff, J. (2009). Informed advocacy in early childhood care and education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2005). Code of ethical conduct and statement of commitment. Retrieved from: http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/PSETH05.pdf