Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board of Education
Chapter 543. Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia

8VAC20-543-100. Early childhood for three-year-olds and four-year-olds (add-on endorsement).

The program in early childhood education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds shall ensure that the candidate holds an active license with an endorsement in elementary education, such as preK-3 or preK-6 or special education early childhood issued by the Virginia Board of Education and has demonstrated the following competencies:

1. Understanding child growth and development from birth through age five, with a specific focus on three-year-olds and four-year-olds, including:

a. Knowledge of characteristics and developmental needs of three-year-olds and four-year-olds, including the ability to recognize indicators of typical and atypical development, in the domains of language, social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and gross and fine motor development;

b. Understanding of the multiple interacting influences on child development (biological and environmental), interconnectedness of developmental domains, the wide range of ages at which developmental skills are manifested, and the individual differences in behavioral styles; and

c. Knowledge of child development within the context of family, culture, and society.

2. Understanding principles of developmental practice, with a focus on three-year-olds and four-year-olds, including practices that are:

a. Effective in supporting each child's age and stage of development;

b. Appropriate for children with a wide range of individual differences in abilities, interests, and approaches to learning; and

c. Appropriate for the child's cultural background and experience.

3. Understanding health and nutritional practices that impact early learning including:

a. Practices and procedures that support health status conducive to optimal development, such as health assessment, prevention of the spread of communicable disease, oral hygiene, reduction of environmental hazards, protection from toxic stress injury prevention, and emergency preparedness;

b. Indicators of possible child abuse or neglect and the appropriate response if such indicators are observed;

c. Nutritional and dietary practices that support healthy growth and development while remaining sensitive to each family's preferences, dietary restrictions, and culture;

d. Skills for communicating with families about health and dietary concerns;

e. Community resources that support child and family health and well-being; and

f. Practices that allow children to become independent and knowledgeable about healthy living.

4. Understanding and application of formal and informal assessment procedures for documenting development and knowledge of how to use assessment to plan curriculum, including:

a. Age-appropriate and stage-appropriate methods for documenting, assessing, and interpreting development and learning;

b. Identifying and documenting children's interests, strengths, and challenges; and

c. Communicating with families to acquire and to share information relevant to assessment.

5. Understanding effective strategies for (i) facilitating positive reciprocal relationships with children for teachers, families, and communities through mutual respect, communication strategies, collaborative linkages among families, and community resources and (ii) nurturing the capacity of family members to serve as advocates on behalf of children.

6. Understanding strategies for planning, implementing, assessing, and modifying physical and psychological aspects of the learning environment to support language, physical, cognitive, and social, as well as emotional, well-being in children with a broad range of developmental levels, special needs, individual interests, and cultural backgrounds, including the ability to:

a. Utilize learning strategies that stimulate curiosity, promote thinking, and encourage participation in exploration and play;

b. Provide curriculum that facilitate learning goals in content areas of the Virginia's Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: Comprehensive Standards for Four-Year-Olds and provide opportunities to acquire concepts and skills that are precursors to academic content taught in elementary school;

c. Adapt tasks and interactions to maximize language development, conceptual understanding, and skill competences within each child's zone of proximal development;

d. Nurture children's development through firsthand experiences and opportunities to explore, examine, and investigate real materials in authentic context and engage in social interactions with peers and adults;

e. Select materials and equipment, arrange physical space, and plan schedules and routines to stimulate and facilitate development; and

f. Collaborate with families, colleagues, and members of the broader community to construct learning environments that promote a spirit of unity, respect, and service in the interest of the common good.

7. Understanding strategies that create positive and nurturing relationships with each child based on respect, trust, and acceptance of individual differences in ability levels, temperament, and other characteristics, including the ability to:

a. Emphasize the importance of supportive verbal and nonverbal communication;

b. Establish classroom and behavior management practices that are respectful, meet children's emotional needs, clearly communicate expectations for appropriate behavior, promote self-regulation and pro-social behaviors, prevent or minimize behavioral problems through careful planning of the learning environment, teach conflict resolution strategies, and mitigate or redirect challenging behaviors; and

c. Build positive, collaborative relationships with children's families with regard to behavioral guidance.

8. The program shall include a practicum that shall include a minimum of 45 instructional hours of successful teaching experience in a public or accredited nonpublic school with children from three years old to age five.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-298.2  of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 24, eff. August 23, 2018.

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