It is a reality that parents have to leave their children to earn enough to meet the needs of the family. Although at times reasons may not be as noble but the desire to make their careers and aspire for a better life. And it has come to my attention that more and more parent are opting to enroll their children in child care centers especially those who are still not yet eligible for preschool. Taking this into consideration, I have explored the idea of opening a center for children aged 0 to 5 years old so that I can be with children and help parents resume their careers and at the same time hopefully be in business. Child care however is more than a business; it is a calling and something that would generally take a lot of passion and dedication. Another matter to consider is how to give the children the best foundation and psychological climate that they can have outside of their homes. Now there are a number of approaches that I could possibly use as a theoretical tenet for the program that I could offer the parents and their children. Reviewing the developmental theories I have been able to digest, I feel that
Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory fits my plans perfectly. I am a firm believer of how the social component of our culture influences how children learn and relate to other people and that this skill is one of the most important life skills that any person could ever have and this is one of the things that I would like to develop in the children who will be with me.
Albert Bandura’s social cognition theory says that most importantly, children learn through vicarious learning and modeling is an important vehicle where children can learn from one another. It also recognizes the capability of children to identify with those who they perceive as models because they share something with them. Using this model, I would be able to design
a program where older children can engage in their own developmental tasks and also be able to model appropriate behavior to the younger ones. Like having them in one room, where the older children can have their activities and the younger ones are farther from them and yet they can be easily observed. At the end of the day I could process and guide children on what they have observed. This design would be non-threatening and non-invasive since young children really do not understand the concept of discipline and what is right or wrong unless they have experienced it even from a distance. This is also supported by the evidence that children at a young age needs to have a concrete example of things that they need to learn, just like having to let them touch and identify objects so they can learn what it is. The child care center would also be able to provide parents a safe and less rigid environment for their children compared to other centers who emphasize drills, the alphabets, colors and numbers. The daily activities would be composed of play, story readings, finger painting and a time for snacks and cleaning after themselves with the supervision of adult helpers but always staying in the background and only assisting them when they need help. For me I would rather help children learn skills like handling utensils, tying their shoe laces, saying please and thank you, and giving them the opportunity to become more sociable and develop positive emotional skills. It is through observing others that children can learn to compromise, to deal better with peer influence and to generally to be more confident. They have a lot of years to contend with in school and although they need to learn basics they could probably do better if they are ready for formal schooling, what I would be offering them is a semblance of what normal play activities children should have at this stage.
Applying Bandura’s model though would be difficult if I cannot be able to explain it to my prospective aides and even the parents. In a very competitive environment, most parents just want their children to be prepared for that hence the emphasis for the preparatory lessons on alphabets and numbers and they may have difficulty buying into my idea. But if I could present the aims and objectives of the center then I would be able to tell them why it is better for children to learn life and social skills at this age. The beauty of Bandura’s theory is that it respects the intelligence of young children, that they are capable of learning on their own and that this learning can be enhanced by adult guidance which my center would generously provide.
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