A Moment with Dr. Moore

July 23, 2020

Published by CounciLINK on July 23, 2020

CalvinHow do you build a sense of community and belonging during the COVID-19 pandemic? For months, folks everywhere from New York City to São Paulo, Brazil, assembled on balconies to bang pots, play accordions and clap for emergency health care workers. But the Council knows that clapping is not enough to get the early childhood field through this time of uncertainty and social isolation. So, we have reached out to our partners, recognized our own frontline workers, and recalled the common goals we’ve embraced over the years.

That’s why the Council and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) are partnering to advocate for our profession. We share a common mission to give all children the high-quality care they need to reach their potential. Together, we provide a resonant forum where our educators’ own voices can join to claim needed reforms and more funding for our field.

Our committed early childhood workforce also includes men, and we recently invited our community to nominate male teachers who stand out for their service to children. As a former preschool teacher, myself, I’m eager for all early educators—including these men—to get the kudos they deserve for helping our youngest children develop. I encourage you to meet the Men of ECE—even if it’s only online.

Though we can’t connect with you face-to-face, we’re providing fresh ways to guide educators and parents as centers get ready to reopen. We have resources to assist parents in asking the right questions as they decide if it’s safe to send their young children back to class. We now encourage providers to form networks so they can make bulk purchases of sanitizers and masks. We’re also suggesting that centers hold virtual meetings to stay connected with parents and support them in teaching their children at home.

The Council’s leaders—among them Carol Brunson Day—have long been responsive to parents’ concerns about their kids. Dr. Day handed over the reins of command in 2005. But her two-decade legacy lives on in the way she advanced the Council’s work and increased the status of the CDA. Now Day is back as our first Council for Professional Recognition Fellow, tasked with crafting a policy agenda for the Council’s future. Her fellowship is a tribute to our vibrant past and the pioneers whose high values have guided us in the 45 years since the start of the CDA.

As we look to the unknowns ahead, we should draw confidence from all we’ve already achieved. The Council has always been adept at facing challenges and change, as I recently showed in a brief history of the CDA. Together, we can adapt to the new normal in our field and continue to help children develop. The world’s youngest learners need us. So, we must strive to keep our sense of community strong.


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