A provider helps children trace their feet on paper and measure them
A child matches lids and tops to containers of different sizes
At mealtime, a provider helps children count food, utensils, and dishware
A child compares wooden blocks of different shapes while making a mosaic
Every day, providers have opportunities to build on children’s natural curiosity about language and mathematics.
This spring, All Our Kin’s consultants are helping providers build intentionality into their actions, language, and interactions with children to better support children’s early language development and understanding of numerical concepts. Through our new “Read, Count, Grow” program, we are offering more than forty-five family child care providers one-on-one educational consulting focused on literacy and numeracy. Providers in the program receive books, like Tana Hoban’s Is It Larger? Is It Smaller?, materials like measuring tape and designer blocks in rainbow colors, and hands-on support to enhance the communication skills and math development of children in their programs.
During each visit with a provider, our experienced educational consultants focus on a single concept like measurement, or geometry and spatial sense. They bring materials to provider’s homes and model strategies that engage children’s curiosity and build their numerical vocabularies. Though our master teachers all implement the same curriculum and use the same materials, their work with each provider is individualized. For example, one provider and consultant have practiced supporting children’s pattern-making, both with sound (through the beats of a maraca), and in colors (by arranging colored clothespins). Another provider-consultant team has discussed placing directional labels onto an obstacle course to help familiarize older children with words like “under” and “over” as they crawl below a chair or clamber on top of a block building.
During each visit, our consultants support providers in close observation that helps providers learn what children are having challenges with, what they enjoy, and how their activity is working.
Our educational consultants are already seeing how “Read, Count, Grow” is strengthening their one-on-one work with providers and making a difference in provider’s programs. As our consultant Tyree says, “You can see the learning and excitement taking place. My interactions with providers, the providers’ interactions with children, and the children’s interactions with the materials are all enhanced.” Tyree added that providers are sharing some of their new knowledge with parents, so that children’s learning continues at home.
When our providers and the parents in their programs emphasize early language, literacy, and numeracy skills with children, they help to lay the foundation for children’s later success. We’re excited that “Read, Count, Grow” is supporting our providers in this essential work.
“Read, Count, Grow” is made possible by a grant from the United Way of Greater New Haven‘s Success by Six Initiative.