High-quality child care produces a stimulating, secure and loving atmosphere for the little one.

Focusing on children's wellbeing and ecological exposures in child care centers is Essential for several reasons: Since they display exploratory behaviors that put them in direct contact with contaminated surfaces, they're more likely to be vulnerable to some contaminants found. They're also less developed immunologically, physiologically, and neurologically and are more prone to the negative effects of toxins and chemicals. Children spend a whole lot of time in child care settings. Many babies and young children spend as many as 50 hours each week, in child care.

Nationally, 13 million children, or 65 percent of U.S. kids, spend some part of the afternoon in child care and at California alone, roughly 1.1 million children five decades or younger attend child care. In this exact same condition, many adults might also be subjected as roughly 146,000 employees work 40 hours or more a week child care centers. Child care environments include substances which may be harmful for kids. Recent studies suggest that lots of child care environments might contain pesticides, allergens, volatile organic compounds from cleaning agents and sanitizers, and other contaminants which may be toxic to children's wellbeing.

Nevertheless, little is understood about what environmental and chemical exposures they might be getting in these configurations. To fill this gap, we quantified. Outcomes of the study were reported on the California Air Resources Board. Our findings help inform policies to lower accidents to children, encourage training and workshops to educate child care providers about methods to lower children's environmental exposures (ex. Using integrated pest management to decrease pesticide usage ), and search for future research.

Washing Your Baby’s Clothes
Washing Your Baby’s Clothes
Washing Your Baby’s Clothes – How to do it Rightly
Washing Dishes
Washing Dishes
Cleaning up after oneself is an important life skill
Make a Bed
Make a Bed
It might be a dying art, but learning how to make a bed is a valuable skill.
Sweep a Floor
Sweep a Floor
Give a kid a broom, and you are likely to see dirt flipping everywhere except in a pile.
Mop a Floor
Mop a Floor
Be sure to give them instructions on how to mop different floor types you may have in your home.

Yale-China Program On Child Development

Episode #154 – The Yale-China Program on Child Development is a cross-cultural program that promotes exchanges and cooperation between China and the US in early education and child development. In...

The post Yale-China Program On Child Development appeared first on HiMama Blog - Resources for Daycare Centers.


Episode #154 – The Yale-China Program on Child Development is a cross-cultural program that promotes exchanges and cooperation between China and the US in early education and child development. In...

The post Yale-China Program On Child Development appeared first on HiMama Blog - Resources for Daycare Centers.

Episode #154 – The Yale-China Program on Child Development is a cross-cultural program that promotes exchanges and cooperation between China and the US in early education and child development. In this episode, Dr. Tong Liu, the Executive Director of the program shares her belief that all children, no matter where they are in the world, deserve to have access to quality early education. She talks about both countries can benefit from exchanging best practices and the trends that she’s seen in recent years.

Resources:

  • Yale-China Program For Early Education
  • Connect with Dr. Liu at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Episode Transcript

Dr. Tong LIU:

This is our wish, and we wish our children around the world – including they are in rural or urban – they would have access to quality education. This is our goal.

Ron SPREEUWENBERG:

Dr. Tong Liu, welcome to the Preschool Podcast!

Dr. LIU:

Thank you, Ron. Good morning. Greetings from Yale University!

SPREEUWENBERG:

So this morning we’re very lucky to have on our show Dr. Tong Liu. She is the executive director of the Yale China program on child development. And so we’re going to learn a lot from her about cross-national approaches to early-childhood education. Doctor, can we start off learning a little bit more about you and your background as a researcher in early-childhood education?

Dr. LIU:

Yes, thank you, Ron. I’m very honored to share my work share my work at Yale with the audience of HiMama, as well as some of my personal stories growing up in China and coming to the U.S. as a researcher.

SPREEUWENBERG:

So tell us about that journey.

Dr. LIU:

Currently, as you mentioned, I’m a research scientist the Yale Child Study center and the executive director of the Yale China Program on Child Development. I, along with Dr. Walter Gilliam, who is the director of Yale’s [Edward] Zigler Center, together we co-founded the Yale- China Program on Child Development 2012. We are an international cross-cultural program as the Yale University.

Our work promotes academic collaborations between China and the U.S. in early-childhood education and childhood development. Currently our work involves cross-cultural research and collaborations in curriculum and family studies. Every year we organize a training event for teachers, administrators and scholars in China and the US.

SPREEUWENBERG:

And you mentioned the name Edward Zigler. The Yale-China Program on Child Development was launched by the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale. Can you tell us a little bit about who Edward Zigler is and his impact on you as a researcher of early education?

Dr. LIU:

Yes, this is a very good question. So it reminds me of something else I related to Dr. Zigler. I was the very first Chinese scholar to conduct a comprehensive study on the Head Start program. As you may know, Head Start is a federal early-childhood program for low-income children in America. Yale professor Edward Zigler founded the program in 1965. He was also known as the father of Head Start.

20 years ago when I was in China, where I was reading Dr. Zigler’s books, I came across a very impressive story: in 1969 that effectiveness of the Head Start program was challenged by some scholars because the evaluation was not very convincing. I also read that the Nixon administration was planning to phase out Head Start. In order to save the Head Start program Dr. Zigler made Head Start into a national laboratory. What I mean by that is, he invited skeptical scholars of the program to do research within the Head Start schools.

In another book I learned more about Dr. Zigler’s reasoning. He said at that moment he could use many ways to respond to these skeptical scholars. He selected a national laboratory because he knew his invitation would that be a better way to maintain the Head Start program.

I was amazed when I read about this. I paused and I asked myself, “What would I do if I were in the same situation?” Honestly, Ron, let me tell you, if I were him, I would attack back on those the scholars even more aggressively.

SPREEUWENBERG:

So you think he took quite a unique approach, and I guess since the Head Start program is still running strong in 2019 it must have been successful.

Dr. LIU:

It worked. Yeah, it works because Dr. Zigler, he used a very peaceful way to resolve the problem. So that’s why, when I was in China 20 years ago, when I read his books and stories, I was shocked because he showed me how to solve problems peacefully through collaborations. So at that time – I mean 20 years ago – although we had never met, when I was reading his books I felt our minds were already connected.

SPREEUWENBERG:

Very cool. And so it sounds like it’s fair to say that Edward Zigler was somebody that you really looked up to and was an inspiration for your career so far?

Dr. LIU:

Sure, he inspired and he transformed me. So this is why you can tell I couldn’t stop thinking about what he said and what he did when I was in China, when I would read his books. So, many days, I mean, I can say in my mind I just repeated, “He is a scholar with a big heart.” And I wanted to meet him in person. So this is the reason I wrote to him. And he invited me to have a meeting in Boston.

RON

And so you had the opportunity to meet him in person, in Boston, then?

Dr. LIU:

Yes, he e-mailed me back and he told me he would have a meeting in Boston. And he invited me to go in the meeting and that we had a very good conversation. And I still remember now, Ron: So when I met him I was very nervous and I forgot everything I wanted to tell him. So the very first thing I said to him was, “My English is poor.” And he replied, “Better than my Chinese!” So we all laughed.

SPREEUWENBERG:

Yeah, that’s a good response, quite frankly. And I think it’s a good message for our listeners, too, where you… it might have taken a lot of courage for you to write a letter to Edward Zeigler, the father of the Head Start program, for a meeting. And you never know when somebody will say Yes or what will happen. But if you don’t try, you’ll never know. And it’s a great example of inspiration to take those steps where maybe you’re not sure or you’re uncertain. And you were courageous enough to write the letter and, lo and behold, you got to meet Edward Zigler who was very inspiring to you. So a very interesting personal story and appreciate you sharing that with us.

So now taking a step toward the Yale-China Program on Child Development: tell us a bit about what that’s all about.

Dr. LIU:

Yes, I still want to say something about the work with Dr. Zigler and then I can address our current work. The following years I came to Yale as a researcher and I was able to study more closely with Dr. Zigler. So during one of our meetings I asked him out of curiosity why he named the program “Head Start”. He said, “Somebody else named it. Actually, I did not like this name.” I was surprised to hear this. And then he continued to explain the term “head start”, it’s from horse racing. It means the leading horse in the race. He thought, “Head start sounds too competitive.”

Then I ask him, “What would be a better name?” He said, “Good Start.” Immediately I told him, “Dr. Zigler, if I had the project in the future I would name it Good Start.” In 2015 the National Association for the Education for Young Children invited me to establish a Mandarin-speaking track for their annual conference. So I named it Liánghǎo kāiduān Good Start. So right now it works. It continues to work, Liánghǎo kāiduān Good Start. So also Dr. Gilliam and I have been regarding Good Start as the core of our Yale-China program. And we wish all children around the world would have access to quality education.

RON

And what are some of the key themes or programs that are happening within the Yale-China program to help bring that quality education to other countries? And of course there’s a lot of work we can do in America, but in particular in China where there’s been quite a bit of collaboration through this program.

Dr. LIU:

Yes, we collaborate with universities and the government and preschool teachers, directors and also parents. Currently our work at Yale drives cross-cultural research and collaborations, in specific in curriculum and family studies. So every year we organize training events for teachers, administrators and scholars in China and also at Yale University in America.

SPREEUWENBERG:

Cool. And what does early education look like in China? I think that would be helpful for me and for our listeners because I certainly don’t have a very good understanding of that. So it might be interesting to hear your view of how early education is currently delivered in China. What are some key differences between the Chinese approach and the American approach, if there is any?

Dr. LIU:

Very good question, Ron. So this reminds me as the World Forum of 2019 I just attended. It happened in Macao, China. I grew up in China so I was very happy to be there. So let me give you a very brief introduction about my presentation at the World Forum this year, okay?

SPREEUWENBERG:

Sounds good.

Dr. LIU:

My presentation focused on how society influences children’s play. I specifically talked about the Chinese children’s play in a historical context across the timeline of my own life. My first exposure to children’s play was as a child, not a researcher, like all of us. I grew up in the early 1970s in a coastal city in China. During that era most toys were handcrafted with natural materials like sand, clay and tree branches.

Let we take play with clay as an example: I remember when I was a kid playing with clay usually took three steps. By the way, Ron, did you play this game when you were young?

SPREEUWENBERG:

I don’t know, tell me more about it.

Dr. LIU:

Yes, I remember, I took three steps before playing this game: The first step is looking for available soil. I remember I walked for a long time to find available soil by the river. This was my research for soil. The second was shaping clay with my imagination. The third step was playing crafts that I made by my size. In my case I made a lot of tiny furniture. Nowadays the invention of Play-dough eliminated the first step. In my opinion it removed the opportunity for children to touch and feel the nature and make their toys from scratch.

In the 1980’s, as you may know, the Chinese government opened its door to the world and has been committed to growing its economy. At that time I was a college student majoring in early-childhood education. They were two new trends: first manufactured toys were replacing natural materials. And second, the decline in group play. Both for caused by urbanization and the One Family One Child Plan issued in 1979. Ron, do I need to explain this more, or no?

SPREEUWENBERG:

I’m going to take a guess that most people know about the One Child policy in China. And to answer your question, I certainly do remember the days where we would certainly be more in tune with nature and using natural things like soil and clay and earth to build our toys and to play in. And even today with my children and in the childcare programs that I’ve seen, you can see that the manufacture products have taken a larger role.

You do start to see it coming full circle, though, again, where now that the manufactured products have been center-stage for so long there is now a core group in early education that are starting to bring the natural materials back into the programs, which is great to see that starting to happen again in some of the more progressive early education programs, I’d say.

Dr. LIU:

Yes, correct. And after college I became a researcher in the field of comparative education between China and the U.S. I realized that the two countries actually share more similarities than differences in early-childhood education. Both China and the U.S. have been dealing with the problem of early testing.

For example, the Gaokao college entrance examination in China and at the No Child Left Behind Act in the U.S., this system firmly links early-childhood success with early academic success, leading most parents and schools to put tremendous pressure on their children to prepare academic tests as early as possible. So, they sound miserable.

SPREEUWENBERG:

Yeah, I certainly heard a lot about this exam. It’s almost like the culmination of everything you’ve worked at as a child comes down to this test and how you perform on it. And there’s certainly a lot of similarities in in America, too, with you with standardized tests like the GMAT [Graduation Management Admissions Test] and the LSAT [Law School Admission Test] and what’s the most common one for the college programs doesn’t come to mind. But certainly the standardized testing is a challenge everywhere.

Dr. LIU:

Yeah, so the system made the children very busy, busier than adults. But luckily I have seen both countries taking actions to monitor increasing children’s play. Last November the state council of China released a national document highlighting the quality education for young children, which particularly addressed the important role of play. In US many state laws now require recess time for school children. For example, Connecticut it requires at least 20 minutes of physical activity. So this is all good news for children.

SPREEUWENBERG:

I actually did notice, when I was traveling in China, that that’s one thing that quite a few school programs did quite well, was getting the children outside and active.

Dr. LIU:

I’m glad to hear you have been to China!

SPREEUWENBERG:

Yeah, it’s funny, it was actually a similar concept to the Yale-China program and it was through the Harvard Graduate School of Education. And we went over to explore education in China and were in Shanghai and Beijing and we went to inner Mongolia, in more rural areas. And it was quite fascinating to see, and, like you said, some similarities and differences but lots to be learned when you have that cross-cultural experience.

Dr. LIU:

Excellent, excellent.

SPREEUWENBERG:

So if we talk about this in practice, you have various collaborations with research, lab schools and government, what do you hope will come of this work in the end?

Dr. LIU:

Yes, this is our wish, and we wish our children around the world, including if they are rural or urban, they would have access to quality education. This is our goal.

SPREEUWENBERG:

That’s the end game, yup. And how do you feel the progress has been made since the Yale-China program on child development was founded? Has there been positive progress?

Dr. LIU:

Yes, sure. This is very positive and it is so far so wonderful. And so every year we have our teachers training at Yale. And also we travel to China and we bring Western concepts in early-childhood education to Chinese parents and teachers.

SPREEUWENBERG:

And it’s great to hear that you’re establishing some things here in the US, as well, with… you mentioned the collaboration with any NAEYC [National Association for the Education of Young Children] and the Mandarin track for their programs. So it’s great to see that there’s things happening both in China and here in America on that collaboration.

Dr. LIU:

Yes, thank you. As you may know, at the NAEYC conference every year they have 7,000 audience [members] from the field of early-childhood education in the world.

SPREEUWENBERG:

And is it safe to say the audience from China has grown, given that there is a Mandarin track?

Dr. LIU:

Yes, it’s growing, the numbers are growing. And years ago before this track was established, because the presentations were all in English and it’s very hard for a Chinese audience to understand. So right now and the numbers of Chinese audiences are growing. And the important thing is they can understand and they can learn and they can bring back to China and work with that with the school children in the classroom. And the next year they bring their feedback to the conference and the share with Western scholars. So this is a collaboration. This is an exchange [of] cultural ideas.

SPREEUWENBERG:

That’s awesome. It’s great to see everyone being able to benefit from best practices, not just here in the US but anywhere. And China in particular obviously has a very large population. And so that early-childhood education system there will be very important for the development of those children.

We are quickly running out of time, unfortunately. If you can tell our audience where they can go to find out more about your work because it’s so interesting and so fascinating to hear about these cross-collaborative efforts. And again, this is a little bit more specific to China, but certainly a lot of interesting takings, things that we can take away on this cross-collaboration.

Dr. LIU:

Sure. You’re welcome to visit our official website at Yale by searching “Yale-China Program on Child Development”. We are under the Yale School of Medicine and the Child Study Center. Our website is available in both English and Chinese. Also you are welcome to e-mail me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you so much, Ron, and many thanks to everyone listening now for supporting us!

SPREEUWENBERG:

It’s been our pleasure, Tong. Thank you so much for coming on our show and telling us more about your journey, your inspiration from Dr. Zigler, the founder of the Head Start program, and all the things you’re doing on the Yale-China program with this cross-collaboration for early education. Early education does not see borders and I think certainly this is a great example of that. So we really appreciate you coming on the show.

Dr. LIU:

Thank you. Thank you so much, Ron.

The post Yale-China Program On Child Development appeared first on HiMama Blog - Resources for Daycare Centers.


Read full article on blog 2


Mamavation | Healthy Living | Lifestyle | Detoxify Home | Product Recommendations

UrbanSitter Childcare Blog | Resources for Parents, Babysitters, and Nannies

Pregnancy | Parenthood