By Cheryl Hovey
Early childhood educators are vital in the lives of young children. During these unprecedented times of COVID-19 the early childhood education field is facing challenges: adjusting to new guidelines to protect the safety of children, families and staff that vary widely from state to state, retaining and recruiting a strong workforce, and addressing children’s acute and growing mental health needs. A profession that was making strides in raising the level of educational qualifications for its employees is now shifting its focus to figuring out how to address the social emotional needs of children they are not permitted to hug.
As a higher education institution, it is our responsibility to offer a program that gives our students the most current research-based curriculum to be able to successfully address the needs of the children and families they will serve. As the early childhood field constantly changes, it’s important to look beyond today and think about the needs for tomorrow. That being said, our new program in Early Education and Care offers a strong curriculum that emphasizes child development, challenging behavior, diversity, and family engagement. We are also working on developing a concentration in trauma informed care. Our innovative approach to designing a new practicum model that allows for recognition of years of experience, live video observations, and the ability to work while you learn gives students in the program more flexibility/ As we continue to be a voice for early childhood professionals and children we need to keep forefront our mission of developmentally appropriate practice and to advocate for continuous learning and improvement. This means looking beyond how we have engaged with children and families in the past and think about best practices for both the present and future.
Fisher College’s Early Childhood Education programs are uniquely built for degree completion while addressing the needs of the working student. Our 100% online program offers 8-week accelerated courses, practicums at your place of employment, a Fisher College scholarship to enrolled students and peace of mind knowing that we value the diversity of our student body and making sure they finish the program they started. Education at Fisher College is a wise investment and our goal is to build value through innovation.
Cheryl Hovey is the Early Childhood Program Director at Fisher College and is an award-winning Early Childhood educator and researcher.. She is committed to providing high-quality education to the early childhood field. Cheryl is the only recipient in Rhode Island to receive the 2015 Exceptional Emerging Leader Award from Child Care Exchange, Inc. and recently in 2019, Cheryl Hovey, was nominated by students and selected as the prestigious MA AEYC Gwen Morgan Leadership Award