3. Leadership and Management

3D. Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Practice

Brief Overview of Standard: Through their family, a child engages in their earliest and closest relationships and it is within these relationships that children experience the cultural belief system of their parents and family.  These cultural belief systems are translated into parenting practices and guidance for child development. The home culture, including language/s, creates the background for all interactions and early learning within the family. In addition, the family culture provides the child with a sense of identity and a framework for interpreting the world. The family’s cultural influence on health, growth and development, child-rearing, family relationships, and learning expectations shapes the child’s (and family’s) development, school readiness and school success.  Culturally and linguistically appropriate practice must include a responsiveness to the children and regard for their perspective, a sensitivity to their needs, and an ability to utilize a variety of instructional formats to reach and engage the children. 

Specific Tools - Informational

Promoting Cultural and Linguistic Competency: Self-Assessment Check List for Personnel Providing Services and Supports in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Settings
http://nccc.georgetown.edu/documents/ChecklistBehavioralHealth.pdf
Self-assessment guide to gauge ECE classroom, program, and agency personnel’s awareness and sensitivity to “the importance of cultural diversity, cultural competence and linguistic competence in early childhood settings.” Examples provided of positive actions to take.  

Program Preparedness Checklist Version 5 – A Tool to Assist Head Start and Early Head Start Programs to Assess Their Systems and Services for Dual Language Learners and Their Families
https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/cultural-linguistic/center/ProgramPreparedn.htm   
Program Preparedness Checklist Version 5 [PDF] helps Head Start and Early Head Start programs to promote school readiness for Dual Language Learners (DLLs) by examining their systems and services for children and families who speak languages other than English. This revised comprehensive document features indicators drawn from the Head Start Program Performance Standards, the research, and recommended practices. Version 5 is an electronic document that provides:

  • Automatic tabulation of the data and summary pages to support analysis and interpretation of the data;
  • Embedded links to guidance on the recommended practices; and
  • Guidance on how to use the data for program planning and decision making.

Quality Benchmarks for Culture Competence Project
http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/policy/state/QBCC_Tool.pdf
The QBCCP Collaborators, as well as various interested members of the early childhood field, created an initial list of eight concepts that define cultural competence. For the early childhood field, this translates into a commitment to engage in an ongoing process of learning and developing multiple and various solutions that yield effective practices.

Pathways to Cultural Competence Program Guide
http://www.ecementor.org/articles-on-teaching/Pathways_to_Cultural_Competence_Project.pdf
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) developed Pathways to Cultural Competence. NAEYC created two check lists to help states reflect and improve on their use of culturally competent practices in QRIS. This Program Guide includes definitions of culture & cultural competence and outlines reflection processes for program directors & teachers.

Pathways to Cultural Competence Program Checklist
http://www.buildinitiative.org/WhatsNew/ViewArticle/tabid/96/ArticleId/281/Pathways-to-Cultural-Competence.aspx 
From NAEYC. A checklist for program directors to complete with teachers to assess how culturally competent practices are being used in the program.

Continuous Quality Improvement Plan
A Continuous Quality Improvement Plan is required to have the following items:
•    Name of program, program contact, license number and Circle of Quality
•    Identification of program goal(s) and corresponding ExceleRate standard
•    Identification of steps(s) needed to complete the goal based on last verified assessment completed
•    Projected date of completion and Actual date of completion (when it applies)

Continuous Quality Improvement Plan
To build a continuous quality improvement plan the following resources are recommended for use in ExceleRate:
Continuous Quality Improvement Plan Step by Step Guide (659 KB)
Continuous Quality Improvement Program Planning Worksheet (652 KB)
Continuous Quality Improvement Program Plan Summary (647 KB)

Specific Tools - Program Assessment

Environment Rating Scales
www.ersi.info
The Environment Rating Scales (ERS) are designed to assess process quality in an early childhood care group. Process quality consists of the various interactions that go on in a classroom between staff and children, staff, parents, and other adults, among the children themselves, and the interactions children have with the many materials and activities in the environment, as well as those features, such as space, schedule and materials that support these interactions. 

There are four environment rating scales, each designed for a different segment of the early childhood field.

(ECERS-R) The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised: The revised ECERS contains inclusive and culturally sensitive indicators for many items as well as items on Interaction (staff-child, child-child and discipline), Curriculum (nature/science and math/number) Health & Safety and Parents & Staff.  Scale consists of 43 items organized into 7 subscales:

• Space and Furnishings

• Personal Care Routines

• Language-Reasoning

• Activities

• Interactions

• Program Structure

• Parents and Staff 

(ITERS-R) The Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised:  Curriculum and program items in the revised ITERS include: Helping children understand language; Nature/science; Use of TV, video and computer; Free play; and Group play activities. Items have been added to make the scale more inclusive and culturally sensitive, to address professional needs of staff, and to reflect the latest health and safety information.  Scale consists of  39 items organized into 7 subscales:

• Space and Furnishings

• Personal Care Routines

• Language-Reasoning

• Activities

• Interactions

• Program Structure

• Parents and Staff

(FCCERS-R) The Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-Revised

(SACERS) The School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale

 

Specific Tools - Language Screening

Pre-IPT Oral English Language Proficiency Tests
http://www.ballard-tighe.com/products/la/oralEng/preIPT.asp
The Pre-IPT–Oral English Test is designed for the preschool child who is not used to taking tests. The test centers around a story, giving young students a low-anxiety context in which to demonstrate their language abilities. Designed to assist in the initial designation of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds as Non-, Limited, or Fluent English Speaking, it also provides information to help place students in the most appropriate instructional programs. In addition, it may be used for assessing a child’s progress in English oral language development.

Pre-LAS
http://www.ctb.com/ctb.com/control/ctbProductViewAction?p=products&productId=808
preLAS® measures the English and Spanish language proficiency and pre-literacy skills of learners in early childhood.  This tool can be used to compare students' language skills with fluent native speakers and identify those students who may benefit from special instruction to succeed in English-speaking classrooms.

  

Informational Resources

Cultural Competence: What it is and Why it Matters
http://www.californiatomorrow.org/media/ccompetecy.pdf
Program effectiveness in a diverse society requires responsiveness to the dynamics of cultural difference and power. But what does that look like? What does it mean for service providers to be culturally responsive? How can a program or agency operate in ways that are inclusive and equitable for the various cultural and language groups they seek to serve? Part of the answer lies in the development of cultural competency.

Guiding Principles for Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness in Early Childhood Programming
Illinois Early Childhood Diversity Initiative working group, adopted by Illinois Early Learning Council, 2013
https://www.erikson.edu/news/events/2013/symposium-when-home-and-school-language-differ-a-conversation-on-bilingualism-bidialectism-and-school-performance/
Guiding principles related to cultural and linguistic responsiveness in early childhood programming; within these principles is a collective vision that each and every child will have early childhood experiences that promote healthy development that respects, promotes, and builds on their cultural, racial, ethnic, and other family backgrounds and experiences.  

Core Qualities for Successful Early Childhood Education Research Report and Toolkit
http://www.nclr.org/index.php/issues_and_programs/education/ece/core_qualities_for_successful_early_childhood_education_programs/
The National Council of La Raza developed Core Qualities for Successful ECE Programs as a resource for programs serving young Latino and dual language learner children. The purpose is to facilitate children’s successful acquisition of school readiness skills and support children to become culturally and linguistically competent members of their families and communities.

Challenging Common Myths about Young English Language Learners
http://fcd-us.org/sites/default/files/MythsOfTeachingELLsEspinosa.pdf
Foundation for Child Development Policy Brief - This review of research from a variety of disciplines about dual language development and the impact of different educational approaches for children ages three to eight runs counter to much conventional thinking on this topic.  

California’s Best Practices for Young Dual Language Learners: Research Overview Papers
http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ce/documents/dllresearchpapers.pdf
California’s Best Practices for Young Dual Language Learners: Research Overview Papers, will provide early childhood educators with valuable information on the most current research on the development of young dual language learners. This series of research overviews spans the disciplines of neuroscience, cognitive science, developmental psychology, assessment, educational research, family engagement, and special needs.

Preparing Young Latino Children for School Success: Best Practices in Assessments
http://www.nclr.org/images/uploads/publications/IB_23_Effective_Assesments_for_Young_English_Language_Learners.pdf
Student assessments are a critical component of any early learning program. Assessments are used to inform student instruction and to ensure that children are making significant learning gains based on age-appropriate expectations. For Hispanic English language learner (ELL) children, assessments must be structured in a manner that accurately measures children’s progress in both content knowledge and English language development. Additionally, assessments should provide information about how programs are serving young children with diverse learning needs. This policy brief highlights the importance of developing effective assessments for young ELLs, highlights a best practice in the field, and concludes with policy recommendations which highlight how to bring effective practices to scale.

Preparing Young Latino Children for School Success: Best Practices in Family Engagement
http://www.nclr.org/images/uploads/publications/IB_24_Family_Engagement.pdf
Evidence demonstrates positive benefits for student learning when parents and families are engaged in their children’s education. For young Latino children, many of whom have parents with limited English language proficiency and low levels of education, parent engagement strategies can strengthen their school success and achievement. Early learning programs have the unique potential to equip parents with the tools to better support their children’s learning and success. This policy brief discusses the opportunities and challenges associated with family engagement strategies, highlights a best practice in the field, and concludes with policy recommendations for bringing these programs to scale.

Preparing Young Latino Children for School Success: Best Practices in Language Instruction
http://www.nclr.org/index.php/publications/preparing_young_latino_children_for_school_sucess_best_practices_in_language_instruction
Language development is the key to literacy development and is often a predictor of a child’s academic success. For young Latino children, many of whom are English language learners (ELLs), early learning programs can provide significant language supports to help them prepare for school success. Children acquiring English as a second language, however, have a very distinct path toward language development, and instructional strategies must be carefully designed to ensure ELLs are acquiring language at a developmentally appropriate pace. This policy brief highlights the importance of intentional language instruction for Hispanic children, particularly ELLs, highlights a best practice in the field, and concludes with policy recommendations for bringing successful programs to scale.