Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 1: Staffing

1.6 Consultants

1.6.0 Early Childhood Education Consultants

A facility should engage an early childhood education consultant who will visit the program at minimum semi-annually and more often as needed. The consultant must have a minimum of a Baccalaureate degree and preferably a Master’s degree from an accredited institution in early childhood education, administration and supervision, and a minimum of three years in teaching and administration of an early care/education program. The facility should develop a written plan for this consultation which must be signed annually by the consultant. This plan should outline the responsibilities of the consultant and the services the consultant will provide to the program.

The knowledge base of an early childhood education consultant should include:

  1. Working knowledge of theories of child development and learning for children from birth through eight years across domains, including socio-emotional development and family development;
  2. Principles of health and wellness across the domains, including social and emotional wellness and approaches in the promotion of healthy development and resilience;
  3. Current practices and materials available related to screening, assessment, curriculum, and measurement of child outcomes across the domains, including practices that aid in early identification and individualizing for a wide range of needs;
  4. Resources that aid programs to support inclusion of children with diverse health and learning needs and families representing linguistic, cultural, and economic diversity of communities;
  5. Methods of coaching, mentoring, and consulting that meet the unique learning styles of adults;
  6. Familiarity with local, state, and national regulations, standards, and best practices related to early education and care;
  7. Community resources and services to identify and serve families and children at risk, including those related to child abuse and neglect and parent education;
  8. Consultation skills as well as approaches to working as a team with early childhood consultants from other disciplines, especially child care health consultants, to effectively support program directors and their staff.

The role of the early childhood education consultant should include:

  1. Review of the curriculum and written policies, plans and procedures of the program;
  2. Observations of the program and meetings with the director, caregivers/teachers, and parents/guardians;
  3. Review of the professional needs of staff and program and provision of recommendations of current resources;
  4. Reviewing and assisting directors in implementing and monitoring evidence based approaches to classroom management;
  5. Maintaining confidences and following all Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations regarding disclosures;
  6. Keeping records of all meetings, consultations, recommendations and action plans and offering/providing summary reports to all parties involved;
  7. Seeking and supporting a multidisciplinary approach to services for the program, children and families;
  8. Following the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Code of Ethics;
  9. Availability by telecommunication to advise regarding practices and problems;
  10. Availability for on-site visit to consult to the program;
  11. Familiarity with tools to evaluate program quality, such as the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale–Revised (ECERS–R), Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale–Revised (ITERS–R), Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale–Revised (FCCERS–R), School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale (SACERS), Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), as well as tools used to support various curricular approaches.
The early childhood education consultant provides an objective assessment of a program and essential knowledge about implementation of child development principles through curriculum which supports the social and emotional health and learning of infants, toddlers and preschool age children (1-5). Furthermore, utilization of an early childhood education consultant can reduce the need for mental health consultation when challenging behaviors are the result of developmentally inappropriate curriculum (6,7). Together with the child care health consultant, the early childhood education consultant offers core knowledge for addressing children’s healthy development.
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Child Care Health Consultants Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants
  1. Dunn, L., K. Susan. 1997. What have we learned about developmentally appropriate practice? Young Children 52:4-13.
  2. Wesley, P. W., V. Buysse. 2006. Ethics and evidence in consultation. Topics Early Childhood Special Ed 26:131-41.
  3. Wesley, P. W., S. A. Palsha. 1998. Improving quality in early childhood environments through on-site consultation. Topics Early Childhood Special Ed 18:243-53.
  4. Wesley, P. W., V. Buysee. 2005. Consultation in early childhood settings. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.
  5. Bredekamp, S., C. Copple, eds. 2000. Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8. Rev ed. National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Publication no. 234. Washington, DC: NAEYC. statement Web.pdf.
  6. The Connecticut Early Education Consultation Network. CEECN: Guidance, leadership, support.
  7. Connecticut Department of Public Health. Child day care licensing program.