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Program Administration

"Unless the investment in children is made, all of humanity's most fundamental long-term problems will remain fundamental long-term problems." (State of the World's Children 1995)

Rationale: Administration of a program affects all interactions within the program as well as its relationships with external programs and services. Administration of a quality early childhood program is impartial and consistent, carried out in accordance with the purposes and/or goals, policies, and procedures established by families, staff, and community.

Effective program administration creates an environment that facilitates the provision of quality care and education for all children. Responsive program administration includes good communication, positive community relations, fiscal stability and accountability, and attention to the needs and working conditions of program staff.

Outcomes: Responsible administrative activities ensure a quality program for all children and their families.

Standard 1: The program administration collaborates with families, staff, and community to establish and support the achievement of positive outcomes for young children.

Indicator 1. Written philosophy and mission statements that support the learning and development of young children are agreed upon by families, staff, and community.

Indicator 2. Written policies and operating procedures established by families, staff, and community are based on the program's identified philosophy and mission statements.

Indicator 3. The philosophy, mission, policies, and operating procedures are continuously reviewed and modified to reflect the evolving knowledge base in early childhood education as well as changing family and community needs.

Standard 2: The program administration demonstrates knowledge of and support for developmentally appropriate practices with young children and families.

Indicator 1. The program administration conveys high expectations for all children based on an understanding that young children can achieve these expectations in different ways.

Indicator 2. The program administration supports a research-based approach to assessment that is appropriate for the developmental level of young children.

Indicator 3. The program administration conducts ongoing program evaluations that consider new ideas and trends in early childhood education, findings of new research, and insights of experienced practitioners in the field.

Standard 3: All children and families who meet identified eligibility criteria have access to services based on policies that are sensitive to individual diversity.  

Indicator 1. Administrative policies and practices support the inclusion of children with disabilities and provision of appropriate learning experiences for all children.

Indicator 2. Children enter and progress through school with their peers, as opposed to separate programs that reflect retention or readiness, such as developmental kindergartens and transitional first grades.

Indicator 3. Appropriate materials, curricula, and personnel address the cultural and language diversity of children and their families.

Indicator 4. Program policies ensure nondiscrimination in the selection and participation of eligible children, families, staff, and volunteers.


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