The Core Knowledge and Competencies, Professional Standards for Working with Children Birth through Age Eight and In Afterschool Programs, hereafter referred to as “Core Knowledge”, is based on the underlying premises that all children, including children with special health and development needs, learn best in environments where:
- Adults recognize and understand the need for the development of a relationship that will be inclusive of the child’s family.
- Learning opportunities are meaningful and relevant.
- Children can construct their knowledge of the world through activities and interactions with others.
- Children’s individual needs are reflected, recognized, and addressed in accordance with the culture of the children, their families and their communities.
- Health and safety are integral components of child care and educational program activities and learning.
Individual and group needs of children (from birth through eight) in early childhood and primary education settings and family child care settings are qualitatively different from needs of older children. The needs of children in afterschool settings are qualitatively different from those children in formal school settings. Hence, core knowledge areas and competencies needed by professionals working with children in these settings must vary accordingly.
Professionals working with young children use their knowledge to create environments that facilitate a healthy balance in all areas of development and foster the growth of confident and competent individuals. Recognizing that children are served in a variety of settings, including programs in centers, homes, and schools, these standards are an integral part of the mission of Professional Impact NJ to establish a statewide comprehensive professional development system.
To download the Core Knowledge publication in English, click here.
To download the Core Knowledge publication in Spanish, click here.