Terri Tapia
Education and Outreach Manager
(505) 249-1133

Janet Alvarado
Education & Development Manager
(505) 269-7720

PED FOCUS Coaches Contact Info



Policy Statement On Expulsion And Suspension Policies In Early Childhood Settings

ACF recently hosted a webinar series on suspension and expulsion in early childhood settings. The series featured key experts from across the country who have done work on different aspects of the issue, including policy, research and data, and prevention/intervention.


Why Children Draw - by Jinan k.b.

Drawing is the playing that children do on two-dimensional space, which is where modern humans are located most of the time.  In the three-dimensional space, that is in the real world where children play, again, provided they have their way.  But when they are forced into the two-dimensional world of the book, they draw.  Drawing comes naturally to children, unlike writing.  They draw on the wall, paper, floor, even on water, and on any such space where children can get their hold.  They draw with whatever they can get hold of.  Apart from pen and pencil, their own fingers come to help while drawing on the plate, misty windows, and so on.  Through the process of drawing, children are able to understand how the world looks — the form, what happens around them, both in the natural world and the social world.  The reason, rules, what, and how children draw are dictated by biology or nature or life, provided we don’t interfere.  The same is the case with play.

Child Trends - Videos

Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that provides valuable information and insights on the well-being of children and youth.

Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale

The revised ECERS contains inclusive and culturally sensitive indicators for many items. Also, new items have been added 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

Science in Early Childhood Classrooms: Content and Process

There is a growing understanding and recognition of the power of children’s early thinking and learning as well as a belief that science may be a particularly important domain in early childhood, serving not only to build a basis for future scientific understanding but also to build important skills and attitudes for learning. This paper addresses the question of what the nature of science teaching and learning in the early childhood classroom should be. It proposes four basic ideas: (1) doing science is a natural and critical part of children’s early learning; (2) children’s curiosity about the natural world is a powerful catalyst for their work and play; (3) with the appropriate guidance, this natural curiosity and need to make sense of the world become the foundation for beginning to use skills of inquiry to explore basic phenomena and materials of the world surrounding children; and (4) this early science exploration can be a rich context in which children can use and develop other important skills, including working with one another, basic large- and small-motor control, language, and early mathematical understanding. The paper describes a structure for learning through inquiry and criteria for the selection of appropriate content for young children. It concludes with a discussion of implications for the classroom, focusing on child-centered curriculum, the role of materials, the use of time and space, the key role of discussion and representation, and the teacher’s role.

FOCUS Resources

New Mexico Focus: Elements of Quality

New Mexico Early Learning Guidelines: Birth through Kindergarten

A collaborative effort of the New Mexico State Children, Youth and Families Department, Department of Health and Public Education Department. Early learning guidelines serve as a framework to capture some of the important aspects of development in the early years. They describe what young children know and can do during the early years of development. The guidelines are designed to give reasonable expectations for children at different ages so that teachers and others can have criteria to refer to as they observe children in action, determine their levels of performance and plan curricular interventions to help them grow, develop, and learn to their fullest potential.

Guide for Inclusion

New Mexico Partnership Guide for Inclusion supports the alliance among early care and education practitioners and administrators in working together to assist young children under the age of five in attaining their joint goal of positive developmental outcomes for children. It provides a roadmap for direct service delivery partners and administrators in building more coordinated service delivery for children.

This guide can be used by the partners to:

  • Communicate effectively with each other and with families.
  • Work together in planning and implementing for Individual Family Service Plans (IFSPs) for children birth to three and Individual Educational Programs (IEPs) for children age three to five.
  • Work together to support a child’s access and full participation in center-based care, activities, and routines.
  • Support individual children and families in developing skills to be active participants in their community.
  • Work together to build infrastructure and systems needed to support inclusive services.

FOCUS Administrator Resources