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1 Powerful Stories

Powerful Stories: Giving Early Childhood Teachers a Voice Catherine Roach University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education School of Education Spring 2014

2 Powerful Stories Problem Statement The field of early childhood is full of teachers who have a lasting impact on young children and their families. Their powerful, yet often unheard, stories illustrate the significance of their work. How can collections of these stories be used to demonstrate the significance of their work, both to early childhood teachers themselves and to others, including decision makers? As an early childhood teacher with over twenty-five years of experience, I have often felt that my colleagues and I have been under-represented when early childhood issues come up for debate. When licensing regulations or accreditation criteria are changed or updated, we are often the last to know. This has become more and more of a problem as new programs such as Youngstar emerge and teachers are being held accountable for how well children are learning. Early childhood teachers also lack the respect they deserve both within and outside of the field. The importance of our work frequently goes unnoticed and unrewarded. We are full of stories that show the impact our work has on young children and their families. Collecting teachers stories for an assignment in one of the leadership classes showed me how eager teachers are to tell their stories. This project has been in the back of my mind for some time. During these last several months of leadership classes, I have finally found a way to give my colleagues and I a voice. I want to present to the world the amazing teachers who work with young children and their families. They are hard-working, devoted, caring, and strong in their endeavors to help young children grow and learn about themselves and where they fit in this world. I hope to change how people view early childhood and maybe someday impact public policy decisions that involve young children, their families, and teachers.

3 Powerful Stories Literature Review Early childhood teachers do important work with young children and families, yet they receive little respect and are under-compensated. This lack of respect and low pay can result in a negative impact on the availability of high quality child care. Research shows a link between high quality teachers and high quality child care, but the support this link receives in public knowledge and public policy is often neglected due to the emphasis on the cost of child care to families, the development of standards, and accountability issues. Teachers should be advocates for themselves and the children they care for in order for others to become aware of the issues teachers face and how to help them continue to provide high quality care. Collecting teachers stories is one way to show that who is providing the care is as important, if not more, as what young children are learning. Quality Child Care Resources for this project were selected from a variety of sources. When looking for resources on quality child care, I looked first to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Since they are sources directed towards parents and families, not necessarily early childhood educators, I wanted to see what they had to say, particularly regarding the role of teachers in young childrens development as well as how they viewed the importance of high quality child care. I also looked for sources that were geared towards early childhood professionals, such as the study by the Urban Institute. Every child deserves high quality child care. The problem is that not every child gets it, for a variety of reasons. The cost is high, so many families cannot afford it. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (2005), high quality child care is not affordable, which results in compromises (p. 187). That is, families may choose child care situations that cost less, but

4 Powerful Stories may offer lower quality care. This is unfortunate because high quality child care has a positive effect on young childrens development while poor quality has a negative one (AAP Policy Statement, 2005). Providing affordable high quality child care, on the other hand, is challenging for providers. Some obstacles group child care centers and other programs face are inadequate compensation for teachers and inadequate public funding (AAP Policy Statement, 2005). Much of the funding that goes towards education is put towards kindergarten and above. The AAP Policy Statement (2005) states that To focus only on the education of children beginning with kindergarten is to ignore the science of early development and deny the importance of early experiences (p. 187). So much development occurs before age five, and it is crucial to take advantage of this window of opportunity to help children develop to their fullest potential. In 2006 the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Shriver, 2006) published a study of what quality child care looks like, focusing on regulable and process features. Regulable features are those that are controlled, for example, by state licensing regulations such as teacherchild ratios (low ratios were found to be better), group size (small groups were of higher quality than large groups), and level of teacher education (the more education a teacher has the higher quality care provided); and whether or not a center/program was accredited (going over and above state licensing regulations). This supported a study by Shim, Hestenes, and Cassidy (2004) which found that lower teacher-child ratios lead to more responsive and stimulating, and less controlling, teacher behaviors (p. 144). This study also reported that there is a higher level of positive teacher behaviors when teachers have more education, including more positive teacherteacher relationships (Shim, Hestenes, & Cassidy, 2004). The process features from the NICHD study that indicate high quality care revolve around teacher behaviors: a positive attitude, positive physical contact with children, asking questions, telling stories, singing, reading with

5 Powerful Stories children, and responding to childrens questions and statements (Shriver, 2006). The study also found a positive relationship between child care quality and cognitive, language, and social development outcomes (Shriver, 2006). The Urban Institute released a study of its own on what constitutes high quality child care, this one in 2010 and from the perspective of child care center directors. Common characteristics of quality were related to directors who focused on childrens higher-level needs (Rohacek, et al., 2010, p. xi) rather than solely on safety and basic needs. A connection was also discovered with directors who used outside resources to back up or extend their own personal knowledge and beliefs as well as having relatively less financial strain and that went above and beyond standard licensing requirements (Rohacek, et al., 2010, p. xi). Directors who had higher expectations and a high degree of confidence in their staff (Rohacek, et al., 2010, p. xi) and looked for teachers with certain skills, knowledge, and performance in classroom practices and child outcomes (Rohacek, et al., 2010, p. xi) were from programs that were considered of high quality. Rohacek, et al. (2010) acknowledged that centers not exhibiting these qualities might be suffering from a lack of resources, money, and availability of high quality teacher candidates to choose from, as well as limitations set by their board of directors. Any or all of these issues could prevent them from reaching a higher level of quality. Early childhood teachers play an important role in helping children and grow, as evidenced by the above studies. Their relationships with the children in their care and their level of education were seen as significant factors in providing high quality care. They need to be supported not only by the programs they work in but also by public policy in order to be responsible for the high quality care and education young children deserve. The AAP Policy Statement (2005) states that Better quality and access will be realized only when the public

6 Powerful Stories demands that resources are dedicated to early education and child care as they are for K-12 education (p. 189). Early childhood teachers are part of the public and ought to have a voice in issues that affect their work. Advocacy and the Early Childhood Teacher Advocacy is an essential, yet often neglected area of early childhood teachers responsibilities. Many articles put emphasis on advocating for children and families and focus on the idea of influencing decision-makers and public policy decisions, which is certainly one aspect of advocacy and the original purpose of this section. Some of the resources reflect this as well as suggesting that advocacy also includes influencing the way people think. The resources in this section focus on changing public policy as well as public opinion. They also bring our attention to the different forms advocacy can take and that teachers can be valuable assets in advocating for teachers, children, and families. The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary (Advocacy, n.d.) defines advocacy as The act or process of supporting a cause or proposal. The very act of caring for young children and their families could be seen as a subtle form of advocacy, since this work is all about supporting children and their families, the cause being doing what is best for young children. Early childhood teachers, however, do not often speak of their work as advocacy. The following articles suggest that teachers can do more to show their support of young children as well as for each other. To start with, The Citizens Committee for Children of New York (n.d.) offers a list of recommendations on how to be effective advocates. Although this list is intended for more formal advocacy efforts, they should be kept in mind whenever speaking up for children. They suggest being acquainted with the particulars of both sides of the issue being discussed, present

7 Powerful Stories your position clearly and succinctly, collaborate with others who share your view, and speak upspread the word (CCC of New York, n.d., p.1). Although there are several programs aimed at helping families with children, the United States has no formal child care policy (Palley & Shdaimah, 2010, p. 1160). In order to ensure that children receive safe, quality care, child care must be reorganized as a normal and valued part of life that is adequately addressed and supported by public policy (Palley & Shdaimah, 2010, p. 1163). Because the current policies are insufficient, early childhood teachers have an obligation to effectively advocate for broad changes to the way in which we help families provide care for their children (Palley & Shdaimah, 2010, p. 1163). In the National Association for the Education of Young Children Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment (2011), under Ethical Responsibilities to Children, Ideal 1.9 states that early childhood professionals, which includes teachers, are to advocate for and ensure that all children, including those with special needs, have access to the support services needed to be successful (p.2). Furthermore, in the same code under Ethical Responsibilities to Community and Society, Ideal 4.4 says early childhood professionals are to work through education, research and advocacy toward a society in which all children have access to high quality early care and education programs (NAEYC, 2011, p. 6). Early childhood teachers need to get involved in the changes the early childhood field experiences. Palley and Shdaimah (2010) state that teachers have a valuable role to play in policy debates that impact children and should weigh in on policy debates.In particular, these professionals can bring the knowledge gained from front line work with children and families (p. 1163). As advocates, teachers can support families, be informed on early childhood issues, and share this information with others formally or informally (Royea & Appl, 2009). Royea and

8 Powerful Stories Appl (2009) emphasizes that the process is what matters, that teachers should do something even if it is not successful, and that it is important to remember that Every voice matters (p. 3). Eric Karolak (2008), the Executive Director of the Early Care and Education Consortium (, advocates for children and families. In one article he gives emphasis to his belief that early childhood professionals need to keep legislators thinking about child care (Karolak, 2008, p. 32). They have the education and experience of what children need and what a good program looks like, so they should communicate that to decision makers. In other words, Decision-makers need to hear from the people living with the real result of their decisions-you-about what is really going on (Karolak, 2008, p.33). Also, Speaking up in tough times keep legislators mindful that children should always be priority number one (Karolak, 2008, p. 33). Another article by Karolak (2009) involves interviews with two legislators (Shannon Erickson and Mary Jane Wallner) who also work in child care and offer suggestions on how teachers can get involved in public policy advocacy efforts. They recommend getting to know local officials and have them visit programs in their areas. Furthermore, they say that communicating with legislators is important because they need to know that their decisions affect their constituents. Legislators and the public need to be educated on what good child care looks like and the importance of early education (Karolak, 2009). At the end of his article, Karolak (2009) declares that Child care providers are an important part of our communities. They need to make their voices heard (p. 10). Working with young children is a challenging job with low pay and little respect (AAP, 2005, Karolak, 2009). In a study published in 2013, Boyd states that With education as the social and ideological linchpin of our society, one would think that those responsible for education-teachers-would be held in high esteem

9 Powerful Stories both economically and socially. This has not been the experience of the majority of teachers-especially those educating our youngest children (Boyd, 2013, p.1).

Boyd (2013) goes on to say that The voices of the workers are also missing (p.2) in discussions on wages and benefits, and they need to be heard to improve the status of early childhood teachers. In this same study, teachers indicated they were frustrated as being seen as babysitters rather than teachers; lazy rather than hard-working; unskilled rather than professional (Boyd, 2013, p. 5). On the other hand, being an early childhood teachers is rewarding in non-monetary ways and has what Boyd (2013) calls internal validation (p.9). The teachers in the study felt that they made significant contributions to the growth and development of the children in their care as well as helping families, however, it was not always enough to make up for inadequate compensation and low esteem (Boyd, 2013). Advocating for children and teachers is a complex and challenging endeavor. Supporting a cause or proposing a change cannot be accomplished by one person. Collaboration and networking are necessary to get the word out on the important work being done by early childhood teachers for children and families. Teachers can be effective advocates, whether they use formal strategies to contact legislators or simply educate those around them on the importance of the early years of a childs life. Change is inevitable in all areas. Early childhood teachers should be involved in the ones that affect them and the children they care for. Teachers Stories Collecting early childhood teachers stories has the potential to be a powerful advocacy tool. The resources in this section support this idea and call for teachers to share their stories. They can be used to share with the world what being an early childhood teacher looks like-the ups and downs of the job- in addition to what it looks like to be a child in their programs. Stories

10 Powerful Stories are used in a variety of ways in a variety of situations. They can and should be used in advocacy efforts. In the quest for better wages and benefits, more respect, and the resources needed to give children high quality care, teachers must tell their stories-meaningful stories that will show others how they want to be seen instead of how others want to see them (Souto-Manning &Bentley, 2012). Souto-Manning and Bentley (2012) also tell us that our classroom stories have power (p.279). Naidu (2011) focuses on using teachers stories to make changes and help others see the value of their work. Stories lead to empowerment, so teachers need to discover their authentic voice with its hopes and fears, questions and confusion (Carter, 1994, p.47). The use of storytelling, according to Carter (1994), leads to self-awareness, team building, and helps develop identity. Stories connect teachers and become a way of expanding everyones understanding and effectiveness as a teacher (Bernheimer, 2005, p. 83). In addition, Personal stories give each person a voice and opportunity to be respected for their own experience (Bernheimer, 2005, p. 83). Therefore, teachers stories need to be part of discussions that involve how teachers are viewed by themselves and others, and when deciding what is best for young children in child care situations. Teachers stories are important because they challenge and expand our thinking (Neugebauer, 2008, p. 44). Neugebauer (2008) also says Be an advocate for children by sharing stories of your work (p. 44), and release your stories into the world and see what happens (p. 44). Collecting stories that illustrate how important early childhood teachers are individually and how quality child care affects the growth and development of young children can be used to advocate for positive changes in how early childhood is viewed as a whole as well as impact changes in public policy. Stories can provide inspiration to others and arent meant to be kept

11 Powerful Stories private; theyre meant to be told (Kouzes & Posner, 2008, p. 265). No matter what type or form of advocacy is used, it is important that all of us who touch the lives of children do all we can to educate the American public about the needs of children and the social and moral responsibility of our society to care for children.children cant do it themselves-they are counting on us (Robinson & Stark, 2002, p. 110). Speaking up for teachers means speaking up for children. Early childhood teachers have a responsibility to keep children in the spotlight when early childhood issues are discussed and changes are being made. Looking at examples of stories about teachers can give us information on how stories can be used in advocacy. The March 2014 issue of Young Children spotlighted stories about teachers and their work in the classroom. The first story is an example of what happens in a mixed-age group of infants and toddlers by Kaleigh Elizabeth Paul (2014). She is the teacher in the article and the author. Her story spotlights the important social and emotional development of infants and toddlers through playing with dolls and interacting with infants. This is a research-based article that would be useful for influencing policies involving infants and toddlers but does not emphasize the role of the teacher other than that of offering support and materials in a general way. The next article is from a kindergarten teachers point of view, written in the first person by the teacher. McCann (2014) also uses research in her article as well as focusing on what the children are doing, but she adds her impressions as well. For example, after relating a story about the change in the childrens attitudes about school, she adds, As a teacher, I am happy to see these new attitudes develop (p. 17). This article would be useful for policies relating to children and to teachers-it shows the importance of this particular situation to a childs development as well as showing the perspective of the teacher. It could also influence public opinion on the thoughtfulness and intentionality teachers have in their work. The third article by Seitz and

12 Powerful Stories Bartholomew (2014) is about primary grade children reading with preschoolers. Again it has a research component, and it is written in the third person by the teacher who is also one of the authors (Bartholomew). This one documents what happened with the children and also explained the teachers role more fully than the Paul (2014) article. It could also be used to influence public policy and public opinion. The fourth article (Bowden, 2014) is a list of helpful tips for substitute teachers written by a researcher. It would be useful for substitute teachers as well as classroom teachers in order to make transitions between the two situations go smoothly, but it would most likely not have an effect on public policy or opinion. The final article in the series is an article by a researcher, Carla Amaro-Jimenez (2014), who is reporting on what a teacher learned from working with children from a variety of cultures speaking a variety of languages. Although it is written by a person not involved in the classroom, it shows a clear picture of a dedicated and knowledgeable teacher. This article could be used to advocate for teachers as an example of some of the challenges teachers face. Teachers stories have a multitude of purposes-some can be used for advocacy and others can support teachers in their work. Another early childhood magazine, Exchange, offers a teachers story in the July/August 2013 issue. Nicki Eybel is a preschool teacher with many years of experiences who answers the question, What are my rights as an experienced early childhood educator? (2013, p. 58). She lists seven rights she believes she should have as a teacher. For instance, Eybels first right is the right to be asked to the table (2013, p. 58) when policies and changes are being discussed. Respect is another right she lists, as well as to be deeply and respectfully listened to (Eybel, 2013, p. 58) and to be respected as a learned and experienced teacher of young children (Eybel, 2013, p. 59). This article is an excellent example of how a teachers story can be used to advocate for teachers, both in influencing public policy and public opinion. By itself it might not

13 Powerful Stories get very far, but put with other stories of a similar theme, there is the possibility that it could change how teachers are viewed and what kind of support they receive. Research shows that high quality child care depends up on knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated teachers. Unfortunately, teachers continue to struggle with low wages, few benefits, and a lack of respect. Moreover, the cost of high quality care often forces parents to find lower-priced and potentially inferior alternatives. Advocating for better compensation and benefits as well as respect and higher child care standards based on what is best for children is a huge responsibility teachers who want to make a difference face. When early childhood teachers share their stories with others, improvements can be made that will positively affect young children, their parents, and their teachers.

14 Powerful Stories Approach While researching teachers stories, I found three common themes: quality child care, the importance of advocacy, and the importance of using teachers stories in advocacy efforts. First, high quality child care is dependent upon high quality teachers. This refers to aspects such as education level, experience, and quality of teacher-child interactions. If we want children ready and able to learn, we need strong, knowledgeable, and skillful teachers who are adequately compensated and respected. Next, advocacy is a responsibility of all who work with young children. It can be a catalyst of change for better working conditions for teachers and for better public policy decisions on what children need and what needs to be done in the best interests of children. Furthermore, advocacy is more than influencing public policy, it is a way to keep children as the number one priority for everyone. Lastly, teachers are the ones doing the work, so they are the ones who should educate others on the importance of the early years. Teachers stories give teachers a voice to the world, to let the world see how important our work is and why we need to find ways to support teachers, children, and families. I have always thought that teachers have a responsibility to advocate for themselves, children and families. As I was going through all of the research on child care quality, advocacy, and teachers stories, I decided to collect teachers stories and look for themes that show the importance of our work and how we see our work as valuable. I made a plan to collect stories from early childhood teachers from a variety of centers who work with a variety of age groups. I also had to decide what to do with these stories once they were collected. The plan is to interview teachers, transcribe those interviews into story form, and share them with the general public and decision-makers as an advocacy effort. I see this project as only the beginning-I want

15 Powerful Stories to continue to collect stories and share them with others, perhaps in an article for NAEYC or Exchange, as a way to keep children the focus of all decisions involving them. These are the questions I asked: 1. How long have you worked in the field of early childhood? What is your educational background and experience (age groups, positions held, type of child care?)? 2. Why did you choose early childhood? 3. What do you like most and least about your work? 4. What do you think is important to think about when you reflect on your work as an early childhood educator? 5. What are your hopes for the future of this field and for children and their families? 6. How do you make a difference as an early childhood educator? 7. What do you need to continue to provide high quality child care and to grow and learn as a professional? The purpose of question one was to get background information on each teacher. The second question was to show how meaningful this choice of occupation was-that it was something they felt very deeply about. Questions three, four, and five demonstrate how seriously teachers feel about their work, and question six shows how they value their work. The last question is related specifically to advocacy, that is, what do teachers need-do they all need/want the same thing or is there a variety of themes. As I was transcribing the stories I collected, I realized they were a little long, longer than I thought they should be to catch the attention of legislators or the general public. I then devised a form to have teachers simply tell their story of how they make a difference and sent it out to four centers. Both types of stories will be used in creating displays to educate others on the important work early childhood teachers do.

16 Powerful Stories Plan and Implement Strategies for Change The field of early childhood is a profession that is both demanding and rewarding at the same time. It also lacks the respect, adequate compensation, and satisfactory benefits other professions have. Quality child care is dependent upon teachers who have skill, knowledge, education, and disposition to provide it, yet these teachers are often invisible when early childhood issues are raised. Decision-makers who pass legislation, change licensing regulations, and influence other changes involving young children need to hear from early childhood teachers in order to make the best decisions they can for teachers, young children, and their families. Collecting teachers stories can validate how valuable teachers are and that they deserve more respect and support so they can continue to do their important work. The first step of my project, after defining the question, was to collect research on the aspects connected to it. I started out with articles that talked about what high quality child care is and how teachers fit into it. Since my project is about influencing others and changing how people view teachers, I decided to gather articles that emphasized the importance of advocacy. Finally, since teachers stories are the center of my project, I assembled articles that focused on how important it is for teachers to speak up for themselves and children. This collection of articles gave me the ideas for the questions I wanted to ask teachers in order to write their stories. I started asking teachers for interviews, looking for teachers from a variety of centers, with a variety of experience, and who work with a variety of age groups. My goal was to collect ten stories, including mine, for this project, and I plan on continuing to collect stories to use future advocacy efforts. I collected ten stories using the interview questions (see Approach), and it was very enlightening. Some of the pre-conceived notions I had about some of the teachers I talked to were completely wrong, and I learned new information that reaffirmed how important this

17 Powerful Stories project is. The preliminary response to the second format used to collect stories shows promise as I received a few back right away. These teachers (from both types of collection) are very committed and dedicated to their work-they go over and above their expected job requirements to ensure that children receive quality care. They are eager to share their stories to affect positive change. These are the stories that are often overlooked when people talk about what children need and deserve, what teachers need and deserve, and child care in general. I would like to hear from the families perspectives how they view their child(ren)s teachers and experiences in child care. The initial purpose of collecting teachers stories was to educate the general public, decision-makers, and other early childhood professionals on how teachers view their work and how they want others to see it. After collecting the stories I then had to figure out what to do with them. I decided creating a display of these stories to put up in public places would be my first step. Before starting this project I knew that teachers were under-represented in discussions that led to changes that affect them. I wondered how to give teachers a voice so their viewpoints could be part of those discussions. As I went through the research on child care quality, advocacy, and teachers voices, I realized that collecting and sharing their stories would be a significant way to empower teachers to be part of the changes that occur in our field. This is more than just a one-time event. I believe that this is a project that could grow to include more stories from teachers in all kinds of child care and family care programs, stories from families, and even stories from children who attended child care programs on the impact teachers and early childhood experiences had/has on young children.

18 Powerful Stories Evaluation of the Process and Results Empowering early childhood teachers has always been an area of concern for me. Throughout my career I have noticed that many teachers, including myself, become frustrated when changes, such as licensing regulations, occur and we have limited or no say in the outcome. This project enabled me to find a way to give teachers a voice. The research on advocacy and teachers stories encouraged me to go out and collect stories. All of the resources I gathered reinforced my belief that teachers need to become advocates and have a place in influencing public policy and opinion. I interviewed ten teachers, who were all happy to answer my questions. I found that collecting stories from the teachers around me was very illuminating. I started to see them differently, and the professional respect I had for them became admiration for their levels of professionalism, dedication, and hard work. This is what I hope others will see as well, after reading their stories. Right now my plan is to put together a display to put in libraries and other public places, for instance during Week of the Young Child and/or teacher appreciation week to show how important teachers are and to illustrate the important work they do, which will hopefully develop public awareness of these realities and promote an improvement in the level of respect and esteem teachers receive. This could lead to other changes as well, perhaps in the area of compensation and benefits or in resources available to teachers and children and their families, particularly those at risk. I am also part of the Milwaukee Association for the Education of Young Children committee that is planning our 2014 Teacher Appreciation Event. Our idea, which came about as a result of a discussion about my project, is to collect stories and make books with the teachers who attend. This is intended to help them develop a self-awareness of how important they are to children, families, and each other. The world of early childhood is always going to experience change. My hope for the

19 Powerful Stories future is that early childhood teachers will have the opportunity to be active participants of those changes. Working on this project has given me a clearer picture of how important advocacy is and how it can change not only a childs life but a teachers.

20 Powerful Stories References Advocacy. (n.d.). In Merriam-Websters online dictionary. Retrieved March 15, 014, from Amaro-Jimenez, C. (2014). Lessons learned from a teacher working with culturally and linguistically diverse children. Young Children, 69 (1), 32-37. American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: Quality early education and child care from birth to kindergarten. (2005). Pediatrics, 115 (1), 187-191. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from Bernheimer, S. (2005). Telling our stories: A key to effective teaching. Exchange, March/April, 82-83. Bowden, S. H. (2014). A top 10 list for helping substitute teachers. Young Children, 69 (1), 2831. Boyd, M. (2013). I love my work but The professionalism of early childhood education. The Qualitative Report, 18, 1-20. Carter, M. (1994). Finding our voices: The power of telling stories. Exchange, 7, 47-50. Eybel, N. (2013). An educators rights. Exchange, July/August, 58-59. Karolak, E. (2008). Public policy and you. Exchange, July/August, 32-33. Karolak, E. (2009). Making their voices heard: A conversation with two child care providers. Exchange, January/February, 6-10. Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2008). Leadership challenge 4th edition. Hoboken NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

21 Powerful Stories McCann, L. A. (2014). Mapping the school: A reggio emilia-inspired activity helps children learn about their community. Young Children, 69 (1), 16-20. Naidu, S. (2011). Teachers voices/stories: Dilemmas in representing the research data. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2011). Code of ethical conduct and statement of commitment. Retrieved February 2, 2014 from Neugebauer, B. (2008). Finding your voice. Exchange, May/June, 42-44. Palley, E. & Shdaimah, C. (2010). Child care policy: A need for greater advocacy. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 1159-1165. Paul, K. E. (2014). Baby play supports infant and toddler social and emotional development. Young Children, 69 (1), 8-14. Robinson, A. & Stark, D. (2002). Advocates in Action: Making a Difference for Young Children. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children. Rohacek, M., Adams, G., Kisker, E., Danziger, A., Derrick-Mills, T., & Johnson, H. (2010). Understanding quality in context: Child care centers, communities, markets, and public policy. Urban Institute. Retrieved February 27, 2014, from Royea, A.J., & Appl, D.J. (2009). Every voice matters: The importance of advocacy. Early Childhood Education Journal, v3 (2), 89-91.

22 Powerful Stories Seitz, H. J. & Bartholomew, C. (2014). Reading together: Primary grade children connect with preschoolers. Young Children, 69 (1), 22-27. Shim, J., Hestenes, L., & Cassidy, D. (2004). Teacher structure and child care quality in preschool classrooms. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 19 (2), 143-157. Retrieved February 2, 2014, from Shriver E. K. (2006). The NICHD Study of early child care and youth development: Findings for children up to age 4 years (SECCYD). National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, DHHS. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from Souto-Manning, M. & Frantz Bentley, D. (2011). Teacher as researcher: Welcoming the mayhem, being found, and making a big story: Tales of a teacher research addict. Childhood Education, 87 (4), 278-280. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from What is effective advocacy? (n.d.). Retrieved March 15, 2014, from