Health, Safety, and Nutrition:

Seek Multiple Perspectives

Breadcrumb trail:

Uncover and experience the perspectives of children, families, and colleagues.

When your work is informed by multiple perspectives, you have richer experiences, build stronger relationships, and deepen mutual understandings. Listening to others who have different perspectives can nudge you to reconsider your daily practice and worldview, and recognize and challenge your biases. They can also lead to shared inquiry. Finding areas in which you can collaborate with others is a great way to uncover and experience different perspectives. With CompSAT by your side, you may be inspired to seek the perspectives of the children, families, and colleagues in your program and beyond.

Two teachers discussing issues outside.

Two different perspectives:

A hamster at the entrance of the cage.

Say "No" to Class Pets

I have always felt uncomfortable with caged animals. I was raised to respect animals and respect their rights to be in their natural environments. I am very uncomfortable with having caged animals in the classroom. Basically, I believe that young children are not ready to care for them, and that a classroom setting is not conducive to having them learn about how to properly treat and care for them.

A close-up of a hen in a field.

Gabby's Hen

Gabriela's chicken visits my toddler program every Thursday. Gabby puts her in a small mobile enclosure on the lawn in our play yard. The hen's name is Rosie. Each visit Rosie lays an egg in a straw bed and scratches around on the grass for bugs. The children are delighted. They feed her chicken scratch and scraps from the snack table. With supervision, the children can hold her or pet her if they'd like. No one has ever complained about our visiting hen. The children learn so much from interactions with animals. They trust Rosie and care about her.

Try This!

Consider these short selections about animals in early childhood classrooms.

  • Does one of these perspectives align with your thinking?
  • If you have animals in your program or classroom, how does having the animals fit into your curriculum?
  • What is your program or classroom policy about animals in the classroom?
  • Is this policy reviewed with families and staff on a regular basis?
  • Make a list of the health and safety considerations that need to be addressed when considering including pets in a program with young children.

Use this template to record your observations, thoughts, and feelings.  Download the Template

Deepen Your Understanding

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies

Deepen your understanding and thinking in this area by reviewing the Topics: Environmental health and safety policies and practices and Outdoor health in Performance Area 1 of the CA ECE Competencies. Scroll to pages 79 and 80, respectively.

Can you find other places in this competency area related to this topic?

Download the California ECE Competencies

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies