Every child is entitled to a fair, just and safe life in the home and community.
History and Brief Overview
The Non-Violence in the Lives of Children Project began as an idea during the summer of 1992 when the CAEYC Board had a long range planning meeting. At that time, there were two internship programs available statewide from CAEYC: one in Public Policy and one in Leadership in Diversity. Members present at the planning meeting agreed that we should begin developing a proposal for a third internship which would address the need for teacher training in the issues of violence in the lives of children.
Discussion by a few Board members continued at the October 1992 State Board Meeting and since that time all nine sections across the state have been involved in the evolutionary process of the project. In June, 1993, a small group of members gathered in a private home for three days to formulate the purpose, rationale and areas of study which have been used as a developmental framework. This framework was presented and endorsed at the Executive Committee Meeting in July and at the State CAEYC Board meeting in October, 1993. The Planning and Development Committee has met at every opportunity during State Board Meetings and Conferences since July, 1993. Most of the work has been done during three to six day meetings in private homes.
Level one of the CAEYC NONVIOLENCE IN THE LIVES OF CHILDREN PROJECT was piloted in January 1994 in San Diego, with a second pilot in May 1995 in Fresno. The first Level One training was in Montecito in January 1998. The first Level II was in Fresno in Feb 1998. This project was originally designed with three levels to address the different needs of participants. Level one is introductory, level two enhances strategies to become effective community leaders, and level three is the internship trainer-of-trainers level. We have expanded our programs to include customized workshops of various lengths, presentations for conferences, community organizations, schools and parent groups and consultation. Our web site has an extensive set of resources and liks to related organizations.
In 2003 the NONVIOLENCE IN THE LIVES OF CHILDREN PROJECT moved from being a CAEYC committee (or sub-committee) and became the first official CAEYC Special Interest Forum. The first SIF meeting was held in the Advocacy Room at the 2004 CAEYC conference in San Diego. The project became officially incorporated as a Non Profit 501C3 in 2005.
We know that teachers and child care personnel are seeking information to assist them in responding to the violence which impacts children, families and themselves.
From recent writings and research we know that:
- There are alternatives to violence. This philosophy should be valuedas basic to all teacher and parent education.
- Caregivers are the first to see the effects of violence on young children.
- Violence affects the lives of caregivers, teachers, providers and parents as well as young children.
- In order for caregivers to understand violence and its effect on young children, they must understand themselves first.
- Attitudes formed by young children are strongly influenced by the values held by the adults who care for them.
- The necessity of understanding mental health skills is crucial to successful intervention and prevention.
- Skills in communication, negotiation, conflict management, listening, problem solving and facilitating are also critical for dealing with violence.
- Caregivers and parents must work together to prevent violence and to deal with the effects of violence in the lives of young children.
Our goals are to empower each participant to:
- reduce violence and its effects on children.
- take personal responsibility for one’s own action.
- validate and integrate diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
- collaborate with the greater community.
- advocate and promote human rights.
Those who care for and work on the behalf of children must have the knowledge and skill to work effectively with children, families, colleagues and the community to alleviate the effects of violence to:
- promote nonviolence in the lives of children.
- recognize that violence affects every person in society.
- increase knowledge about various forms of violence and its
- effects on children and adults.
- employ a high standard of personal ethical conduct.
- acknowledge that adult behaviors may be a cause of unwanted behaviors seen in children.
- increase understanding of the importance of observing children as a basic skill for providing a positive environment.
- build skills in human relationships and interpersonal dynamics ascrucial to successful intervention and prevention of violence.
- practice the effective use of listening, communicating,
- negotiating, problem solving, facilitating and conflict management which are valuable tools for children and adults.
- enhance ability to work with parents to build effective
- build community support and resource networks for advocacy on behalf of children, families and early childhood professionals. Accept personal responsibility in accomplishing these objectives.
Donations help us develop programs and training sessions for educators.