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Keeping my ethical values as an early childhood educator

Most of us acknowledge the need for having strong ethical principles in the workplace, and even in society. But how do we ensure we adhere to these ethics in our early childhood education work environments? When confronted with certain conundrums in the workplace, how can we arrive at well-rounded decisions for ourselves and others? Do we assume what is right and wrong? What constitutes ethical conduct? How can we make sure we are consistently behaving ethically?

Adhering to ethical codes of conduct in early childhood care is grounded in the core values that have been integral since its beginnings. These core values serve helpful in decision-making and are beneficial for children, parents, and educators alike. They ensure a high level of service for children and families. Let's go through a few ethical codes I adhere to as an early childhood professional.


As an early childhood educator, I am accountable for upholding a strict code of ethics against discrimination. The children under my care have the right to be treated fairly and not on the merit of their race, disability, religious bearing, or ethnicity. It is inappropriate and against ethics, if I deny a child service or even exclude them based on the mentioned factors. Also, I am responsible for providing equitable care and nurturing respectful learning environments, ensuring all children have the chance to thrive. With this, I am dedicated to upholding my ethical values as an educator and providing supportive, safe spaces for all young learners.

Two-way communication

As an early childhood educator, I recognize the importance of fostering relationships with those around me, including parents, & school administrators. Sometimes I do not always possess the necessary answers; parents can also offer insight into a child's progress or condition. I need to solicit information from a parent regarding a child's behavior and academic progress if necessary. I should be open to exchanging ideas and providing input with parents, as this goes hand-in-hand with my duty to adhere to the code of ethical conduct.


As an early childhood teacher, I know children develop communication competencies daily. At such an immature stage, they may lack the capacity to convey what they need, desire, or comprehend verbally. This often leads to conduct that can be perplexing or even alarming. To demonstrate my work ethic, I must report any hint of hazard to the necessary authorities and follow up to ensure that pertinent regulations have been set in place.


As an early childhood educator, I understand that sometimes there can be discord within a child's family. This can put a child on risky grounds. In such situations, I must act transparently, imparting my observations and beliefs regarding the child so all sides may make informed choices. It is not within my means to promote one party over another.

As an ECE professional, I must reserve the confidentiality of a child's assessment information and can only disclose it with parental permission. The child's right is to secure their evaluation records.


NAEYC. (n.a). Code of ethics. Retrieved from: Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment | NAEYC

Featured Course

Description: This course will teach childcare professionals about ethical leadership. Participants will understand the qualities of an ethical leader and how to implement new strategies in your role as a leader to your program. Professionals will learn strategies to guide the decision-making process while operating under your code of ethics.


Meet The Author

Sheika Petteway provides educational and leadership training to individuals and organizations. She is the founder and CEO of Elite Educational Enterprises and has several years of experience serving in the early childhood education industry.

Connect with Elite Educational Enterprises


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