Legal Aspects of Early Childhood Administration

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ECE 280

       Course Name: Legal Aspects of Early Childhood Administration

       Credits: 1 (1 lecture; 0 lab Fee $15)

II.    Prerequisite

ECE 273 or consent of department chair.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course stresses knowledge and application of legal responsibilities required by a director of an early childhood program.  Focus is on the various legal structures and licensing standards required by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Students will evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different legal structures and research required codes and regulations such as building, zoning, fire, occupational, safety, health, sanitation and Americans with Disabilities Act.
  2. Students will obtain knowledge about child custody, child abuse, special education, confidentiality, anti-discrimination, insurance liability, contract, and labor laws pertaining to program management.

In addition to the objectives listed above, this course also meets the following Illinois Professional Teaching Standards and National Association for the Education of Young Children Teaching Standards.

IPTS Standards

STANDARD 8 – Collaborative Relationships – The competent teacher builds and maintains collaborative relationships to foster cognitive, linguistic, physical, and social and emotional development. This teacher works as a team member with professional colleagues, students, parents or guardians, and community members.

Knowledge Indicators – The competent teacher:
8A) understands schools as organizations within the larger community context;
8B) understands the collaborative process and the skills necessary to initiate and carry out that process;
8C) collaborates with others in the use of data to design and implement effective school interventions that benefit all students;
8D) understands the benefits, barriers, and techniques involved in parent and family collaborations;
8E) understands school- and work-based learning environments and the need for collaboration with all organizations (e.g., businesses, community agencies, nonprofit organizations) to enhance student learning;
8F) understands the importance of participating on collaborative and problem-solving teams to create effective academic and behavioral interventions for all students;
8H) understands concerns of families of students with disabilities and knows appropriate strategies to collaborate with students and their families in addressing these concerns; and
8I) understands the roles and the importance of including student with disabilities, as appropriate, and all team members in planning individualized education program (i.e., IEP, IFSP, Section 504 plan) for students with disabilities.

STANDARD 9 – Professionalism, Leadership, and Advocacy – The competent teacher is an ethical and reflective practitioner who exhibits professionalism; provides leadership in the learning community; and advocates for students, parents or guardians, and the profession.

Knowledge Indicators – The competent teacher:
9A) evaluates best practices and research-based materials against benchmarks within the disciplines;
9B) knows laws and rules (e.g., mandatory reporting, sexual misconduct, corporal punishment) as a foundation for the fair and just treatment of all students and their families in the classroom and school;
9C) understands emergency response procedures as required under the School safety Drill Act [105 ILCS 128/1], including school safety and crisis intervention protocol, initial response actions (e.g., whether to stay in or evacuate a building) and first response to medical emergencies (e.g., first aid and life-saving techniques);
9F) understands the roles of an advocate, the process of advocacy, and its place in combating or promoting certain school district practices affecting students;

NAEYC Standards

STANDARD 2 – Building Family and Community Relationships
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities. They know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.

Key elements of STANDARD 2
2A) Knowing about and understanding diverse family and community characteristics
2B) Supporting and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships.
2C) Involving families and communities in young children’s development and learning.

STANDARD 6. Becoming a Professional
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs identify and conduct themselves as members or the early childhood profession. They know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.

Key elements of STANDARD 6
6A) Identifying and involving oneself with the early childhood field
6B) Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other early childhood professional guidelines
6C) Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice; using technology effectively with young children, with peers, and as a professional resource
6D) Integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education.
6E) Engaging in informed advocacy for young children and the early childhood profession.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Advantages and disadvantages of different legal structures
Code Regulations
Department of Children and Family Services Licensing Standards
Americans with Disabilities Act
Legal issues pertaining to early childhood/school age program services
Insurance liability
Contract and labor laws

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, guest speakers, class discussions, written tests, individual reports, oral presentations
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid, or on line course.

  1. Reading of texts and supplemented readings will be required.
  2. Student will be required to demonstrate competency by successfully completing written tests, assignments, reports, and oral presentations.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Written tests, oral reports, written assignments

XI.   Other Course Information



If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.