Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Ethical Scenarios |

Prior to beginning work on this assignment, read the 

NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment (Links to an external site.)

Those who work with young children often face difficult ethical decisions. You are realizing your center has various situations that compromise the code, but unfortunately your lead teacher and a few others within the center don’t see the issues the same way you do. They have given you the opportunity to justify your rationale and create a potential plan to rectify the situations.

Review the scenarios below and choose two situations to rationalize and resolve for your lead teacher and colleagues. Use the 

NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment (Links to an external site.)
 as a guide to make recommendations and identify rationale. There are four areas of ethical responsibilities: children, families, colleagues, and community and society. Be sure to select scenarios from different areas.


#1: Your center has a rule that no outside food is to be brought in for snack or lunch for a child under any circumstances. While your weekly menus often support the diverse needs of the learners, you now have a student who has extreme sensitivities and allergies. When trying to create the menu, you are realizing that the other students would need to eat unbalanced meals and would begin lacking the proper nutrition. You have asked your teacher about this rule to see if it can be changed for this situation and she said no.

#2: One child is having a hard time adjusting to class and his mom would like to stay a little bit longer in the beginning of class to help him get familiar and comfortable. You were allowing this and it was working very well, however your director has now told you that this is not allowed. Parents are required to drop off their kids and leave immediately after.

#3: A little girl is having issues with another little boy in the class. They often fight with each other and recently she told you that he always tries to touch her and watch her in the bathroom and she doesn’t like it. You took this very seriously, however your director told you that she is only five years old so it’s nothing to worry about. You believe you should contact both parents in this situation, but the director argues that the parents will think you aren’t doing a good job watching them.

#4: You have a few children in your class with various cultures and religions. Some of these c

Code of Ethical Conduct
and Statement of Commitment

A position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children

NAEYC recognizes that those who work with young
children face many daily decisions that have moral and
ethical implications. The NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct
offers guidelines for responsible behavior and sets forth a
common basis for resolving the principal ethical dilemmas
encountered in early childhood care and education. The
Statement of Commitment is not part of the Code but is a
personal acknowledgement of an individual’s willingness to
embrace the distinctive values and moral obligations of the
field of early childhood care and education.
The primary focus of the Code is on daily practice with
children and their families in programs for children from birth
through 8 years of age, such as infant/toddler programs,
preschool and prekindergarten programs, child care centers,
hospital and child life settings, family child care homes,
kindergartens, and primary classrooms. When the issues
involve young children, then these provisions also apply to
specialists who do not work directly with children, including
program administrators, parent educators, early childhood
adult educators, and officials with responsibility for program
monitoring and licensing. (Note: See also the “Code of Ethi-
cal Conduct: Supplement for Early Childhood Adult Educa-
tors,” online at
pdf. and the “Code of Ethical Conduct: Supplement for Early
Childhood Program Administrators,” online at http://www.

Core values

Standards of ethical behavior in early childhood care
and education are based on commitment to the follow-
ing core values that are deeply rooted in the history of
the field of early childhood care and education. We have
made a commitment to
• Appreciate childhood as a unique and valuable stage of
the human life cycle
• Base our work on knowledge of how children develop
and learn
• Appreciate and support the bond between the child
and family
• Recognize that children are best understood and sup-
ported in the context of family, culture,* community, and
• Respect the dignity, worth, and uniqueness of each
individual (child, family member, and colleague)
• Respect diversity in children, families, and colleagues
• Recognize that children and adults achieve their full
potential in the context of relationships that are based
on trust and respect

* The term culture includes ethnicity, racial identity, economic
level, family structure, language, and religious and political beliefs,
which profoundly influence each child’s development and relation-
ship to the world.

Copyright © 2011 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children


Revised April 20

error: Content is protected !!