Research Basis for Gee Whiz Curriculum for Family Child Care

At Gee Whiz Education, we want you to know that all of the activities, experiences, and components we develop for our products are based on the latest research on early childhood development and learning. Not only do we take into account new and emerging research findings, we also incorporate theoretical foundations as well. The following list includes the theories, published research and position statements that provide strong evidence for our approach to teaching and learning.



Erikson, E. (1963). Childhood and society.New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Piaget, J., & Inhelder B. (1969). The psychology of the child (H. Weaver, Trans.). New York:  Basic Books

Smilansky, S., & Shefatya, L. (1990). Facilitating play: A medium for promoting cognitive, socio-emotional, and academic development in young children.Gaithersburg, MD: Psychological and Educational Publications.)

Vygotsky, L. (1986). Thought and language(Revised). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Published Research

Bergen, D., & Cosica, J. (2001). Brain research and childhood education: Implications for educators.Olney, MD: Association of Childhood Education International.

Berghout Austin, A., Blevins-Knabe, B., Ota, C., Rowe, T.,Knudsen Lindaeur, S. (2011). Mediators of early preschoolers’ mathematics concepts. Early Child Development and Care,181(9), 1181-1198.

Boller, K., Paulsell, D., Del Grosso, P., Blair, R., Lundquist, E., Kassow, D. Z., Kim, R., & et al. (2015). Impacts of a child care quality rating and improvement system on child care quality. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 30(1), 306-315.

Bromer, J., McCabe, L. A., & Porter, T. (2013). Special section on understanding and improving quality in family child care. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28(4), 875-983.

Durden, T., Mincemoyer, C., Crandall, L., Alviz, K., & Garcia, A. (2015). Gateway to quality: Online professional development for family child care providers. Early Child Development and Care, 1-17.

Essa, E. & Burnham, M. (2009). Informing our practice: Useful research on young children’s development.Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Ferrar, H., Harms, T., & Cryer, D. (1995). Places for growing: How to Improve Your Family Child Care Home.New York, NY. The Rockefeller Foundation.

Forry, N. D., Iruka, I. U., Kainz, K., Tout, K., Torquati, J. C., Susman-Stillman, A. R., Bryant, D. M., & et al. (2012). Identifying profiles of quality in home-based child care. (Issue Brief OPRE 2012- 20). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

Gillies, R. (2011). Promoting thinking, problem-solving, and reasoning during small group discussions. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice,17(1), 73-89.

Hallam, R. A., Bargreen, K., & Ridgley, R. (2013). Quality in family child care settings: The relationship between provider educational experiences and global quality scores in a statewide quality rating and improvement system. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 27(4), 393- 406.

Hart, T., & Risley, B. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experiences of young American children.Baltimore, MD: Brooks Publishing.

Hedges, H., Cullen, J., & Jordan, B. (2011). Early years curriculum: Funds of knowledge as a conceptual framework for children’s interests. Journal of Curriculum Studies,43(2), 185-205.

Hong, S. & Diamond, K. (2012). Two approaches to teaching young children science concepts, vocabulary and scientific problem-solving skills. Early Childhood Research Quarterly,27(2), 295-305.

Jensen, E. (2000). Moving with the brain in mind. Educational Leadership, 58(3), 34-37.


Jensen, E. (2008). Teaching with the brain in mind(Revised). Alexandria, VA:  Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

National Early Literacy Panel. (2008). Developing Early Literacy: A Scientific Synthesis of Early Literacy Development and Implications for Intervention.Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved on July 17, 2012, from

National-Louis University. McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership. (2014). Indicators of quality and child outcomes in family child care. Wheeling, IL: National-Louis University, McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership.

Paulsell, D., Porter, T., Kirby, G., Boller, K., Sama Martin, E., Burwick, A., Ross, C., & et al. (2010). Supporting quality in home-based child care: Initiative design and evaluation options. Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

Phillips, B. & Morse, E. (2011). Family child care learning environments: Caregiver knowledge and practices related to early literacy and mathematics. Early Childhood Education Journal,39(3), 213-222.

Porter, T., Paulsell, D., Nichols, T., Begnoche, C., & Del Grosso, P. (2010). Supporting quality in home-based child care: A compendium of 23 initiatives. Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

Quintero, E. (2010) Something to say: Children learn through story. Early Education and Development, v2(n3), 372-391.

Shonkoff, J.P., & Phillips, D.A. (Eds.). (2000). From neurons to neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development.Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Swanson, J.,  Raab, M., & Dunst, C. (2011). Strengthening family capacity to provide young children everyday natural learning opportunities. Journal of Early Childhood Research,9(1), 66-80.


Position Statements

National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC) ™:

  • NAFCC’s Vision for Family Child Care (2007)


National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)®:

  • Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs (2009 version)
  • Early Childhood Mathematics: Promoting Good Beginnings (2002)
  • Early Childhood Curriculum, Assessment, and Program Evaluation (2003)
  • Learning to Read and Write (1998, with the International Reading Association)


All NAEYC®Position Statements can be found on their website at:



NAFCC is a registered trademark of the National Association of Family Child Care.

NAEYC is a registered trademark of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.