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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 12 Managing Legal Risks in Early Childhood Programs Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment (2005). This comprehensive nine-page position statement offers guidelines for ­responsible behavior in the daily practice of working with young ­children and their families. The Code consists of a series of core val- ues (statement of commitment), ideals (aspirations of workers in the field), and principles (guidance for workers in resolving ethical dilemmas). The NAEYC Code has also been endorsed by the Association for Childhood Education International and adopted by the National Asso- ciation for Family Child Care. In 2006, NAEYC adopted a Supplement to the Code for early childhood program administrators that outlines additional core values, ideals, and principles to assist administrators with ethical dilemmas. The NAEYC Code was not intended to ad- dress every specific situation you may encounter in your program. But its standards are an excellent place to start when you face an ethical question. There are other early childhood codes of ethical conduct. The Na- tional Association of Child Care Professionals has a one-page Code of Ethics that is very general and does not address particular ethical di- lemmas. Head Start has a one-page Standards of Conduct. Because the NAEYC Code is the most thorough tool, we will refer to it throughout this book. Our “ethical responsibilities, the things that the good profession- als will always do or always refuse to do, are clear-cut and spelled out in the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct” (Feeney & Freeman, 2000, p.  39). Feeney adds: “Ethical dilemmas, however, are situations in which two or more different responses can be defended by NAEYC’s Code.” In that case, Feeney encourages decision makers to “distinguish between personal preferences and morality and professional ethical responsibilities.” In some situations, distinguishing between a personal preference and professional ethical responsibility is, as Feeney says, easy. Parents may believe spanking a child is effective at home. However, if parents ask us to spank their child, we say “No” and discuss why. In other, more complex ethical dilemmas, knowing the right thing to do may not be as clear-cut. Case Study: Reporting Suspected Abuse A recently hired teacher, Annalise, clearly upset, says, as a mandated reporter, she must report baby Tia’s mother for harming her child. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL