Developing relationships with infants and toddlers in child care appears natural. Most people loves babies, but caring for infants and toddlers can be rewarding but at the same time difficult. Recent studies on the brain suggests that nurturing, supportive, and trusting interactions between infants/toddlers and their caregivers supply the foundation that infants experience their worlds. Relationships are critical in the development of a child’s brain and future relationships. Infants are entirely dependent upon their caregivers from whom they intuitively seek out security and protection. Babies are like sponges throughout the first three years of life, they are experiencing and discovering at a very fast rate. The caregiver plays a significant role in the development during this time. She offers the comfort and closeness that provides the baby the support and nurturing needed in order to process future experiences.
When the needs of an infant are met, trust is formed between the infant and caregiver. A baby’s trust of the caregiver is the foundation for effectively growing from one milestone to the next. Regular positive connections develop trust and assist in promoting beneficial relationships as the child grows older. With regular positive connections a child will begin to develop more confidence not only in himself but in the world around him.
A healthy shared relationship is crucial for the healthy development of an infant. According to the National Infant and Toddler Child Care Initiative, “Positive relationships between caregivers and infants help build healthy brains.” The assumption is that positive relationships accomplish more than just encourage development; they in fact are the building blocks for the brain....
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... create foundations that will help children for life. Developing respectful, continual, balanced, and nurturing relationships with children and their families may not always be an easy task – however it is an essential one.
United States. Child Care Bureau. National Infant & Toddler Child Care Initiative (U.S.) Zero to Three (Organization) (2007). Credentials for the infant/toddler child care workforce: A technical assistance tool for child care and development fund administrators. Washington, DC (2000 M St.: National Infant & Toddler Child Care Initiative, Zero to Three.
National Research Council (2001). Eager to learn: Educating our preschoolers. Committee on Early Childhood Pedagogy. Barbara T. Bowman, M. Suzanne Donovan, & M. Susan Burns, (Eds.). Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
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