Here at Star, this respectful practice is fostered by Primary Caregiving. By having one teacher follow the care of a child from nappy changing, to feeding, to sleep time, ensures continuity for that child and builds a trusting, reciprocal relationship between the adult and child. With the development of these close, respectful relationships children then feel safe, secure and valued in the environment and so confident to explore, learn and develop new skills. These relationships are not only between teacher and child but also between teacher and family. Often the relationship with the family is seen as a secondary focus to the child’s, however, to welcome, settle and build a relationship with a child, the family must also develop a relationship with the primary caregiver and feel secure and confident that the needs of their child are being met.
As primary caregiving involves unhurried, intimate moments of care, teacher’s work in partnership to build knowledge and understanding of a child, as well as build a relationship with them – it is imperative that this is a team approach. Primary caregiving will work best in a strong team who constantly communicate with one another about what they are doing and when they need support so as to spend some extra time with a particular child that may need it. Each child will also form a relationship with a secondary caregiver to support the child when their primary caregiver is unavailable.
At Star we believe that peaceful and pleasurable experiences are the key to respectful caregiving. We engage with infants, toddlers and young children in a way that demonstrates our respect every time we interact with them. Our goal is to help a child feel safe, secure, competent and appreciated, and begin to build up an understanding of themselves as an individual.
To do this we must start with observation, watching and listening to ensure we are gathering all available information without missing important communication cues, signals or making misinterpreted assumptions. The more we observe children, the more we appreciate the speed at which they are learning in their first three years. Once we realise this we teach less and provide an environment for learning more.
Safe and Predictable Environment
Our learning environment is safe and predictable but also challenging, to allow children the freedom to explore in their own way and in their own time. Time is important, allowing a child uninterrupted time and the freedom to play, showing us how much they are actually learning and growing. From this we can learn to trust the child’s competence. To not rush in and try to ‘rescue’, but to allow the child time to figure out and master something for themselves.
“If we give children enough space and possibilities for free movement, they will move as beautifully and gracefully as animals: nimbly, simply, confidently and naturally”
– Dr Emmi Pikler
During care routines such as feeding, dressing and nappy changing, we invite the child to be a part of this so that the routine is taking place with their permission and they are involved in the activity. Primary caregivers need to be wholeheartedly involved in these wonderfully intimate moments, so as the adult-child relationship is enriched and further strengthened. We believe for an infant, toddler or young child to be respected they need tender, intimate moments with someone who is fully present for them, every day.
How we promote primary caregiving at Star
As your child’s primary caregiver I will:
Build a relationship with you and your child
Provide a predictable and consistent environment
Allow your child to freely move and explore
Provide a physically safe, cognitively challenging and emotionally nurturing environment
Sensitively observe your child during play
Allow long uninterrupted times for play
Foster interactions between peers
Provide appropriate space for exploration
View your child as capable and competent
Model appropriate behaviour
Understand your child’s cues and work to meet their needs with thought and consideration
Encourage your child’s developing resilience
Allow your child to be an active participant in care moments
Talk with your child about what is happening or going to happen before it takes place
Learning Journeys and Whānau Involvement and Information
Parents/caregivers are welcome at Star Early Learning at any time. We encourage parents to become involved in our centre and work with primary caregivers to set learning goals for your child.
Each child has a learning journey which documents your child’s learning and development. These books can be taken home at any time to share with your family.
We appreciate any contributions you wish to add, eg, stories from home, photos, or comments on our learning stories.
Parents are kept well informed through conversations with teachers, parent notice boards, newsletters and emails.
Please feel free to ask our teachers if you have any questions or would like any information.
Please refer to the Parent notice board for your input for policies being reviewed.
For more information, please contact us.
If you are interested, send us an enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!