How important is the bond between an educator and a child?

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As educators we could share with you a thousand reasons why we love our job…

We could tell you about how much we enjoy being connected with your child and contributing to their development and early childhood experiences…. How excited we get to share a year of celebrations, achievements and precious moments with your family…. How honoured we feel to partner with you to develop your child’s childhood memories…

However, did you know that these close relationships we form greatly impact your child’s development and makes our role even more significant?

Firstly, a sense of belonging in their relationships and their environment is imperative for children.

We provide a safe and familiar environment, which enables children to build upon their confidence to learn and grow.

Educators as ‘secondary attachment figures’ can promote self-esteem in children which supports them to reach out and explore because they feel safe. In our environments this is what we strive to provide. Their sense of safety comes from nurturing, predictable environments. 1

Secondly, consistency in ‘care relationships’ supports the healthy development of your child’s brain and sets them up for life-long success.

To understand the importance of consistency, we look to ‘Attachment theory’ which is about the relationships children develop with significant adults in their early years and the importance of these relationships for their health and well-being. 2 Research conducted about attachment theory tells us:

  • The active ingredient for brain development is the nature of children’s engagement in relationships with nurturing parents and carers in their family and
  • Brain imaging research suggests there is a neurological basis to the human ability to establish secure attachments with others3 and these relationships are a significant part of a nurturing environment.4
  • One of the best predictors of social and emotional functioning and outcomes for a young child is their attachment to a primary carer.5
  • Responsiveness and sensitivity of care of very young children has been found to be a major predictor of effective brain development and social emotional functioning.6

Role of Educator

At Penguin Childcare we truly understand the importance of our relationships with children and our relationships with you as their ‘First Educators’ and ‘Primary Attachments’.

We take pride in our role as educators and believe:

  • It is our role to provide secure and trusting environments
  • It is our role to build secure attachments
  • It is our role to create amazing and lasting childhood memories
  • It is our role to positively influence each of our children
  • It is our role to develop brains
  • It is our role to be part of the community that is raising the children
  • It is our role to focus on relationships

Close and consistent relationships create precious moments and lasting memories.

We look forward to creating more beautiful memories with you in 2017.

By Michelle Walsh

References: 1 Cacioppo & Berntson, 2004. 2 Bowlby, 2008. 3 OECD, 2007. 4 Cacioppo et al., 2003. 5 Sroufe in Halfon et al., 2001. 6 Shonkoff et al., 2005; Sroufe et al., 2005; NSCDC, 2007a; Perry, 2002.

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