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Promoting Attachments for Development

Attachment is defined as an enduring affectionate bond between a child and a person who cares for the child. This bond gives the child a feeling of safety and security and promotes confidence and social emotional growth. It builds the foundations for trust, empathy, understanding relationships, and verbal and non-verbal communication and establishes preconceptions for subsequent relationships. These positive connections allow the child the comfort to explore and experience their environment. Caregivers build a trusting secure attachment through consistency, responsiveness, and predictability, showing the child that the caregiver can meet their needs physically, mentally and emotionally.

This attachment is important to curriculm especially in the early years during infant and toddler stages. This secure base encourages infants and toddlers to learn from and relate to their surroundings by increasing their wellbeing, motivation and opportunity to do so. The security of their bond helps them regulate stress, promotes adaptability and builds resilience. These attributes will be key to their future academic and personal success.

Children who start their lives with the essential basis of a secure attachment fare better in all aspects of function as their development progresses. The key attributes created in an attachment promoting environment including learned basic trust which will serve as the basis for all future emotional relationships, the security to explore their environment which leads to healthy intellectual and social development. The ability to control behavior which results in the effective management of impulses and emotions. The development of identity that includes a sense of capability, self-worth and a healthy balance between depends and independence. They develop empathy, compassion and conscience in their moral framework and core set of beliefs. Early positive attachments also provide a defense against stress and trauma.

“Children with secure histories have been shown to be more determined, enthusiastic, and competent in problem-solving as toddlers.”

Our Center uses two models based on Attachment Theory to promote your child's cognitive development.

Primary Caregiving System - Preschool Classroom

In a primary caregiving system, each child is assigned to one specific caregiver who is principally responsible for caring for that child and communicating with the child’s family. The caregivers’ responsibilities include building a relationship with the child and their family, recording and adapting to the child’s development process and learning, supporting the child through transitions, providing emotional support and carrying out the child’s personal care routines. Care routines may include diapering or potty training, general hygiene routines, nap or rest times and meal times. Primary care giving does not mean there is one exclusive care giver but it does mean that one care giver is the primary and other providers are secondary.

The primary caregiving systems provides a strong foundation for receptive interactions and communication between child and caregiver as well as between caregiver and family. The caregivers focus on individual children over a longer period of time provides more opportunities for caregivers to deepen their knowledge of a child’s development, skills, and interests. This in turn allows for more accurate developmental assessments and individualized curriculm. It also increases partnerships between providers and specialists. Caregivers have the ability to use their knowledge of a child to respond to the child’s unique temperament and needs. The providers relationship to families will help include the child’s identity and cultural influences to the classroom.

Continuity of Care - Infant Toddler Classroom

Continuity of Care is very similar to Primary Care Giving and is also based on Attachment Theory. In a Continuity of Care Model, a child can be in the same classroom with the same care provider from 6 weeks to 36 months of age. This is different from a typical Center model where groups are broken into two classrooms of 6 weeks to 18 months (infant) and 18 months to 36 months (toddler). The benefits of Continuity of Care reflect Primary Care. Providers build a stronger bond with a child and their family and can then use that knowledge to shape the way care is provided. It also decreases stress and reduces the amount of transitions a child needs to experience in early years.

The Continuity of Care model also benefits care providers. Providers gain a deeper knowledge of the milestones that happen in the first three years. Caregiving staff in C of C classrooms have reported an increase in closeness between provider and families, “mirroring feelings they have for close friends and family members.” Caregiving staff in C of C spaces have also been found to be more likely to respond sensitively showing a reduction in stress of staff. There are also fewer behavioral concerns reported in these classrooms. A clear benefit for all involved.



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