Using relationships as a tool: Early childhood educators' perspectives of the child-caregiver relationship in a childcare setting

Christine Brebner, Lauren Hammond, Nicole Schaumloffel, Christopher Lind

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Children's early years are critical for development and many children access out-of-home care during this time. Services offering high-quality childcare afford an opportunity to impact positively on children's development, including acquisition of communication skills. A strong, responsive relationship between child and carer is important in facilitating children's communication development. For infants who are not yet verbal, early childhood educators (ECEs) need to be highly sensitive to the child's communication, and they need to develop a relationship with the child to interpret their signals and facilitate their communication. This study investigated the perspectives of ECEs on their relationships with infants in their care. Individual semi-structured interviews with ECEs were conducted and the interview data were triangulated with videoed observational data. The results demonstrate that these ECEs use the relationship with the children in their care as a tool for provision of optimal learning experiences across multiple developmental domains.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)709-726
    Number of pages18
    JournalEarly Child Development and Care
    Volume185
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2015

    Keywords

    • attachment
    • child care
    • communication
    • early childhood
    • education
    • relationships
    • speech and language therapy

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