Care of Children in Early Years: Types of Care Settings: Familial and Non– Familial

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Types of Care Settings: Familial and Non– Familial

  • Care of babies and infants largely takes place in the home. However, there can be many factors such as working parents, single parents or children in institutions that prompt a need for some children to grow up out of family care by nonfamilial adults. It becomes imperative to train these adults for the care of babies especially in the significance of reaching each child. Childcare can be divided into ‘center-based care’ and ‘home-based care’.

  • Childcare homes generally care for a smaller number of children in the provider’s home, while centers serve a larger group in a non-home setting. There is distinction in care by relatives such as aunts, uncles, cousins and non-relatives.

Caregivers (Parents and Teachers) and Children

Parents, teachers and children are a dynamic triad, and this threesome have to be in close communication. Parents and teachers need to work as a team keeping the interests of children in focus. Both parents and teachers have the role of creating a nurturing environment ensuring that children are healthy and safe.

Parents and Teachers and Children

Parents and Teachers and Children

They are required to equip children with the skills and resources to succeed as adults, and to transmit basic cultural values. Their role is also to provide opportunities to master key developmental tasks supporting physical, cognitive, social and emotional development.

During the early years, children need:

  • unconditional love from family

  • safe and secure surroundings

  • supportive teachers and caretakers

  • opportunity to play with other children

  • self-confidence and high self-esteem

  • appropriate guidance and discipline All these are possible with the constant collaboration between parents and teachers.

These are discussed below:

Collaboration between Parents and Teachers

  • Care centers may have to take a lead in keeping a consistent contact with parents as they would deal with groups of children. Meetings with parents in the form of a workshop or group are useful as parents learn from each other about childcare practices, behavior issues and ways of disciplining children.

  • Regular exchanges almost at a daily level have to be maintained between parents and caregivers due to children’s rapid rate of development. The milestones need to be tracked as well as enjoyed by both parents and teachers to keep abreast of changes and developmental delays, if any.

Channels of Parent Teacher Communication

  • Parents can be in touch with centers by appointment in case of some special issues, or otherwise through children’s activities and responses that may be shared at the time of drop off and pick up. Regular conversations in the mornings and evening allow the home and center to be extensions of each other ensuring that children do not feel unfamiliar.

  • Sharing of children’s home routines and certain reactions will allow the teacher to make references and such dialogues add to the emotional security of children. Similarly, when children get to hear things about school from their parents, they feel valued and reassured that school is a part of the family routine and not a space where they are just sent off.

  • Parents and teachers can also connect with each other through means of technology such as email, social networking, text messages and phone calls.

Children and Their Perceptions of Care Giving Practices

  • Children do not have a wide repertoire of expressive vocabulary, yet they convey their discomforts and unpleasant experiences by either being irritable or crying without apparent reason. In fact, both teachers and parents can help relieve stress among children by sensitive responses to children’s display of unusual actions.

  • Children develop stress as there was no communication to address his distress and anxiety. Sensitive staff can do wonders to the wellbeing of children. In other social contexts also, children can gain by interventions of sensitive and responsive adults in home or school settings. Parents and teachers need to function as a team and not in opposition to each other. Children come home and are eager to talk. That is the time that parents should listen, try and understand the nature of their experiences.

  • If two or three- year old children say, “I did nothing at school,” or “I did not get my turn,” or “Teacher does not smile. I want teacher to smile at all children,” they are actually providing a review of the care center, the environment as well as the caregiver’s disposition. Children are active, alert and make meanings in their own ways. Adults need to acknowledge and appreciate these meanings made by children.

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