Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Consistent relationships with the under threes


Tuesday 05 July 2016

Aistear reminds us that relationships are at the very heart of early learning and development. Through positive early attachments and interactions babies learn to feel secure, to communicate and to enjoy being with people.

Some years ago I was in a baby room in a crèche. The room was quiet; many of the babies were asleep. There were two adults and one baby awake. One of the adults was sitting on the floor playing with the baby. A second baby woke up and needed to be picked up. The adult who was standing said ‘I’ll sit with Oscar, Laoise knows you better, so you should go and take her up.’ (not real names)

This simple story shows how respected these young children were and how the adults understood how important close consistent relationships are for the development of the babies and toddlers in their care.

Being with adults who know you, who care about you and who understand you is a key foundation for children’s learning and development. Adults who know what makes you comfortable and soothed, who know what makes you feel unsure, who know what makes you giggle and laugh and who know how you like to go to sleep and how you wake up. The security this brings is immeasurable, and it is from this secure base that babies and toddlers develop the confidence to communicate, explore and think and have a good sense of their own identity and belonging.

These relationships take time and consistency. Here are a few things to think about:
>> The same staff in rooms all the time, and this includes lunch cover and relief staff. Within this consistent group, slow down, spend time in companionship, observing, listening to and responding to babies and toddlers.
>> Having a key person approach, whereby the same person takes care of the same group of children as much as possible. The Aistear Síolta Practice Guide has a nice Tip Sheet on the key person approach here.
>> Taking time to just be with babies and toddlers, getting to know them and what makes them ‘tick’.
>> Avoiding moving babies and toddlers from one room to another too many times, unless a key person can make the move with them.
>> Building close relationships with parents, telling them about how their young child spend their day. Share stories and anecdotes about their children with parents. Invite parents to share their stories with you. One setting told me about a toddler who loved music… when they told his parents that he enjoyed moving to music and beating blocks and cans rhythmically, the parents were delighted and the educator found out that the family were very involved in music. This simple sharing helps deepen relationships.
>> Through stories parents know that you like their children and they in turn like you. The end result is that you create of triangle of warm, supportive relationships around the child.

We would love to hear your feedback on this topic, so please leave a comment below. 

4 comments Comments

4 Responses

  1. ljoyce says:

    Beautiful example of respectful educators Máire, thanks for sharing

  2. Sacha Behan says:

    I think this is a lovely piece and would agree with it whole heartedly . The security that the children gain in this room should carry them through their years as they progress throughout the Creche setting , identity and belonging is of the upmost for the under 3s ?

  3. Maire Corbett says:

    Thank you Sacha. Relationships that are consistent, warm and caring are vital and the foundation for everything!

  4. Denise Collins says:

    We feel the same and have always striven to provide that consistency for our under 3’s. So much change can be unsettling for them too.

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Nuturing interactions(1) Graduation(1) Imagination(3) educarer(1) Sequins(1) Line-ups(1) RTE Investigates(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) AsIAm(2) educating(1) iOS(1) Dance(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) collaboration(1) Santa(2) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Relaxation(1) Routines(2) Vietnam(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Malaguzzi(1) Leprechauns(1) learning bias(1) Smiles(1) Inclusion(3) Learning Journal(2) Meet the Members(1) Document Learning(1) Builders(1) Opportunities(1) United Nations(1) Whole Group(1) Self-regulation(1) NCCA(3) ECCE(7) Maynooth(1) Book Club(2) Frosty the Snowman(1) Care routines(1) healthy eating policies(1) Digital Devices(1) Italy(1) Party(1) conference(1) Impact(1) youdoodle(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) christmas(9) Competent(1) Sweets(1) Music(3) dining experiences(1) scéalta(32) Liz Kerrins(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Games(1) Cork(1) Employee(1) Budget 2018(1) refugees(1) phone apps(1) RIE philosphy(1) Montessori(3) budget(1) Reggio(1) overhear(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) European Project(1) Pen green(1) First 5 strategy(1) Budget 2020(1) Body Language(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Upcycling(1) behavioural science(1) Traffic Lights(1) Engineers Week(2) movement behaviours(1) Book Review(1) Names(1) Participation(2) Health(2) Time Out(1) Children and families(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Teamwork(1) annual conference(1) National Awards 2019(1) Orla Kenny(1) Academic Skills(1) NAEYC(1) Professionalisation(5) Social Skills(1) Nonverbal(1) meals(3) Interaction(1) early years learning(1) respect(5) Policy(2) Trigonometry(1) Wrapping paper(1) Grief(1) eating(1) Infection Control(1) Scents(1) TOY Programme(1) Autism(4) education(2) Story(1) Buddy Bench(1) Confidence(1) Advocacy(1) Mealtimes(1) Art(6) Potential(1) keep in touch(1) Child mental health(1) Fantasy play(1) staying connected(1) Gratitude(1) Quality(4) Creative(1) Mount Everest(1) Supernanny(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) Performing(1) Elders(1) Summer(1) listening(1) Ceremony(1) Iraq(1) documentation(4) experience(1) Iceland(1) pablo(1) friendships(1) Through the looking glass(1) Reading Time(1) Magnavacchi(1) memories(1) Biting(1) Queues(1) The Jelly King(1) Fee Play(1) Positivity(1) Scéalta Blog(98) science week(2) Design(1) Valentine's Day(3) Motor neuron disease(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Engineering(3) MA(1) Graduate(1) continual professional development(1) Treasure Chest(1) maternity health(1) ReCreate(2) Rich Documentation(1) gender stereotype(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Mindfulness(2) grandchild(1) Interests(1) family time(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Awards 2019(1) interacting(2) environments(1) Qualifications(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) linc(1) Creativity(4) INTO(1) Communicating(1) College(1) under 3's(3) Empathy(1) Love(2) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Anxiety(2) Adoption(1) MECPI(1) Celebrations(4) Technology(3) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Certificate(1) trust(4) Xbox(1) Síolta(111) outdoors(3) Mantra(1) emotional environment(2) Sleep(1) Magda Gerber(1) Building Resilience(1) play(34) Brain(1) Leaders in Practice(1) DCYA(4) Masterclass(2) Reggio Emilia(1) UN(1) child-centred approach(1) outdoor space(3) learning(19) development(8) Kids Own(1) Gardening(1) Blocks(1) Environment(2) Japan(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Wilenski(1) Yoga(1) Arlene Forster(1) Photographs(1) Home Corner(1) ERASMUS+(3) blog(29) Mixed age groups(2) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Family wall(1) Workforce(1) Pre-School Services(1) Titles(1) EECERA 2016(1) Cognitive development(1) Identity(5) E.coli(1) Oireachtas(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Academics(1) early childhood educator(2) Flowers(1) School Age Childcare(1) Patterns(1) Laughter(1) Awards 2018(3) Light table(1) primary education(1) Online(1) Little Buddies(1) Human Resources(1) research(6) Wendy Lee(3) DES Inspection(1) Meal time(1) Awards(2) conversations(1) Independence(1) Belonging(3) Childhood(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Recycling(2) bonds(1) Appreciation(1) Leargas(1) Plants(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Research Seminar(1) PIP(1) apps for children(1) Sessional service(1) Funding(1) Kilkenny(1) Magic(1) story time(2) Intention(1) Vertical grouping(1) Self-Esteem(1) Community involvement(1) Facebook(1) Challenges(1) Tuscan Approach(2) developing motor skills(1) Shapes(1) pets(1) Early Years Educators(3) St. Patrick's Day(1) Snack Time(1) Well-Being(9) Budget 2019(2) early life(1) Maternity Leave(1) play therapy(1) code of ethics(1) Wesco(1) Map(1) parents(6) Running(1) Kerry(1) Siolta blog(8) GDPR(1) Visual Impairment(1) Event Guide(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Limerick(1) mushrooms(1) books(4) Halloween(2) Learning journals(1) Playdough(1) Inspirational(2) preschool(4) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) risk(2) Youtube Series(1) Exploring(1) Learning Story(1) Trade union(1) Window(1) University(1) Mark Twain(1) Sustainability(3) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) social science(1) Capable(1) HR(1) aistear blog(3) Margy Whalley(1) awards 2020(1) Irish(1) science(3) Mayo(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Self Help Skills(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) transitions(10) Culture(2) Childcare(3) Storytelling(6) ears(1) TRAP(1) Weather(1) SPICE Framework(1) Horizon 2020(1) Glitter(2) Obesity(1) Giraffe(2) code of professional responsibility(1) Change(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Leadership(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Exercise(1) Lego(2) reading(5) Sculptures(1) Easter(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Mud kitchens(1) children development(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Study Trip(1) Ariana Pucci(1) STEM(3) Síolta QAP(1) Pobal(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Affordability(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Loss(1) show and tell(1) food(1) Afghanistan(1) dogs(1) Primary School(2) Maths(5) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) UD(1) Confident(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Aistear(118) Pobal sector profile(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) UNCRC(2) Settling in(4) Universal Design(2) Hand Hygiene(1) supportive environments(2) Maths Week(1) Breathing(2) Training(2) Prexit(1) Stress(2) Child Care(1) Maria Montessori(1) role playing(1) Thinking(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) gender bias(1) Children's Voice(1) Craft(1) Treasure(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Arts(1) outdoor play(6) emotions(2) Our Little Seed(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Maynooth University(2) dining(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Winter(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Engagement(1) Trade Unions(1) babies(7) Favouritism(1) Feeding(1) Early Childhood Ireland(1) Inspections(1) ECEC Setting(2) dublin(2) community(5) San Miniato(4) Trick or treat(1) animals(2) Thank you(1) Children's Research Network(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Exclusion(1) Workplace Relations(3) Covid19 crisis(1) Bereavement(2) Socioemotional development(1) purpose(1) Wonder(1) Decisions(1) Digital(1) ECEC(2) COVID-19(4) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Death(2) Infectious diseases(1) Family(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Albert Einstein(1) Painting(1) early years research(2) social media(1) keezy(1) curiosity(3) Inter-generational(2) value(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Eritrea(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Shoes(1) CPD(1) Staff Motivation(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) GoToMeeting app(1) Sport(1) risk assessment(1) Seas Suas(1) AIM(2) Recycle(1) life long learning(1) Arithmetic(1) toddlers(3) Touch(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Degree(1) Nutrition(1) Plastic(1) Awards Night(1) Early Years(1) Twitter(1) First 5(1) Workplace well-being(1) Reflective Practice(1) Performance Management(1) listen(1) Norway(2) Rituals(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) relationships(17) learners(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) feisty(1) Drawing(2) Snakes(1) Thanks(1) Frustrations(1) Super Shed Stories(2) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) play stories(2) Growing up Outdoors(1) National Childcare Scheme(1) New Appointments(1) National Holiday(1) Covid pandemic(1) curriculum(5) communication(4) Playschool(1) Syria(1) Diversity(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) research submissions(1) Learning Story Awards(2) Early Learning and Care(1) Mathematicians(1) Snacks(1) Fabric(1) Children's Rights(3) Exit interview(1) Mo Scéal(1) Laugh(1) Buddies(1) planning(1) structure(1) Care-giving routines(1) Investment(2) risky play(2) baby room(1) Spiders(1) Celebrate(1) childcare services(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Penguins(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) Children(4) Decision Making(1) CIT(1) National Awards 2018(2) National Pyjama Day(1) Sustainable(1) Christmas Creativity(2) CCTV(1) bloom app(1) Visitors(1) Behaviour(3) ICBN(1) man up(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) EM Standing(1) imotion(1) IGL(1) Interactions(2) Time(1) Consent(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Mental Health(3) Learning Stories(9) Traditions(2) stories(3) routine(2) journey(1) Communications(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) worries(1) Administrative Burden(1) preschool settings(1) Jenga(1) art of the relationship(1) Role play(1) Support(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Educators(2) Valerie Gaynor(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1)


Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine