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:

Time Out(1) Lego(2) feisty(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Adoption(1) Our Little Seed(1) Music(3) Design(1) Gardening(1) communication(4) Settling in(4) Thanks(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(1) Performance Management(1) PIP(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) toddlers(3) Shoes(1) Favouritism(1) Teamwork(1) United Nations(1) Celebrate(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) life long learning(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Administrative Burden(1) under 3's(3) dining experiences(1) trust(3) Jenga(1) Storytelling(2) Party(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) purpose(1) Identity(5) Policy(2) pets(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Self-Esteem(1) DCYA(4) Budget 2019(2) Flowers(1) overhear(1) Community involvement(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Twitter(1) Plastic(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) supportive environments(2) Sweets(1) E.coli(1) Creative(1) Professionalisation(4) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Social Skills(1) Affordability(1) Summer(1) Human Resources(1) Children's Rights(2) Tuscan Approach(2) social media(1) Elders(1) Decisions(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Exit interview(1) Snack Time(1) Maths(4) Montessori(3) Story(1) Eritrea(1) Smiles(1) Reggio(1) CIT(1) Thank you(1) Budget 2018(1) CPD(1) Albert Einstein(1) Family(1) Halloween(2) Employee(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Treasure Chest(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Touch(1) Sleep(1) Reggio Emilia(1) Investment(2) Academics(1) interacting(2) Magda Gerber(1) reading(5) planning(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Wendy Lee(2) Performing(1) Aistear(110) Bereavement(2) story time(1) Certificate(1) Advocacy(1) Independence(1) Creativity(4) The Lullaby Book(1) Engineering(2) Arithmetic(1) ears(1) Engagement(1) Yoga(1) Self-regulation(1) dogs(1) National Holiday(1) bonds(1) linc(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Well-Being(9) Reflective Practice(1) Exploring(1) Little Buddies(1) Cognitive development(1) Interactions(2) Glitter(2) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(1) Anxiety(2) Challenges(1) Routines(1) San Minia(1) Shapes(1) Sequins(1) Learning Stories(8) Vietnam(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) preschool(2) Awards 2018(3) Rising to the Challenge(2) Celebrations(4) Maths Week(1) Learning journals(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Arts(1) Academic Skills(1) Leprechauns(1) Laughter(1) Environment(2) Funding(1) books(4) Research and Professional Learning(1) collaboration(1) emotional environment(1) Belonging(3) Sustainable(1) First 5 strategy(1) Horizon 2020(1) Role play(1) Pobal(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) relationships(17) outdoor space(3) HR(1) Leargas(1) Intention(1) Scéalta Blog(89) environments(1) RIE philosphy(1) Fabric(1) Ceremony(1) meals(3) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Trade union(1) Running(1) Confidence(1) Recycling(2) Mindfulness(2) Inter-generational(2) Communicating(1) Study Trip(1) Nonverbal(1) Scents(1) Primary School(2) Brain(1) dining(1) Maternity Leave(1) Gratitude(1) Wesco(1) Names(1) Autism(3) Kerry(1) Loss(1) Winter(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) development(8) Stress(2) GDPR(1) early years research(1) Learning Story(1) Thinking(1) journey(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Child mental health(1) value(1) early childhood educator(1) Kids Own(1) Death(2) MECPI(1) Margy Whalley(1) Playdough(1) Body Language(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) outdoor play(6) curriculum(5) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) stories(2) respect(5) Love(2) play stories(1) experience(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) First 5(1) ReCreate(2) curiosity(3) EM Standing(1) baby room(1) parents(5) Mo Scéal(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(1) Exclusion(1) Sustainability(3) Italy(1) CCTV(1) San Miniato(4) play(31) Staff Motivation(1) Traditions(2) risk assessment(1) Liz Kerrins(1) INTO(1) Empathy(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Universal Design(2) Potential(1) Patterns(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Dance(1) Mark Twain(1) Mantra(1) UD(1) Behaviour(3) conversations(1) Graduation(1) College(1) Xbox(1) eating(1) friendships(1) Degree(1) Impact(1) Syria(1) Drawing(2) Early Learning and Care(1) NAEYC(1) ECEC(1) research(6) Frosty the Snowman(1) Mount Everest(1) role playing(1) Interaction(1) Afghanistan(1) TRAP(1) New Appointments(1) Communications(1) Training(2) Plants(1) NCCA(3) MA(1) Early Years(1) Blocks(1) Quality(4) AsIAm(1) Kilkenny(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Síolta QAP(1) Nuturing interactions(1) educarer(1) Magnavacchi(1) Participation(1) listen(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Builders(1) Craft(1) UN(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Santa(2) Learning Stories Award(3) Laugh(1) Buddy Bench(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Book Club(2) Buddies(1) UNCRC(1) University(1) Treasure(1) science(3) Facebook(1) Breathing(2) science week(2) Infection Control(1) Meet the Members(1) Meal time(1) European Project(1) Cork(1) Magic(1) educating(1) Competent(1) Awards 2019(1) RTE Investigates(1) Whole Group(1) Malaguzzi(1) Mental Health(3) Valentine's Day(3) Engineers Week(2) Trade Unions(1) Appreciation(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) Infectious diseases(1) Titles(1) Playschool(1) routine(2) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Orla Kenny(1) Mayo(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) christmas(8) Weather(1) Time(1) Maynooth University(1) Biting(1) Capable(1) Exercise(1) Workplace Relations(3) Grief(1) emotions(2) Socioemotional development(1) The Jelly King(1) IGL(1) Trick or treat(1) Mealtimes(1) Inspirational(2) Through the looking glass(1) Pobal sector profile(1) animals(2) Sport(1) Technology(2) SPICE Framework(1) Care routines(1) Line-ups(1) dublin(2) documentation(2) grandchild(1) Visual Impairment(1) STEM(2) child-centred approach(1) Prexit(1) Care-giving routines(1) scéalta(29) Maynooth(1) Online(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Emergent Curriculum(1) memories(1) Graduate(1) Games(1) outdoors(3) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) worries(1) Positivity(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Feeding(1) Recycle(1) Children(1) Arlene Forster(1) Early Years Educators(2) Motor neuron disease(1) Frustrations(1) refugees(1) Budget 2020(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Childhood(1) ECCE(6) Síolta(105) Home Corner(1) Easter(1) Confident(1) Fantasy play(1) Learning Story Awards(1) Penguins(1) maternity health(1) Awards(2) Traffic Lights(1) Decision Making(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Iraq(1) Obesity(1) Research Seminar(1) risky play(2) Self Help Skills(1) Trigonometry(1) Interests(1) Wrapping paper(1) Window(1) Upcycling(1) ERASMUS+(3) Support(1) Queues(1) blog(28) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Photographs(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Diversity(1) Painting(1) Qualifications(1) Siolta blog(2) Vertical grouping(1) Iceland(1) food(1) Workforce(1) Sculptures(1) Art(6) Relaxation(1) Oireachtas(1) Supernanny(1) Norway(2) Identity and Belonging(4) Giraffe(2) Mud kitchens(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) ICBN(1) Snacks(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Health(2) transitions(10) learning(16) EECERA 2016(1) School Age Childcare(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Wonder(1) Snakes(1) Childcare(2) Children and families(1) Seas Suas(1) National Awards 2018(2) Spiders(1) budget(1) education(2) Engineering Ireland(1) Family wall(1) Change(1) Mixed age groups(2) Hand Hygiene(1) Wilenski(1) Rituals(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Leadership(1) National Awards 2019(1) mushrooms(1) Japan(1) Event Guide(1) community(5) Consent(1) TOY Programme(1) Nutrition(1) Pen green(1) Imagination(3) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Visitors(1) Irish(1) Children's Voice(1) listening(1) Map(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Culture(2) Children's Research Network(1) Inclusion(3) Masterclass(2) AIM(2) Limerick(1) babies(7) Light table(1) Workplace well-being(1) Mathematicians(1) Maria Montessori(1) risk(2) Educators(1) Growing up in Ireland(3)


Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine