Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Thank you for the stories Rachel

By: DR. CARMEL BRENNAN

Monday 19 June 2017

Rachel was Donal’s key educator when he first joined the baby room.  She was a big help when Donal was settling in.  He found it hard to separate and to find his sense of security with new people, new routines and new environments.  There’s a lot of change involved, particularly if you’re a baby who is very alert to new faces and voices.  In crèche, you not only have to deal with a changing group of babies in a room but also with the presence of several carers throughout the day and the coming and going of many parents.  It’s hard when you don’t know quite what’s going on or what to expect. That’s why a key person is so important – someone who is on the lookout for you all the time and anticipates your needs and concerns. 

Luckily for Donal, the crèche encouraged his parents to allow a month for the settling in process so that Donal could gradually extend his time in the crèche and slowly get used to the change.  Luckily for Donal and his parents too that Rachel was his key person.  She had the wonderful skill of communicating each day what he had managed and what he found difficult.  She was both reassuring and honest, very sympathetic to his difficulties but also celebratory of his achievements. I want her to know how important her stories were.  I remember them all because they were shared at home word for word– little stories like ‘today they were playing with the ball basket.  They scatter the balls and the babies crawl after them and bring them back and throw them in the basket.  Rachel says that Donal got the idea really quickly and loved it.  She thinks he’s really clever’ – Another one goes ‘Today Rachel was rocking one of the babies and saying shhhshh to soothe her and suddenly she heard Donal repeating the sound…She’s really noticed how he likes and imitates sounds’.  And again: ‘Rachel says that one of the phrases she uses whenever anything surprising happens e.g. the telephone rings or something falls, is ‘Whasdah?’   She’s convinced she can now hear Donal saying it and now that she has alerted us, we can hear it too. ‘Whasdah’ he says. These are stories Donal’s parents share with their family and friends, stories that build Donal’s identity as someone who is now managing the transition to crèche and building a relationship with Rachel.  Rachel calls him her ‘golden boy’. His Dad thinks she probably says that to all the parents, but still he does think she has a special bond with Donal… she really likes him, he says and Donal really likes her.  I personally hope she does say it to all the parents and I hope they all get that lovely sense from her that their child is special.

I’m reminded of the power of telling everyday anecdotes and stories – the small little incidents that happen throughout the day.  They give parents an insight into the everyday and at the same time into their children’s growing relationships and abilities. Vivien Gussin Paley says that she always had a few stories to tell when she met parents because when she told the stories the parents knew that she liked their child and they in return liked her and even loved their children more.  And now I personally know that it’s true.  This is how we create a circle of people who like and trust each other around children.  Thank you to all the baby room educators who share their stories and give so much care and attention to babies and families every day.  We want you to know how important you are in the lives of families and how we value your caring attention, not just to our children, but to us all.

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Settling in(4) children’s learning(1) Wilenski(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) Wrapping paper(1) education(2) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Japan(1) Pedagogy(2) Awards 2019(1) Drawing(2) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Europe(1) early childhood educator(2) Maths(6) Trade union(1) Aistear(132) preschools(1) Qualifications(1) Learning Journal(2) Exploratory Play(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Learning Stories Award(3) food(1) preschool(4) Sweets(1) San Miniato(4) Pretend Play(1) budget(1) under 3's(3) Cork(1) early childhood(1) upskilling(1) Document Learning(1) Covid19 crisis(1) dogs(1) Challenges(1) Thinking(1) Blocks(1) Love(3) Engineers Week(2) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Family(1) ELC(1) Investment(2) Exploring(1) natural environment(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) Kindness(1) women in research(1) listen(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) Mindfulness(3) development(9) peer group(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Counting(1) Touch(1) reopening ireland(1) Socioemotional development(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) United Nations(1) Appreciation(1) Workforce(1) Rich Documentation(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Trauma-Sensitive(1) routine(2) Yoga(1) Educators(2) Story(2) Role play(1) Seanchaí(1) Small World Play(1) code of ethics(1) Our Little Seed(1) Well-Being(10) Family wall(1) Norway(2) Traffic Lights(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Self-Esteem(1) Death(2) Lego(2) quarantine kids(1) STEM(3) IGL(1) Pre-School Services(1) Child mental health(1) keezy(1) babies(7) Affordability(1) Croatia(1) Digital(1) dublin(2) Elders(1) Seas Suas(1) Impact(1) Supernanny(1) communication(4) Sessional service(1) Recycling(2) Trade Unions(1) Kerry(1) Line-ups(1) Hand Hygiene(2) Names(1) Identity and Belonging(4) curriculum(7) CCTV(1) relationships(18) Spiders(1) TUSLA(1) GoToMeeting app(1) guardian(1) UNCRC(2) phone apps(1) gender stereotype(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) ECCE(7) The Jelly King(1) Inclusion(3) Mount Everest(1) animals(2) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) preschool settings(1) ECIAwards20(1) collaboration(1) Maynooth University(2) Malaguzzi(1) Early Childhood Education(1) Storytelling(8) Creative(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) social media(2) Photographs(1) Vietnam(1) COVID-19 Reopening(2) Awards Night(1) Penguins(1) Support(1) Italy(1) Self Help Skills(1) Iceland(2) Learning journals(1) Sequins(1) ICBN(1) Through the looking glass(1) Leprechauns(1) Pen green(1) Employee(1) keep in touch(1) NCCA(4) Magnavacchi(1) Mark Twain(1) DES Inspection(1) Your place(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) value(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Book Club(2) Snakes(1) Funding(1) youdoodle(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Bereavement(2) risky play(2) gender bias(1) child-centric(1) Queues(1) Exercise(1) ReCreate(2) Summer(2) Opportunities(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Whole Group(1) Research Seminar(1) Winter(1) Ceremony(1) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) Síolta(139) Upcycling(1) early years research(3) Grief(1) EM Standing(1) Adoption(1) National Holiday(1) Breathing(2) ECEC Setting(2) Aldo Fortunati(4) play pods(2) blog(56) Little Buddies(1) early years settings(1) Health(2) Builders(1) Mental Health(4) Book Review(1) Infection Control(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Design(1) experience(1) Limerick(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) iOS(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) responsive relationships(1) Graduate(1) lockdown(1) PIP(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(2) feisty(1) worries(1) Meal time(1) Self-regulation(1) christmas(9) Teamwork(1) Online Research Symposium(3) Advocacy(1) Positivity(1) Decision Making(1) UK(1) Sport(1) Wendy Lee(4) Mantra(1) Loss(1) Graduation(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) eating(1) early childhood ireland research(1) Interactions(3) Sustainability(3) timekeeping skills(1) First 5(1) Professionalisation(5) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) awards 2020(1) Awards(2) Research and Professional Learning(1) creche(1) dining(1) Leadership(1) Trigonometry(1) science week(2) Leaders in Practice(1) behavioural science(1) Consent(1) Arlene Forster(1) UN(1) outdoor environment(1) Learning through Storytelling(2) Santa(2) Scéalta Book Review(1) Inter-generational(2) Learning Stories(9) Mayo(1) man up(1) Covid response(2) National Awards 2019(1) Quality(4) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Workplace well-being(1) Early Years Educators(3) quarantine(2) Kindness Challenge(1) Biting(1) Child Care(1) Children's Rights(3) art of the relationship(1) educarer(1) Window(1) Competent(1) educating(1) Liz Kerrins(1) purpose(1) Smiles(1) Regulation 23(1) World Health Organisation(1) Leargas(1) Arithmetic(1) Sustainable(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Children(8) ERASMUS+(3) Event Guide(1) Trick or treat(1) EECERA(1) Afghanistan(1) Maths Week(1) mushrooms(1) Nuturing interactions(1) an post(1) Change(1) Super Shed Stories(2) mental health problems(1) MA(1) Feeding(1) pablo(1) Vertical grouping(1) june29(1) Wesco(1) continual professional development(1) Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years(1) Digital Devices(1) Reggio Emilia(2) Reading Time(2) documentation(4) Confidence(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Reggio(1) dining experiences(1) GDPR(1) Buddies(1) Body Language(1) play(37) respect(5) playleader(1) primary education(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Universal Design(2) memories(1) Proceedings Journal(1) homeschool(1) Mixed age groups(3) Facebook(1) Recycle(1) books(5) bloom app(1) movement behaviours(1) Syria(1) European Project(1) Games(2) EECERA 2016(1) racism(1) Looking Back(1) friendships(1) NAEYC(1) Time(1) Learning Story(1) child-centred approach(1) linc(1) Growing up Outdoors(2) Craft(1) Scents(1) Masterclass(2) Snacks(1) UNICEF report(1) STEAM(1) worldbookday(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) reopening(1) Policy(2) Routines(2) Rituals(1) Meet the Members(1) community(5) HR(1) European Early Childhood Education Research Association(2) Belonging(3) Playschool(1) QRF(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) National Childcare Scheme(1) Inspirational(2) Looking Forward(1) Potential(1) refugees(1) social media policy(1) Anxiety(2) Visual Impairment(1) Laughter(1) ECEC(4) School Age Childcare(2) Irish(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Learning Story Awards(2) planning(1) DCYA(6) family time(1) baby room(1) Capable(1) Cognitive development(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Early Years Education(1) COVID-19(18) supportive environments(2) INTO(1) Care-giving routines(1) Early Learning and Care(2) life long learning(1) partnership(1) Frustrations(1) RTE Investigates(1) Obesity(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Large Doll Play(1) Magic(1) early years learning(1) Plants(1) College(1) pets(1) Favouritism(1) Prexit(1) imotion(1) Montessori(3) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Children's Book Club(1) Certificate(1) ears(1) Halloween(2) Communications(1) Weather(1) Party(1) AsIAm(2) Dance(1) Women(1) Covid-19 lockdown(1) Children's Voice(1) healthy eating policies(1) Training(3) role playing(1) Sleep(1) Social Skills(1) Staff Motivation(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Thank you(1) Children's Research Network(2) outdoor space(3) childcare services(1) Oireachtas(1) Siolta blog(8) UK Government(1) Kilkenny(1) apps for children(1) Celebrations(4) Covid pandemic(3) Skillnet(1) grandchild(1) Technology(3) Map(1) SAC(1) CIT(1) Plastic(1) Iraq(1) MECPI(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) outdoor play(7) Celebrate(1) Culture(2) staying connected(1) Imagination(3) trust(4) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) structure(1) play therapy(1) Community involvement(1) Autism(4) Administrative Burden(1) Gardening(1) meals(3) Orla Kenny(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Shoes(1) Arts(1) Decisions(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Performance Management(1) Buddy Bench(1) Independence(1) The Lullaby Book(1) COVID-19 landscape(1) Budget 2020(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Childcare(3) code of professional responsibility(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Online(1) Traditions(2) Time Out(1) Wonder(1) child led(1) Painting(1) Treasure(1) Irish guidelines(1) early year’s classrooms(1) stories(3) learning hub(2) University(1) Empathy(1) Care routines(1) Running(1) children development(1) Mealtimes(1) Sculptures(1) Thanks(1) Kids Own(1) TOY Programme(1) conference(1) COVID(3) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Playdough(1) partnership with families(1) First 5 strategy(1) Equality(1) Fire Safety(1) Giraffe(2) online training(1) research submissions(1) Mud kitchens(1) child safeguarding(1) Reflective Practice(1) Patterns(1) Children and families(2) overhear(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Performing(1) Eritrea(1) Infectious diseases(1) toddlers(3) SPICE Framework(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Mo Scéal(1) Human Resources(1) Mathematicians(1) Interaction(1) Early Years(1) Inspired Practice Award(6) aistear blog(3) early life(1) interacting(2) risk assessment(1) curiosity(3) Youtube Series(1) coronavirus(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) science(3) RIE philosphy(1) AIM(2) E.coli(1) Horizon 2020(1) Relaxation(1) Exit interview(1) Primary School(3) Brain(1) World book day(1) Workplace Relations(3) Magda Gerber(1) Laugh(1) Return to Work(1) Study Trip(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) annual awards(1) Jenga(1) Intention(1) New Appointments(1) learning(19) annual conference(1) risk(2) reading(6) parents(7) transitions(10) Annual Conference 2019(1) Nordic model(1) Stress(2) Flowers(1) presentation skills(1) Fantasy play(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Communicating(1) bonds(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Glitter(2) education system(1) Budget 2019(2) Gratitude(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) democratic citizens(1) multi-generational community(1) Snack Time(1) Engagement(1) Inspiring Practice(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Shapes(2) Participation(2) developing motor skills(1) research(8) play pod(1) Childhood(2) Environment(2) Inspections(1) Awards 2018(3) Art(6) Diversity(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) scéalta(58) Maynooth(1) social science(1) emotional well-being(1) show and tell(1) emotions(2) Síolta QAP(1) International Narratives(1) Academic Skills(1) Early Childhood Ireland(10) Confident(1) journey(1) Visitors(1) Identity(5) play stories(2) Valentine's Day(3) democracy(1) Scéalta Blog(106) Music(3) National Research Conference 2019(1) learning bias(1) Albert Einstein(1) Academics(1) Nonverbal(1) Building Resilience(1) Unesco(1) maternity health(1) Twitter(1) listening(1) Exclusion(1) Behaviour(3) Universal Design Guidelines(1) Treasure Chest(1) emotional environment(2) Light table(1) CPD(1) built environments(1) conversations(1) Pobal(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Fee Play(1) Titles(1) Loving Relationships(2) Budget 2018(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Return to Work Training(1) Reopening Childcare(1) Maria Montessori(1) Easter(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Interests(1) Margy Whalley(1) learners(1) inspiring interactions(1) outdoors(4) Nutrition(1) environments(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Creativity(7) Maternity Leave(1) Anthony Semann(1) Fabric(1) Xbox(1) National Annual Awards 2020(1) Home Corner(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) story time(2) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Degree(1) UD(1) TRAP(1) National Awards 2018(2) Engineering(3) scientific and artistic processes(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine