Caring for Infants and Toddlers in Groups: Developmentally Appropriate Practice

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Zero To Three/The National Center, 1995 - Child care workers - 87 pages
Noting that high quality group care for infants and toddlers can enrich children's early experience and provide critical support to their families, this guide is designed to help caregivers and other interested parties in early care and education recognize and communicate the skills and knowledge needed to offer nurturing group care that supports infant and toddler development. Section 1 of the guide provides an overview of children's development in the first 3 years, illustrating how caregivers respond to children's development and how caregivers and families can work together to support infants' and toddlers' growth in the context of group care. Section 2 examines eight components of quality group care for infants and toddlers: (1) health and safety; (2) small groups with high staff-to-child ratios; (3) primary caregiver assignments; (4) continuity of care; (5) responsive caregiving/planning; (6) cultural and linguistic continuity; (7) meeting individual needs within the group context; and (8) the physical environment. Section 3 places infant and toddler care in the context of a community network of supports and services for families with young children, describing child development, family development, staff development, and community building as stars in a constellation of comprehensive, individualized supports and services in the community. Also included are numerous descriptions of appropriate and inappropriate practices in the areas of: (1) interactions among adults and children; (2) family-caregiver interactions; (3) arrangement of the physical environment; (4) selection and use of equipment and materials; (5) health and safety policies and procedures; and (6) staff qualifications. (Contains approximately 150 references.) (KB)

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