Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Primary Caregiving

It takes a village to raise a child.
-African Proverb

I know it’s out there. I learned about the effects of primary care giving on young children. Marked differences in receptiveness in learning, socialization and self control in preschool aged children can carry over into Kindergarten and yet….it is not always enforced. At a few centers and preschool I went to many directors and teachers didn’t even know what primary care giving was. It there some new word for it now? Or…am I just, O-L-D? Well, If this is the case, allow me to tell you what worked a long time ago.

Primary Caregivers were usually assigned children at the beginning of the year (if they worked in teams). As the children began to bond with the teachers and vise versa, the children were reassigned in “groups”. As a primary the teacher made a special effort to get to know the group. These are some of the situations or activities that may be directed to her for the special attention.

*emotional/physical availability
*conflict resolution
*avocation/ parent conferencing
*noticing & understanding the child & children
*caring for the child to grow as a positive & well rounded individual

If the teacher works in a team with others, it is of course, everyone’s responsibility to care for, manage, motivate and encourage all the children. We care for all of them- as primary caregivers it takes lots of communication and teamwork. These skills develop over time. I have found that there is much more attention given to the children and the parents as a result. As a primary care giver one has to have to ability to work within a team. This takes cooperation, patience, and a positive attitude- and that is what we are teaching our children anyway… I really hope I see more primary caregiving out there!

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