Once in a Lifetime: Early Childhood Care and Education for Children from Birth to Three

French, G. & Murphy, P. (2005). Once in a Lifetime: Early Childhood Care and Education for Children from Birth to Three. https://knowledge.barnardos.ie/handle/20.500.13085/653
The crucial years from birth to three introduces what the research says about the importance of providing high quality stimulating caring and educational experiences for children from birth to three. It then discusses the general needs, temperament and characteristics of children in this age group. Active learning and key experiences includes play, initiative and the essential experiences that children must have for holistic development. In essence how children learn best and what they learn. The main principles of High/Scope are identified, an explanation of their importance is provided and key questions to ensure their delivery are pondered. Supportive social and emotional learning environment discusses the importance of the development of attachment and trusting relationships for babies and toddlers, practitioner support strategies, encouragement and a approach to conflict. Physical learning environment describes the characteristics of active learning environments, why they are important for babies and toddlers and how practitioners ensure that they provide active learning spaces for the children in their care. Daily routines explores how routines for babies and toddlers can be predictable yet flexible and emphasises the importance of gentle separations and reunions for children and parents. The essential components of a daily routine are outlined with a focus on supporting children’s individual needs and interests. Child observation, teamwork and family support examines the role of observation in developing child-centred follow-up plans. The importance of open communication between work colleagues and practitioners and parents is emphasised and the benefit of involving parents in daily communication is highlighted.