Adult-Child Relationships in School Age Childcare

Barnardos. (2022). Adult-Child Relationships in School Age Childcare.
Children learn and develop through their experiences, their environment and, most significantly, through their relationships with others. While the relationship a child has with their parents or primary caregivers is their most important, the relationships they have with other adults, including their extended family, neighbours, teachers and the staff in their school age childcare (SAC) service, all have a role to play their development. Trusting, caring relationships with the adults in their lives helps to build a child’s social and emotional skills, foster their sense of belonging, and enhance their well-being and self-esteem. In a school age childcare service, adults play a key role in welcoming each child in an inclusive environment, paying attention to them, getting to know them as individuals and intentionally building an emotional bond with them. Adults also play an important role in nurturing the child’s friendships with other children. This booklet provides those working in SAC with an understanding of the benefits of building warm, positive, collaborative and respectful relationships with the children in their care and the impact these relationships can have on a child’s social and emotional development.