1. “Many young children spend more waking hours with caregivers than they do with their primary families” (Swim & Watson, 2011, p. 16). Based on the information presented on pages 9-21 of your course text, explain how the combination of family groupings, continuity of care, primary caregiving, and rich partnerships with families enhance healthy infant development and learning in the context of infant care. It is very important that an infant develops a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for social and emotional development to occur normally. The attachment theory suggests that infants, toddlers and adults need time to create positive emotional bonds with one another. The transition between home and school should be smooth and continuous. The only pathway for achieving that is through partnering with families. Recognizing, supporting, and utilizing this can significantly improve your effectiveness as a caregiver and educator (Swim & Watson, 2011).
2. Developmentally appropriate practice in infant settings requires understanding the bidirectional and reciprocal relationship between the child and his or her environment. Based on Chapters 1 & 2 of your course text, provide a total of three examples of bidirectional and reciprocal relationships that exist between infants, families and child care settings. Based on these examples, describe the role infant settings can play in supporting infant and family development. Three examples of bidirectional and reciprocal relationships are physical, emotional and social language. There is an increased need for teacher education, parent education, including proper selection of care settings, innovative and child centered practices such as continuity of care, effective use of resources. The role infant settings can play in supporting infant and family development is it is important for the primary caregiver to understand that even newborns have a part in their own growth and development. Infants have their wants, needs and desires and they must be respected (Swim & Watson).
3. “A culturally rich curriculum encourages the recognition of cultural differences and helps young families connect with the traditions of their heritage and culture” (Swim & Watson, 2011, p. 21). Based on the discussion of cultural models presented on pages 21-23 of your course text, explain the role of the infant caregiver in providing a culturally rich curriculum. A culturally rich curriculum encourages the recognition of cultural differences and helps young families connect with the traditions of their own heritage and culture. Infant caregivers recognize the richness and opportunities available in order to work with families of diverse ethnic, racial and cultural groups (Swim & Watson). The infant caregiver wants what we all want and that is happy, healthy and successful children. Organizing and ongoing reflection upon what parents tell us about their strategies can help us discover their cultural model for caregiving, and then compare it with the cultural models that guide our own practice (Watson, 2011).