Attachment and Infant Child Care Centers

9 September 2016

There are many advantages in an infant and toddlers emotional attachment to caregivers. Infants pay special attention to attachment figures. This attention helps the child learn from how the adult reacts and how they speak. Infants learn through informal direction, not a formal lesson or instruction from a teacher. Infants and toddlers learn how to respond to events based on how their caregiver(s) react. Emotional reactions affect an infant or toddlers response to an event.

The child learns from caregivers what to think about things (a toy, a spider, an open door). This kind of learning comes from observation of the caregiver’s facial expression, gestures, posture, and tone of voice. Infants carefully observe the responses of attachment figures to unfamiliar events. Emotional attachment to child care providers helps infants learn about emotional reactions during the many hours they are at the child care center, just as they would do if they were cared for at home throughout the day.

Attachment and Infant Child Care Centers Essay Example

Infants and toddlers also learn by exploring their surroundings, but they refrain from doing so unless an attachment figure is present. This is because the child views the attachment figure as a “secure base”, a place where they can go to in order to feel safe when there are unknown objects or strangers around. When a child is securely emotionally attached to an adult, they will make short ventures into an unfamiliar environment, occasionally looking back at the secure base for emotional support.

If an attachment figure is not present, then the child is much less likely to explore and may stay in one spot, crying or rocking themselves to soothe their anxiety. Infants and toddlers are able to emotionally attach to people who are biologically unrelated to them. Infants and toddlers have no more than three or four emotional attachment figures. Developing emotional attachments to caregivers in a child care center does not take away from the child’s primary emotional attachment to their parents.

Although a child who has a revolving door of caregivers will probably not develop a secure attachment to any of them, it is common for infants to have secure attachments to mother and father, a primary caregiver, and another caregiver who regularly comes to take care of the child. The child care center itself can either help or hinder attachment. If a child is to develop an emotional attachment to their caregiver, she must have the opportunity to spend long periods of time with hat child, to be reliably available to respond to the child’s needs and communications, and to have responsibility for a small enough number of children. Good child care center policies will want to encourage child-caregiver attachment. In order to do so the center would structure the classroom schedule so that the caregiver can talk and play with each child for periods of time every day. She will know each child’s likes or dislikes, their facial expressions, vocalizations, and other methods of communication used by each child in her care, and she will respond to these communications in a helpful, playful, and affectionate way.

This style of regular attention and responsiveness is where attachment is built. Another important factor in the development of attachment to child care providers pertains to a caregiver’s salary. In order to maintain a consistent staff at any child care center, (and thus building secure emotional attachments with children), caregivers must be paid a worthy wage that reflects the hard work that they perform. This can reduce the number of revolving door teachers (teachers who come and go within weeks or months of being hired).

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