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Quality early childhood education for Under 2's

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Started by Tara Fagan 14 Apr 2011 1:11am () Replies (10)

This newly published literature review considers quality early childhood education for children under the age of 2.




  • Justine Mason (View all users posts) 14 Apr 2011 1:46am ()

    Kia ora
    I am excited to see the Ministry of Education new literature review on what quality early childhood education for children under two year olds should look like.

    What I have read so far excites and challenges me. It excites me because it affirms my own thinking about what quality should look like, how ever it challenges me to reflect on assumptions/practices/structures and criteria that do not necessarily foreground quality experiences for children under two years of age in our  early childhood settings.

    The government commissioned this review in response to the increasing numbers of children under two years old participating in out of home, group based early childhood services

    This comprehensive, local review of current literature will provide an evidence base that will contribute to policy and practice development for quality early childhood service provision for children under two years old.

    There are three key messages that reflect the findings of this literature review
    1 - children under two years old should experience sensitive responsive caregiving that is attuned to their subtle cues.
    2 - early childhood settings for under two year olds should be low stress environments.
    3 - When the environmental conditions, attuned teacher child relationships and a holistic pedagogical approach interconnect for the benefit of the child learning and development is considerably enriched.

    If anyone else has had a chance to have a read I'd be really interested in your thoughts……

  • Ann Hatherly (View all users posts) 14 Apr 2011 6:51am ()

    To those teachers/educators who work with infants and what does 'sensitive, responsive caregiving that is attuned to their subtle cues' look like, feel like, sound like in your experience?

    Please tell us your thoughts in a word, a sentence or a paragraph. Let's bring this document to life with examples and practical ideas!

  • Tara Fagan (View all users posts) 18 Apr 2011 12:22am ()

    The Office of the Children's Commissioner's report on the care and education of under 2's is also available and provides interesting reading.

  • Donna Rowland (View all users posts) 24 Aug 2011 7:13pm ()

    'sensitive, responsive caregiving'

    "Hug to hug, face to face, eye to eye, laugh to laugh, smile to smile," i can't even remember where I borrowed that quote from, but i think it just about says it all.

    I have read both the Ministry report and the Child Commision report and was very excited for under 2's children in Aotearoa.

  • helen.cartwright (View all users posts) 12 Oct 2011 10:52pm ()

    At a recent Infants and Toddlers Hui in Invercargill 36 infant and toddler teacher took up Ann's challenge and in small group brainstormed what this quote looked like, sounded like and felt llike in practise.  Below are the findings they came up with grouped together. 

    “Early childhood settings for under-two-year-olds should be places where children experience sensitive responsive caregiving that is attuned to their subtle cues, including their temperamental and age characteristics.”

    Looks like………..



    Avoid clutter – not so busy- watch the colour scheme

    Adults down at child level and engaged – observing is engaged

    Enough space,

    I can see myself and whānau

    Busy and involved – chn engaged with each other and teachers
    Suitable, Challenging environment,

    Adults modeling – eating with them

    Positive body language  

    Providing for all ages

    Laughing, smiling and happy

    Positioning of children in wee groups,

    Placements of children – safety,

    Adults not walking around children

    Adults approaching from the front


    Relaxed routines,

    Familiar staffing, objects, cultural artifacts,

    Consistency in environment,





    Feels like………



    Calm, secure and safe,

    Meetings and greetings transitions,








    Safe – physically and emotionally safe

    Responsive – attuned to child’s interactions





    Sounds like…..

    Language rich

    Positive responses, tone, pace,

    Contagious laughter

    Hushed tones,

    Engaged buzz,

    Interactions through music,



    Calm but busy,

    No distressed crying

    Organized chaos,



  • Justine Mason (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2011 1:08am ()

    Thanks for sharing this Helen, how inspiring! The ideas and concepts these teachers identified connect so well to Donna's quote previous to your post. I really like the "I can see myself and my whanau" idea.

    Recently I have heard teachers in over two settings dicussing the imapct of displaying their photographs of children in places where children can easily access them (eg. at their level) They have found that children revisit their images frequently and share their stories with each other, teachers and their whanau. Collections of laminated images of children and their whanau is one way of providing opportunites for infants and toddlers to see themselves and their whanau in the environment. Laminated images are portable and can be used in all areas of the environment, they dont necessarily have to be displayed on the wall. They can be used as a tool to connect with infants and toddlers and engage in meaningful interactions.

  • Jocelyn Wright (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2011 3:43am ()

    I have just been into a centre today where they have been displaying laminated learning stories at child level in the toddler area. The stories are attached to the wall with velcro dots making them easy to take on and off.

    One teacher described how one of the children visits the display all the time and even takes possession of one story by carrying it around with him where ever he goes! We reflected on how this is contributing to his sense of self and his identity as a competent learner as everyone is involved in talking about his story and learning with him. Great to see what Justine is talking about in action!

  • Tonia Mac Rae (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2011 5:06am ()

    I am suprised that non one has used the word LOVE when describing how they see their work with children (of any age).

    To me 'sensitive, responsive caregiving' looks like welcoming arms, smiling faces, genuine LOVE, it feels like a warm safe LOVING place to be, it sounds like the calm, quiet peace of LOVE.

  • Donna Rowland (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2011 6:03am ()

    We have photos of children and their whanau displayed on the walls and also have a box of laminated photos that the children can access at anytime, they love finding hemselves, their families and their peers. A weekly poster summming up what has been happening with the children is displayed on the wall and then laminated added to others in book form that the children can also access at anytime. Plus childrens profiles books are set in a low display that they can access and look at when they wish.

    Really enjoyed reading your summary of the Hui brainstorm Helen

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