Monday, February 8, 2016

Nothing is more Important than the Relationship

Relationships in toddler and infant early childhood settings matter.

More than matter.  Relationships are crucial for children's well-being and learning, not just now but in the future.  So why when I look at curriculum plans for nursery and toddler rooms do I struggle to find any mention of relationships amongst the colour recognition, farm animals, numbers and Under the Sea themes?

Do we still lack confidence in sharing what we know to be important?

Do we struggle to find a way to record our planning cycle for infants and toddlers in a way that is meaningful and effective, and not just a watered down version of the preschool curriculum??

  • My challenge to you is to challenge yourself to write about young children's relationships - with self, with others, with their learning environment, with the natural world.

  • My challenge to you is to learn as much as you can about how young children learn and develop, so that you can confidently share it.  So that you can see the little moments for what they are - the big moments. So you can gather a rich record of your discoveries and wonderings about each child.  Educational approaches such as Magda Gerber's Educaring®  approach; brain research; attachment theory - become an expert and then shout it to the rooftops.

  • My challenge to you is to throw away the box system of planning that just beckons you to fill it with busy work, and experiment with new ways of planning that follow the needs of your primary care group of children.  Keep going until you find something that works for you (Hint - there is no magic template!)

Make relationships so central that when you walk into the room you can see it, read about it, feel it, understand it, hear it.  Put the relationships back where they belong - at the very heart of your curriculum.

Please feel free to copy and print the image in this post to display for families - it might make a great starting point for discussion, or a springboard for your pedagogical documentation.  

Or build on it with quotes and snippets of educational research and theory.  Illustrate it with photographic examples from your own room, of different times of the day.  Or pop it up in your team room to prompt documentation about relationships.

How do relationships guide your curriculum decision making?


  1. I agree with this completely! It's so easy to get caught up in the 'programming,' it's good to be reminded that without intentional relationships the program is flawed.

  2. Thank you for lovely post, very inspiring and reaffirming. Respectful and positive relationships underpin my teaching practice and something that I place so much value in. Kind regards Zair (teacher at Mairtown Kindergarten, whangarei, NZ)

  3. Good post. Playing today comes with all sorts of tools, but the most wonderful one of all is the other person- the one who responds, reflects, reciprocates, resists, repeats, reinterprets!

  4. Thanks for the wonderful post which simply tells us about the importance of relationship. This is one of the best and most needed post at right time because now-a-days, most of the people are running hard to earn more money in a very short period of time and so, they are spending very hard time with their relationship members. Even myself who has been working in one of the leading online custom writing research paper websites, i have been going to my home from my office only once in a week so on reading this, it just created me an awareness about the importance of relationship thanks for valuable piece of post.

  5. I absolutely agree with this post! Maybe many people don't understand it but you need love and be loved! I'm very happy that now we can use what helps you to find your love sitting at home! It's very comfortable for shy people and who always works!

  6. Being a former preschool owner, relationships where key in building trust and comfort in the very young. Once that relationship is made kids become more happy outspoken and engaged. I loved working with little ones everyday. It was so rewarding to see them grow and prosper as confident young loving little people. Okay not all little ones become confident and comfortable but if it's practiced everyday there will be progress. Great reading!

  7. The more u love children, the more light that u share to the future bellofpeace//gede prama

  8. We must take care of ourselves and it is not unusual to wish for someone to take care of us as well. H john