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Building Informed Relationships

by Karen Stephens
July/August 2010
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/building-informed-relationships/5019438/

We know it is our job to be responsive and emotionally intelligent as we welcome children and families into our midst. We know it’s imperative to help children and parents experience a smooth transition as children venture into the world beyond home. So we work hard at reaching out to families.

Well-trained staff will immediately begin building relationships with families and children, precisely so we don’t remain strangers for long and because we want everyone to adapt successfully. We know we are nurturing children during their first, critical lessons in relationship-building with non-family members. And we know we are among the first adults outside their family to make an impact on the child’s and family’s lives. It’s an auspicious time of childhood " and of childrearing " that deserves respect and special attention.

Helping relationships bloom authentically between staff, parents, and children is a core mission for early childhood professionals. It’s who we are. It’s what we do. In fact, when citing sources of job satisfaction, program staff often comment on the intrinsic rewards of forging meaningful relationships with children and families.

Because we accept responsibility for creating bonds with families, program staff establish a variety of ‘family-friendly’ outreach strategies. For instance, we ...

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