logo

ChildForum Early Childhood Education Nationwide Network
Promoting quality, valuing knowledge, advancing thinking and working together for the benefit of children, services and the sector

Follow us on FacebookFollow us on Twitteryoutube

Member Login

Member space

 

What a Primary Caregiving System is in ECE and Q&A on Issues

By Dr Alexander
© ChildForum
 

for children's mental health the primary caregiver system in centres has been strongly endorsed by child development experts

This article provides an easy-to-read discussion about  primary caregiving in early childhood centres.  It covers some common questions and concerns relating to a primary caregiving system.

The main reason why early childhood services go for this particular organisational model of staffing is they are concerned for the emotional well-being of children and are keen to ensure continuity of care.

For parents with an infant or toddler, a centre that implements a primary caregiving system is often attractive to them.  Passing a child to strangers can be stressful and having an in-centre primary caregiver reduces stress from the very first separation occasion. 

In the following sections of this article the terms 'primary caregiver' and 'primary caregiving' are defined and common concerns about primary caregiving are discussed.

Definitions

"Primary Caregiver" in the context of an early childhood centre means a child's special teacher/ educator/ caregiver.

"Primary Caregiving" is the label applied to a practice in early childhood centres whereby a teacher/ educator/ caregiver assumes individual responsibility for the child's care and education, including nappy changing, meals and other routines, observing and planning to meet the child's needs, getting to know the child's family and working with the family to ensure the best experiences and the best developmental outcomes for the child.

 

Common Practices

Children get to develop a strong sense of trust and a secure attachment with their early childhood centre primary caregiver. This is the person the child is most likely to go in times of distress, and the person who they find understands them best.  

When starting at a centre, or during pre-entry visits, the centre supervisor/manager will let the family know who will be their child's primary caregiver.  And the family, child and primary caregiver will be introduced to each other.  Or - a teacher may find during the pre-entry visits that she/he and a child get along well together or she/he might be keen to help the child and will put in a request to be the child's primary caregiver.

Primary caregivers work with the support of other staff in the centre.  Best practice is for a second staff member to be assigned to be the 'buddy' - or the back-up. The 'buddy' gets to know the child too and participates in routines, so he/she can easily step in when the primary caregiver for what ever reason is not available.

 

Issues and Solutions

Question 1: Can't the child be cared for by other adults at the centre?


To keep reading and view the full article login with your member's username and password

Here’s how our membership plans work:

  • Individual Membership plans can view both Individual member-only articles and our library of Research Journals (but not the ECE Service management article area). In addition, individual members can discuss and ask questions of fellow members any time through the online childcare and early childhood education practice, policy, and research discussion forum.
  • Early Childhood Service plans can view ALL member articles: Individual, Research Journals and Early Childhood Service articles. Also on this membership plan members can access the online discussion forum for individual members AND the online ECE service management / business forum.
  • Research Journal subscription plans can view our library of Research Journals and related research articles only

Should you not hold a current membership –  you are welcome to apply now.

Free E-Newsletter

Receive the free Early Childhood Alert.

captcha 

We hate spam as much as you, we will not sell your contact details to anyone.

You can unsubscribe at any time.

Read our Privacy Policy here.

Don’t miss out any longer, click the button below to join ChildForum

Join Us!

child-with-binoculars-small

 

Subscribe now for information you can trust, expert advice and research, as well as access to quality resources

We are confident you will be delighted to discover and experience the benefits of membership - so join now and make this message for non-members disappear from your screen. 

Membership Options

Individual
Member

Who is this for?
Any person who has an interest in early childhood education and care or who works directly with children.

$98.00 12 months from the date of joining
$60.00 6 months student-only

The membership belongs to you, and you only. Enjoy your own personal username and password.

ECE Service Organisation
Member

Who is this for?
Centres, home-based, hospital-based, playgroups ... established or newly licensed. Gives access to professional & research materials enjoyed by individual members PLUS service operation and management area. 

$198.00 12 months for a standalone licensed service
Special rates for organisations with more than 1 licence

The membership belongs to your whole organisation, team members and managers.

Library NZ-International Research
in ECE Journal Subscriber

Who is this for?
Universities, Polytechnics and organisations wishing to have online access to the NZ-Int Research in ECE journal (includes all past and current issues) 

$125.00 annual subscription, renewable in November each year

A username and password for your library users linked to your IP address.