Starting with a childminder is a major life transition for both young children and their families, especially if it is the first time the child has been away from their parents for more than a few hours. Such a big change can be stressful for everyone. It is really important for the child, both now and later in life, that their early experiences of big changes are good learning experiences. The learning and care environment plays a major role in a child’s development, and it significantly affects their later outcomes and life chances. As a childminder, how you support children, especially very young children, through such changes really matters. It is also important that you respond sensitively to any anxieties parents may have as they move towards trusting you to take care of their precious child. This resource offers guidance on how you can develop relationships with children and families to support children’s transition into your care.

The importance of Trust and Security

A baby’s first key developmental task is to develop a sense of trust and security. This initially comes about through the consistent and responsive caregiving of their primary caregivers, usually their parents. Building on this important foundation of trust and security, the baby will then go on to develop communication and social skills, which, in turn, leads to a growing independence and a sense of competency (‘I can do it’).

The Importance of Attachments

An infant’s brain is shaped by their early experiences (Center on the Developing Child, Harvard) and the quality of these experiences has a substantial effect on their development. Attachment theory is important because it provides us with a way to understand how secure attachments in early childhood can support children’s brain development.

Barnardos. (2020). For more information: Childminding – Settling in and Developing Relationships.pdf

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