Relationships as the Foundation of Quality Infant and Toddler Care: A Unit of Four Online Lessons

Relationships as the Foundation of Quality Infant and Toddler Care is a series of four online lessons. Explore the importance of positive, nurturing relationships with infants, toddlers and families, even before the baby is born. As they work through the lessons, Early Head Start staff should think about how relationships are built with babies and families in their programs.

Lesson 1: Relationship-Building Skills
Babies enter the world ready to form relationships with adults. Their growth and development depend on the bonds formed with their primary caregivers. This lesson helps staff identify the relationship-building skills that support positive relationships with babies and their families.

Lesson 2: Prenatal Development and Relationships
The parent-child relationship begins developing before baby is born. During this lesson, staff will explore the senses—touch, taste, smell, hearing, sight, and movement—as they develop before birth. Discover strategies to use with expectant families that support the developing mother-infant bond.

Lesson 3: Building Relationships with Infants in Out-of-Home Care
Positive nurturing bonds with caring adults are the key to the healthy development and learning of infants and toddlers. Using video analysis, this lesson helps staff recognize practices that support and promote positive relationships during routine experiences in group care.

Lesson 4: Using the Five R’s to Support Learning With Infants, Toddlers, and Families
During the previous lessons, staff explored the importance of relationships. This lesson explores how the other four R’s—responsive interaction, respect, routines, and repetition—help build positive relationships.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center and the Early Head Start National Resource Center

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