Setting up a system of primary care giving establishes an environment in which meaningful and lasting relationships can develop between caregivers and children as well as between caregivers and families. These relationships rest on satisfying relationships within the care giving team, which call to mind the principle of continuity of care.
All the children in our center will have a Primary Caregiver. The primary-caregiver system ensures that every child has a “special” teacher and that each parent has a primary contact.
Having a primary caregiver gives children a secure base. They learn to trust someone familiar who will care for them as they explore and who will be there to comfort them when they are tired, upset, or frightened. Their relationship with a primary caregiver helps children feel secure enough to relate to other adults in the child care setting.
The teachers in each room divide the group of children (theoretically, not literally) so each child has a primary caregiver. This person forms a caring, nurturing, and responsive relationship with your child. In the classroom this teacher will be the “expert” on your child, knowing pertinent information like your child’s individual schedule, sleeping habits, individual interests, developmental abilities, and special needs. This teacher will do ongoing observations and create your child’s portfolio. Parents will have a parent conference each fall and spring semester with their child’s primary caregiver and co-teacher.
Note: Keep in mind, however, that ― “primary” does not mean exclusive. Children should not become completely dependent on the presence of one person. The other staff in the classroom will develop a warm relationship with your child and have caring and learning interactions as your child explores the learning environment.