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Building Relationships with Parents of Infants and Toddlers with Learning Stories

by Sehba Mahmood
September/October 2013
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/building-relationships-with-parents-of-infants-and-toddlers-with-learning-stories/5021380/

The demand for infant and toddler services remains high. Sixty-four percent of all mothers return to work within the first year of giving birth (NACCRRA, 2010). It is important to provide high-quality services for very young children as this has a long-lasting and positive impact on children's development and learning (NAEYC, 2009). High-quality programs assess young children's strengths, progress, and needs using assessment ­methods that are developmentally appropriate, tied to children's daily activities, are inclusive of families, and are connected to making sound decisions about teaching and learning (NAEYC & NAECS/SDE, 2003). One such method is Learning Stories (Carr, 2001), a method that has been used in New Zealand early childhood education settings for over a decade.

As a teacher educator in New Zealand for more than 15 years, I have worked with classroom teachers, student ­teachers, and families who have benefited from this type of documentation of ­children's learning. Learning stories are ideally suited as records of infant and toddler learning and development. Here I introduce the process of documenting through learning stories; the theoretical underpinning of learning stories have been discussed extensively elsewhere (Carr, 2001).

Learning Stories

Learning stories are formative assessments written as structured narratives that track children's strengths ...

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