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Creating Environments for Relationships

by Margie Carter
July/August 2009
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/creating-environments-for-relationships/5018832/

One of the late Tom Hunter’s best loved songs is “We’ve Been Waiting for You,” recorded on a CD by the same name with Bev Bos and Michael Leeman. Tom’s songs always address some aspect of the longings of our hearts, children’s and adults’. Apart from encouraging everyone to sing them, with Tom’s passing I have renewed energy to use the message of his songs as a provocation for examining what we’re doing in our early care and education programs. This is especially useful when I encounter directors and teachers struggling to document how their programs meet all the NAEYC accreditation criteria or how they can move up the rating scale of their state’s Quality Rating Incentive System (QRIS) program.

I remind directors and teachers that at the heart of all those numerical quality indicators is an understanding that we must create environments for relationships to grow. When there are respectful, caring relationships between all the parties " teachers, the children and their families, and among the children themselves " everyone has a sense of belonging and a foundation to be a confident learner. For a moment we put aside the criteria and the rating scales and reconsider their environment and ...

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