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In the Child's Best Interests

by Janet Gonzalez-Mena and Anne Stonehouse
November/December 1995
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/in-the-childs-best-interests/5010617/

Early childhood educators may disagree on theory, but one thing that we would all agree on is that in our practice we should always keep the child's best interests in mind. In some situations, the child's best interests seem obvious.

For example: A mother requests that her two-and-a-half year old in full-time care be kept up during nap time so that he'll go to sleep early in the evening. Since this child usually shows signs of being sleepy right after lunch, it would be easy to decide that the mother's request is not in the child's best interests. With only this much information to go by, most staff would either try to negotiate a compromise or talk her out of her request.

There are at least three good reasons to say no to the mother's request:

_ The child needs the sleep.

_ Other children need sleep, so letting the child stay awake may not be in their best interests.

_ The teachers need a break. If they don't get their needs met, they can't be at their best at the end of the day. Therefore, it's in the child's best interests to insure that the teachers' needs are met.

However, ...

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