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The Pikler Institute: A Unique Approach to Caring for Children

by Janet Gonzalez-Mena, Elsa Chahin, and Laura Briley
November/December 2005
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/the-pikler-institute-a-unique-approach-to-caring-for-children/5016649/

The Pikler Institute is a residential nursery (previously called an orphanage) located in Budapest, Hungary. Children from birth to three years of age are cared for at the Institute 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. This unique program has been in operation since 1946. The end of World War II brought the need for placement for a large number of children who were left without families. The Hungarian government came to Dr. Emmi Pikler, a well-known and respected family pediatrician, and asked her to create a program to care for these children. The government gave her a large home in the castle district of Budapest. She took on the challenge and began a lifelong work of caring for thousands of children until her death in 1984.

This Institute and the research that was Pikler's hallmark continues today under the directorship of Anna Tardos, a psychologist and Emmi Pikler's daughter. Also continuing is the training for professionals and, of course, the care for the children, who are no longer war orphans, but can be thought of as social orphans. Their parents are still alive, but the children have been abandoned or their families cannot provide for them. The Pikler Institute ...

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