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The Power of Observation - Building Relationships with Families

by Amy Dombro, Judy Jablon, and Margo Dichtelmiler
September/October 2000
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/the-power-of-observation-building-relationships-with-families/5013522/

Young children need their families and caregivers to work together. It doesn't mean you have to be best friends, or even like one another - though it certainly makes life easier. What it does mean is that you have to see yourself as partners with the child's best interests as your shared concern. This partnership provides the continuity and support that children need to feel safe and secure enough to explore, play, enjoy, and learn in child care.


You and families each bring different sets of information to your relationship. You have worked with many children of similar ages over the years. You know about general patterns of child development and have developed a collection of strategies to support children's learning.

Parents and other family members focus on "their" child. They know the specific information about that one special child in their life. For example, they know about their child's culture, preferences, fears, and how a child responds in certain situations at home.

For caregivers to know a child well, they need both sets of information. You will never know what a family knows unless you create a relationship in which you can exchange information, ask questions, and listen to one another.

Appreciating ...

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