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Continuity of Care with Infants and Toddlers

by Mary Benson McMullen
January/February 2017
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/continuity-of-care-with-infants-and-toddlers/5023346/

“Human babies are not like us.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Rousseau’s words remind us how truly special babies are and about the uniqueness of very early childhood. Children grow, develop and learn more rapidly during the first three years of life than at any other time (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). The remarkable changes they undergo impact who they are now and who they will become in the future. Whether positive or negative, big, small, or in between, everything that happens to infants or toddlers impacts their health and well-being for a lifetime.  

Psychologists, sociologists, neurobiologists, health care professionals, philosophers, and educators have published mountains of research about the importance of these first three years. Additionally, babies and everything for and about them are a hot topic in popular literature and social media. Books, magazine articles, websites, videos, blogs, and discussion forums are found alongside research publications. Underlying all of this work — scholarly as well as popular — is the understanding that the first three years matter! 

New information and continuing discoveries about the first three years give parents and professionals new ways to think about how very young children can and should spend their days in child care. Most importantly, we’ve learned to ...

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