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another about what they are doing and when they need support so as to spend some extra time with a particular child that may need it. Having consistent caregivers to respond to the child’s tender moments such as meal times, nappy changing, storytimeI believe young children are eager to learn and experience new things. In early childhood centres, Kaiako plays a prime role in facilitating children’s learning by addressing their individual needs and providing them with developmentally appropriate experiences through thoughtful and intentional pedagogy. To plan the activities and create positive learning environments teachers need a strong foundation of understanding the intent of different curriculum approaches and also the theories linked to those approaches (Education Review Office, 2016). As an ECE teacher, I work closely with young children, their families and the teaching team. In order to facilitate shared learning environments, develop positive relationships and promote desirable outcomes for everyone, my practice should reflect a set of values, skills and be connected with the centre’s philosophy and professional-pedagogical approaches (Ministry of Education [MOE],2015).

I work with the infant and toddler age group and my philosophy is maintaining respectful and trusting relationships with tamariki, whanau and the teaching team. My philosophy aligns with The Pikler approach, which is based on a kind and respectful relationship between an adult and infant, through tender care moments. The Pikler approach was developed by a Hungarian paediatrician, Dr Emmi Pikler in 1946. Pikler took the responsibility for running a Home for Children in Budapest which led her to the development of ideas she had formed on relationships based on respect and the natural unfolding of motor development in infants. Pikler also inspired Magda Gerber, an early childhood educator who was passionate about the care of infants. Gerber developed her own philosophy known as Resources for Infant Educarers(RIE Philosophy) based on Pikler’s core values of respect, trust, and acceptance(The Pikler Collection, 2012).
The three key aspects I am focusing in this essay are primary caregiving, freedom of movement and uninterrupted play. I have chosen to critique these aspects with Bowlby attachment theory, Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological System, Dialogical Perspective of Curriculum, Piaget cognitive constructivism theory and Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory.
In the Early Childhood setting, respectful practice is fostered by Primary Caregiving. Secure attachments and respectful relationships play a vital role in developing physically and psychologically healthy children and are the key element while primary caregiving. Infants develop trustful bonding with the primary caregiver only when they feel safe and secured. So it is important to build trusting relationships with consistent caregiving professionals to promote secure attachments (McMullen, 2017). I believe primary caregiving involves intimate moments of care for children which build a teacher’s knowledge and understanding of a child as well as their relationship with them. It is imperative that it is a team approach. Primary caregiving will work best in a strong team who constantly communicate with one s and sleeping times ensures continuity for that child and builds a trustful bonding between the adult and child. These interactions must be filled with genuine love, understanding, inclusiveness and respectful communication. Children then feel safe and secured in the environment which enables them to confidently explore, learn and develop new skills (Christie,2011). Bowlby defined that infancy is the prime time for brain growth and core neurodevelopment. Emotional security plays a significant role in the brain development of infants and toddlers. The caregiver and infant attachments shape neurological, psychological and social development which lead to potential long term impact on emotional well-being, social competence, and emotional regulation. Bowlby’s attachment theory explains that children become resilient, independent and enjoy successful social relationships when they are securely attached with an adult in the early years. Bowlby’s attachment theory has clear links with Pikler’s consistent caregiving relationships. (Shirvanian & Michael, 2017). Bronfenbrenner’s mesosystem argues that communication between the parents and the teacher plays a vital role in effective caregiving. Parent and teacher partnership is important as caregiving methods can vary between the home and the centre and allows teachers to understand the child in-depth. This partnership helps primary caregivers create engaging ways to make connections between the centre and home (Brendtro,2006). As stated in Te Whāriki “The wellbeing of each child is interdependent with the well being of their kaiako, parents and whanau” (MoE, 2017). Although Bronfenbrenner’s mesosystem focuses on the communication between Whanau and kaiako, Pikler’s respectful relationships strongly suggest that communication between the child and kaiako needs to be considered. Kaiako should pick up on the verbal and non-verbal communication of the children which results in flourishing meaningful and long-lasting relationships. (Marlen, 2014).

The second key element in Pikler’s approach is the complete freedom of movement, which is an essential part of children’s healthy development. Emmi Pikler believed that infants should be trusted to discover their own capabilities and move according to their innate nature without our assistance. When infants are allowed free to develop motor abilities without artificial aid or the restrictions, they progress independently and confidently in their own unique way (Pikler, 2012). Pikler concluded that infants independent and persistent effort during motor development such as turning on tummy, able to sit, stand, crawl and walk teaches them to experiment various ways to overcome the difficulties. This self-initiated motor development is beneficial for child’s longterm physical and psychological development (Pikler, 2012).
By contrast White talks about the dialogic approach where children are viewed as active learners and their communication play a significant role in the learning. The dialogic approach suggests teachers pay attention to understand children’s verbal and nonverbal cues. Dialogic approach harnesses the power of communication to engage and understand interest, stimulate thinking and expand ideas, to empower children for lifelong learning. Being supportive and collaborative enables teachers to diagnose learning needs and guide children through the challenges they encounter. The caregiver and the child interactions through body gestures, facial expressions and cues are preverbal conversations. Caregivers should understand those actions of infants and respond accordingly to the child’s intentions. These early interactions play a central role in language acquisition (White, 2015). As a responsible kaiako, I understand that children move, explore, experiment, play and learn with their minds, bodies and hearts. I recognise that positive early learning experiences have a long term impact on a baby’s spirit, intelligence and physical being. Thus, I support this learning with a responsive and caring approach, by providing enough space, possibilities and trusting them to explore without unnecessary intervention to infants in my care for moving freely at their natural pace where they have control of their bodies and movement and exploring the world around them while strengthening their gross motor development (Christie,2011). In order to achieve this successfully, teachers should build authentic relationships with both children and parents to support the overall development of children (MOE,2017). Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological system is similar to Pikler’s freedom of movement and suggests that the child’s development is affected by the environment. The immediate circle of the child, parents and ECE teachers should work in harmony and build healthy ecology both at home and the centre to nurture children’s developmental needs. In Early childhood settings, young children need supportive teachers who can trust them as a capable individual and environment which provide them with valuable learning experiences and a strong sense of self. When infants are allowed time and support to work nurtured, honoured and celebrate they learn to self-regulate, collect themselves and focus. They also learn to trust themselves and feel emotionally secure. The child’s experience and enthusiasm for engaging in play that is unstructured and undirected foster their physical, cognitive development and enhances creativity, imagination and problem-solving abilities in children (Brendtro, 2006).

Another key aspect of the Pikler approach is Uninterrupted play. Children are curious to learn about how the world around them works and follow their own play urges to gather information. Early years are formative times of children’s lives where they master the use of their bodies, learn social skills and engage themselves in hands-on learning experiences. Through their curiosity children direct their own explorations which ignite their creativity, imagination and facilitate children’s sense of competence (Pikler.org). Similar to Pikler’s uninterrupted play, Piaget believes that children’s cognitive development is dependent on each child’s reaction to the environment such as touch, smell, look, listen to, and taste the objects. According to Piaget, these actions allow them to learn about the world and are crucial to their early cognitive development. Piaget also stated that while children indulge in their self invented play and interact with the environment, they master the natural capabilities such as spatial awareness, balance, gravity, sorting and collecting which nurtures the various stages of the cognitive development of the child. Through these independent explorations, children observe and generate knowledge out of their own experience and learn how to frame their imagination. Pikler and Piaget suggest that children master their own world with independent explorations. These early explorations build self-esteem and nurture the emotional development of children. (Saul McLeod, 2018). But Lev Vygotsky’s concept zone of proximal development explains that intelligence growth is a social process. Child’s interaction with adults and other children play a fundamental role in cognitive growth. Children learn through observing and modelling the behaviours, and emotional reactions of others. Sometimes children may need help engaging in activities or extending an activity. By being actively involved in the child’s play, teachers can create opportunities to extend upon a child’s current knowledge and help them make new connections. These interactions build a supportive and trusting relationship between the teacher and children and help teachers to provide effective learning experiences. Through engaging in conversations with others, children will develop decision-making skills, co-operation, empathy, language and also enhance their cognitive competence. This collaborative learning scaffolds the strategies for supporting cognitive growth and facilitates intentional learning. (World Health Organization,n.d). I believe that both individual exploration and collaborative play are essential to the development of the whole child. The role of educators is providing children with an age-appropriate stimulating environment and ample time to explore, discover and experiment (Marlen, 2014).

Conclusion:
Relationships are the heart of early childhood pedagogy. The early relationships have an impact on children’s development and shape the way they see the world. Through relationships, children learn about their world. Primary caregivers’ positive and lasting relationship with the children and their family is essential to provide valuable learning experiences in a nurturing environment. Teachers’ intentional and respectful teaching and love will enable the children to understand that they are cared for, respected and valued. These positive interactions, in turn, help children grow as respectful individuals (Hill, 2011). Teachers within early childhood settings have a unique and powerful role in shaping young minds. So teachers need to evaluate their own practice and develop a deeper understanding of various theoretical perspectives and pedagogies. Young children benefit from early childhood educators who actively weave their new knowledge into everyday practice and critically align it to the existing knowledge to provide high-quality infant and toddler care in nurturing environments. (Avgitidou, Pnevmatikos,& Likomitrou, 2013).

Reference List:
Avgitidou, S., Pnevmatikos, D., & Likomitrou, S. (2013). Preservice teachers’ beliefs about childhood: Challenges for a participatory early childhood education? Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 34(4), 390-404.

Brendtro, L. (2006). The vision of Urie Bronfenbrenner: Adults who are crazy about kids. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 15(3), 162-166.

Christie, T. (2011). Respect: A practitioner’s guide to calm & nurturing infant care & education (pp. 11-27). Wellington, New Zealand: Childspace Early Childhood Institute.

DorothyMarlen, 2014. Respect, care, wisdom. Retrieved from: https://thepiklercollection.weebly.com/uploads/9/4/5/3/9453622/eyed_2014_16_6_28_30.pdf.

Dr Emmi Pikler (n.d) The Development of Movement – Stages. Retrieved from: https://thepiklercollection.weebly.com/the-development-of-movement—stages.html.

Education Review Office, 2016. Designing, implementing and evaluating curriculum in early learning services: what is important and what works. Retrieved from: https://www.ero.govt.nz/publications/early-learning-curriculum/designing-implementing-and-evaluating-curriculum-in-early-learning-services-what-is-important-and-what-works/#anchors-for-practice-te-whariki-and-priorities-for-childrens-learning.
Hill, D. (2011). Theory as story: An invitation to engage with the ideas that nourish practice. The First Years/Ngā Tau Tuatahi. New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, 13(1) 7-11.

Linda Mitchell, with Maggie Haggerty, Viv Hampton, and Ann Pairman, 2006. Teachers, parents, and whänau working together in early childhood education. New Zealand council for educational research. Retrieved from: https://www.nzcer.org.nz/system/files/15120.pdf

McMullen, M. B. (2017, January/February). Continuity of care with infants and toddlers. Exchange, (233), 46-50.

Ministry of Education, 2015. Teacher actions that promote student learning. Retrieved from:
https://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/Inclusive-practices/Implementing-an-inclusive-curriculum/Effective-pedagogy-for-all-students/Teacher-actions-that-promote-student-learning

Ministry of Education. (2017). Te Whāriki. Retrieved from https://
tewhariki.tki.org.nz/assets/Uploads/files/Te-Whariki-Early-Childhood-
Curriculum.pdf

Natalia Shirvanian & Tony Michael, 2017. Implementation of attachment theory into early childhood settings. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318507925_Implementation_of_attachment_theory_into_early_childhood_settings.

Saul McLeod, 2018. Jean Piaget’s Theory and Stages of Cognitive Development. Retrieved from:https://www.simplypsychology.org/piaget.html

The Pikler Collection – collecting since May 2012.
Retrieved from: https://thepiklercollection.weebly.com/history.html.

White, E. J. (2015). Introducing dialogic pedagogy: Provocations for the early years (pp. 44-75). London, UK: Routledge.
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, n.d.. The importance of caregiver–child interactions for the survival and healthy development of young children. Retrieved from: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/42878/924159134X.pdf;jsessionid=9FA4627F075BC9021E4E5165FDA5429D?sequence=1&fbclid=IwAR2ZdKJlpiMP3Rws4O7v1tkl-kGChk4Z6zf9lZe_y49cy0z7sia0mOp_B0Q.

another about what they are doing and when they need support so as to spend some extra time with a particular child that may need it. Having consistent caregivers to respond to the child’s tender moments such as meal times, nappy changing, storytimeI believe young children are eager to learn and experience new things. In early childhood centres, Kaiako plays a prime role in facilitating children’s learning by addressing their individual needs and providing them with developmentally appropriate experiences through thoughtful and intentional pedagogy. To plan the activities and create positive learning environments teachers need a strong foundation of understanding the intent of different curriculum approaches and also the theories linked to those approaches (Education Review Office, 2016). As an ECE teacher, I work closely with young children, their families and the teaching team. In order to facilitate shared learning environments, develop positive relationships and promote desirable outcomes for everyone, my practice should reflect a set of values, skills and be connected with the centre’s philosophy and professional-pedagogical approaches (Ministry of Education [MOE],2015).

I work with the infant and toddler age group and my philosophy is maintaining respectful and trusting relationships with tamariki, whanau and the teaching team. My philosophy aligns with The Pikler approach, which is based on a kind and respectful relationship between an adult and infant, through tender care moments. The Pikler approach was developed by a Hungarian paediatrician, Dr Emmi Pikler in 1946. Pikler took the responsibility for running a Home for Children in Budapest which led her to the development of ideas she had formed on relationships based on respect and the natural unfolding of motor development in infants. Pikler also inspired Magda Gerber, an early childhood educator who was passionate about the care of infants. Gerber developed her own philosophy known as Resources for Infant Educarers(RIE Philosophy) based on Pikler’s core values of respect, trust, and acceptance(The Pikler Collection, 2012).
The three key aspects I am focusing in this essay are primary caregiving, freedom of movement and uninterrupted play. I have chosen to critique these aspects with Bowlby attachment theory, Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological System, Dialogical Perspective of Curriculum, Piaget cognitive constructivism theory and Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory.
In the Early Childhood setting, respectful practice is fostered by Primary Caregiving. Secure attachments and respectful relationships play a vital role in developing physically and psychologically healthy children and are the key element while primary caregiving. Infants develop trustful bonding with the primary caregiver only when they feel safe and secured. So it is important to build trusting relationships with consistent caregiving professionals to promote secure attachments (McMullen, 2017). I believe primary caregiving involves intimate moments of care for children which build a teacher’s knowledge and understanding of a child as well as their relationship with them. It is imperative that it is a team approach. Primary caregiving will work best in a strong team who constantly communicate with one s and sleeping times ensures continuity for that child and builds a trustful bonding between the adult and child. These interactions must be filled with genuine love, understanding, inclusiveness and respectful communication. Children then feel safe and secured in the environment which enables them to confidently explore, learn and develop new skills (Christie,2011). Bowlby defined that infancy is the prime time for brain growth and core neurodevelopment. Emotional security plays a significant role in the brain development of infants and toddlers. The caregiver and infant attachments shape neurological, psychological and social development which lead to potential long term impact on emotional well-being, social competence, and emotional regulation. Bowlby’s attachment theory explains that children become resilient, independent and enjoy successful social relationships when they are securely attached with an adult in the early years. Bowlby’s attachment theory has clear links with Pikler’s consistent caregiving relationships. (Shirvanian & Michael, 2017). Bronfenbrenner’s mesosystem argues that communication between the parents and the teacher plays a vital role in effective caregiving. Parent and teacher partnership is important as caregiving methods can vary between the home and the centre and allows teachers to understand the child in-depth. This partnership helps primary caregivers create engaging ways to make connections between the centre and home (Brendtro,2006). As stated in Te Whāriki “The wellbeing of each child is interdependent with the well being of their kaiako, parents and whanau” (MoE, 2017). Although Bronfenbrenner’s mesosystem focuses on the communication between Whanau and kaiako, Pikler’s respectful relationships strongly suggest that communication between the child and kaiako needs to be considered. Kaiako should pick up on the verbal and non-verbal communication of the children which results in flourishing meaningful and long-lasting relationships. (Marlen, 2014).

The second key element in Pikler’s approach is the complete freedom of movement, which is an essential part of children’s healthy development. Emmi Pikler believed that infants should be trusted to discover their own capabilities and move according to their innate nature without our assistance. When infants are allowed free to develop motor abilities without artificial aid or the restrictions, they progress independently and confidently in their own unique way (Pikler, 2012). Pikler concluded that infants independent and persistent effort during motor development such as turning on tummy, able to sit, stand, crawl and walk teaches them to experiment various ways to overcome the difficulties. This self-initiated motor development is beneficial for child’s longterm physical and psychological development (Pikler, 2012).
By contrast White talks about the dialogic approach where children are viewed as active learners and their communication play a significant role in the learning. The dialogic approach suggests teachers pay attention to understand children’s verbal and nonverbal cues. Dialogic approach harnesses the power of communication to engage and understand interest, stimulate thinking and expand ideas, to empower children for lifelong learning. Being supportive and collaborative enables teachers to diagnose learning needs and guide children through the challenges they encounter. The caregiver and the child interactions through body gestures, facial expressions and cues are preverbal conversations. Caregivers should understand those actions of infants and respond accordingly to the child’s intentions. These early interactions play a central role in language acquisition (White, 2015). As a responsible kaiako, I understand that children move, explore, experiment, play and learn with their minds, bodies and hearts. I recognise that positive early learning experiences have a long term impact on a baby’s spirit, intelligence and physical being. Thus, I support this learning with a responsive and caring approach, by providing enough space, possibilities and trusting them to explore without unnecessary intervention to infants in my care for moving freely at their natural pace where they have control of their bodies and movement and exploring the world around them while strengthening their gross motor development (Christie,2011). In order to achieve this successfully, teachers should build authentic relationships with both children and parents to support the overall development of children (MOE,2017). Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological system is similar to Pikler’s freedom of movement and suggests that the child’s development is affected by the environment. The immediate circle of the child, parents and ECE teachers should work in harmony and build healthy ecology both at home and the centre to nurture children’s developmental needs. In Early childhood settings, young children need supportive teachers who can trust them as a capable individual and environment which provide them with valuable learning experiences and a strong sense of self. When infants are allowed time and support to work nurtured, honoured and celebrate they learn to self-regulate, collect themselves and focus. They also learn to trust themselves and feel emotionally secure. The child’s experience and enthusiasm for engaging in play that is unstructured and undirected foster their physical, cognitive development and enhances creativity, imagination and problem-solving abilities in children (Brendtro, 2006).

Another key aspect of the Pikler approach is Uninterrupted play. Children are curious to learn about how the world around them works and follow their own play urges to gather information. Early years are formative times of children’s lives where they master the use of their bodies, learn social skills and engage themselves in hands-on learning experiences. Through their curiosity children direct their own explorations which ignite their creativity, imagination and facilitate children’s sense of competence (Pikler.org). Similar to Pikler’s uninterrupted play, Piaget believes that children’s cognitive development is dependent on each child’s reaction to the environment such as touch, smell, look, listen to, and taste the objects. According to Piaget, these actions allow them to learn about the world and are crucial to their early cognitive development. Piaget also stated that while children indulge in their self invented play and interact with the environment, they master the natural capabilities such as spatial awareness, balance, gravity, sorting and collecting which nurtures the various stages of the cognitive development of the child. Through these independent explorations, children observe and generate knowledge out of their own experience and learn how to frame their imagination. Pikler and Piaget suggest that children master their own world with independent explorations. These early explorations build self-esteem and nurture the emotional development of children. (Saul McLeod, 2018). But Lev Vygotsky’s concept zone of proximal development explains that intelligence growth is a social process. Child’s interaction with adults and other children play a fundamental role in cognitive growth. Children learn through observing and modelling the behaviours, and emotional reactions of others. Sometimes children may need help engaging in activities or extending an activity. By being actively involved in the child’s play, teachers can create opportunities to extend upon a child’s current knowledge and help them make new connections. These interactions build a supportive and trusting relationship between the teacher and children and help teachers to provide effective learning experiences. Through engaging in conversations with others, children will develop decision-making skills, co-operation, empathy, language and also enhance their cognitive competence. This collaborative learning scaffolds the strategies for supporting cognitive growth and facilitates intentional learning. (World Health Organization,n.d). I believe that both individual exploration and collaborative play are essential to the development of the whole child. The role of educators is providing children with an age-appropriate stimulating environment and ample time to explore, discover and experiment (Marlen, 2014).

Conclusion:
Relationships are the heart of early childhood pedagogy. The early relationships have an impact on children’s development and shape the way they see the world. Through relationships, children learn about their world. Primary caregivers’ positive and lasting relationship with the children and their family is essential to provide valuable learning experiences in a nurturing environment. Teachers’ intentional and respectful teaching and love will enable the children to understand that they are cared for, respected and valued. These positive interactions, in turn, help children grow as respectful individuals (Hill, 2011). Teachers within early childhood settings have a unique and powerful role in shaping young minds. So teachers need to evaluate their own practice and develop a deeper understanding of various theoretical perspectives and pedagogies. Young children benefit from early childhood educators who actively weave their new knowledge into everyday practice and critically align it to the existing knowledge to provide high-quality infant and toddler care in nurturing environments. (Avgitidou, Pnevmatikos,& Likomitrou, 2013).

Reference List:
Avgitidou, S., Pnevmatikos, D., & Likomitrou, S. (2013). Preservice teachers’ beliefs about childhood: Challenges for a participatory early childhood education? Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 34(4), 390-404.

Brendtro, L. (2006). The vision of Urie Bronfenbrenner: Adults who are crazy about kids. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 15(3), 162-166.

Christie, T. (2011). Respect: A practitioner’s guide to calm & nurturing infant care & education (pp. 11-27). Wellington, New Zealand: Childspace Early Childhood Institute.

DorothyMarlen, 2014. Respect, care, wisdom. Retrieved from: https://thepiklercollection.weebly.com/uploads/9/4/5/3/9453622/eyed_2014_16_6_28_30.pdf.

Dr Emmi Pikler (n.d) The Development of Movement – Stages. Retrieved from: https://thepiklercollection.weebly.com/the-development-of-movement—stages.html.

Education Review Office, 2016. Designing, implementing and evaluating curriculum in early learning services: what is important and what works. Retrieved from: https://www.ero.govt.nz/publications/early-learning-curriculum/designing-implementing-and-evaluating-curriculum-in-early-learning-services-what-is-important-and-what-works/#anchors-for-practice-te-whariki-and-priorities-for-childrens-learning.
Hill, D. (2011). Theory as story: An invitation to engage with the ideas that nourish practice. The First Years/Ngā Tau Tuatahi. New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, 13(1) 7-11.

Linda Mitchell, with Maggie Haggerty, Viv Hampton, and Ann Pairman, 2006. Teachers, parents, and whänau working together in early childhood education. New Zealand council for educational research. Retrieved from: https://www.nzcer.org.nz/system/files/15120.pdf

McMullen, M. B. (2017, January/February). Continuity of care with infants and toddlers. Exchange, (233), 46-50.

Ministry of Education, 2015. Teacher actions that promote student learning. Retrieved from:
https://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/Inclusive-practices/Implementing-an-inclusive-curriculum/Effective-pedagogy-for-all-students/Teacher-actions-that-promote-student-learning

Ministry of Education. (2017). Te Whāriki. Retrieved from https://
tewhariki.tki.org.nz/assets/Uploads/files/Te-Whariki-Early-Childhood-
Curriculum.pdf

Natalia Shirvanian & Tony Michael, 2017. Implementation of attachment theory into early childhood settings. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318507925_Implementation_of_attachment_theory_into_early_childhood_settings.

Saul McLeod, 2018. Jean Piaget’s Theory and Stages of Cognitive Development. Retrieved from:https://www.simplypsychology.org/piaget.html

The Pikler Collection – collecting since May 2012.
Retrieved from: https://thepiklercollection.weebly.com/history.html.

White, E. J. (2015). Introducing dialogic pedagogy: Provocations for the early years (pp. 44-75). London, UK: Routledge.
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, n.d.. The importance of caregiver–child interactions for the survival and healthy development of young children. Retrieved from: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/42878/924159134X.pdf;jsessionid=9FA4627F075BC9021E4E5165FDA5429D?sequence=1&fbclid=IwAR2ZdKJlpiMP3Rws4O7v1tkl-kGChk4Z6zf9lZe_y49cy0z7sia0mOp_B0Q.

another about what they are doing and when they need support so as to spend some extra time with a particular child that may need it. Having consistent caregivers to respond to the child’s tender moments such as meal times, nappy changing, storytimeI believe young children are eager to learn and experience new things. In early childhood centres, Kaiako plays a prime role in facilitating children’s learning by addressing their individual needs and providing them with developmentally appropriate experiences through thoughtful and intentional pedagogy. To plan the activities and create positive learning environments teachers need a strong foundation of understanding the intent of different curriculum approaches and also the theories linked to those approaches (Education Review Office, 2016). As an ECE teacher, I work closely with young children, their families and the teaching team. In order to facilitate shared learning environments, develop positive relationships and promote desirable outcomes for everyone, my practice should reflect a set of values, skills and be connected with the centre’s philosophy and professional-pedagogical approaches (Ministry of Education [MOE],2015).

I work with the infant and toddler age group and my philosophy is maintaining respectful and trusting relationships with tamariki, whanau and the teaching team. My philosophy aligns with The Pikler approach, which is based on a kind and respectful relationship between an adult and infant, through tender care moments. The Pikler approach was developed by a Hungarian paediatrician, Dr Emmi Pikler in 1946. Pikler took the responsibility for running a Home for Children in Budapest which led her to the development of ideas she had formed on relationships based on respect and the natural unfolding of motor development in infants. Pikler also inspired Magda Gerber, an early childhood educator who was passionate about the care of infants. Gerber developed her own philosophy known as Resources for Infant Educarers(RIE Philosophy) based on Pikler’s core values of respect, trust, and acceptance(The Pikler Collection, 2012).
The three key aspects I am focusing in this essay are primary caregiving, freedom of movement and uninterrupted play. I have chosen to critique these aspects with Bowlby attachment theory, Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological System, Dialogical Perspective of Curriculum, Piaget cognitive constructivism theory and Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory.
In the Early Childhood setting, respectful practice is fostered by Primary Caregiving. Secure attachments and respectful relationships play a vital role in developing physically and psychologically healthy children and are the key element while primary caregiving. Infants develop trustful bonding with the primary caregiver only when they feel safe and secured. So it is important to build trusting relationships with consistent caregiving professionals to promote secure attachments (McMullen, 2017). I believe primary caregiving involves intimate moments of care for children which build a teacher’s knowledge and understanding of a child as well as their relationship with them. It is imperative that it is a team approach. Primary caregiving will work best in a strong team who constantly communicate with one s and sleeping times ensures continuity for that child and builds a trustful bonding between the adult and child. These interactions must be filled with genuine love, understanding, inclusiveness and respectful communication. Children then feel safe and secured in the environment which enables them to confidently explore, learn and develop new skills (Christie,2011). Bowlby defined that infancy is the prime time for brain growth and core neurodevelopment. Emotional security plays a significant role in the brain development of infants and toddlers. The caregiver and infant attachments shape neurological, psychological and social development which lead to potential long term impact on emotional well-being, social competence, and emotional regulation. Bowlby’s attachment theory explains that children become resilient, independent and enjoy successful social relationships when they are securely attached with an adult in the early years. Bowlby’s attachment theory has clear links with Pikler’s consistent caregiving relationships. (Shirvanian & Michael, 2017). Bronfenbrenner’s mesosystem argues that communication between the parents and the teacher plays a vital role in effective caregiving. Parent and teacher partnership is important as caregiving methods can vary between the home and the centre and allows teachers to understand the child in-depth. This partnership helps primary caregivers create engaging ways to make connections between the centre and home (Brendtro,2006). As stated in Te Whāriki “The wellbeing of each child is interdependent with the well being of their kaiako, parents and whanau” (MoE, 2017). Although Bronfenbrenner’s mesosystem focuses on the communication between Whanau and kaiako, Pikler’s respectful relationships strongly suggest that communication between the child and kaiako needs to be considered. Kaiako should pick up on the verbal and non-verbal communication of the children which results in flourishing meaningful and long-lasting relationships. (Marlen, 2014).

The second key element in Pikler’s approach is the complete freedom of movement, which is an essential part of children’s healthy development. Emmi Pikler believed that infants should be trusted to discover their own capabilities and move according to their innate nature without our assistance. When infants are allowed free to develop motor abilities without artificial aid or the restrictions, they progress independently and confidently in their own unique way (Pikler, 2012). Pikler concluded that infants independent and persistent effort during motor development such as turning on tummy, able to sit, stand, crawl and walk teaches them to experiment various ways to overcome the difficulties. This self-initiated motor development is beneficial for child’s longterm physical and psychological development (Pikler, 2012).
By contrast White talks about the dialogic approach where children are viewed as active learners and their communication play a significant role in the learning. The dialogic approach suggests teachers pay attention to understand children’s verbal and nonverbal cues. Dialogic approach harnesses the power of communication to engage and understand interest, stimulate thinking and expand ideas, to empower children for lifelong learning. Being supportive and collaborative enables teachers to diagnose learning needs and guide children through the challenges they encounter. The caregiver and the child interactions through body gestures, facial expressions and cues are preverbal conversations. Caregivers should understand those actions of infants and respond accordingly to the child’s intentions. These early interactions play a central role in language acquisition (White, 2015). As a responsible kaiako, I understand that children move, explore, experiment, play and learn with their minds, bodies and hearts. I recognise that positive early learning experiences have a long term impact on a baby’s spirit, intelligence and physical being. Thus, I support this learning with a responsive and caring approach, by providing enough space, possibilities and trusting them to explore without unnecessary intervention to infants in my care for moving freely at their natural pace where they have control of their bodies and movement and exploring the world around them while strengthening their gross motor development (Christie,2011). In order to achieve this successfully, teachers should build authentic relationships with both children and parents to support the overall development of children (MOE,2017). Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological system is similar to Pikler’s freedom of movement and suggests that the child’s development is affected by the environment. The immediate circle of the child, parents and ECE teachers should work in harmony and build healthy ecology both at home and the centre to nurture children’s developmental needs. In Early childhood settings, young children need supportive teachers who can trust them as a capable individual and environment which provide them with valuable learning experiences and a strong sense of self. When infants are allowed time and support to work nurtured, honoured and celebrate they learn to self-regulate, collect themselves and focus. They also learn to trust themselves and feel emotionally secure. The child’s experience and enthusiasm for engaging in play that is unstructured and undirected foster their physical, cognitive development and enhances creativity, imagination and problem-solving abilities in children (Brendtro, 2006).

Another key aspect of the Pikler approach is Uninterrupted play. Children are curious to learn about how the world around them works and follow their own play urges to gather information. Early years are formative times of children’s lives where they master the use of their bodies, learn social skills and engage themselves in hands-on learning experiences. Through their curiosity children direct their own explorations which ignite their creativity, imagination and facilitate children’s sense of competence (Pikler.org). Similar to Pikler’s uninterrupted play, Piaget believes that children’s cognitive development is dependent on each child’s reaction to the environment such as touch, smell, look, listen to, and taste the objects. According to Piaget, these actions allow them to learn about the world and are crucial to their early cognitive development. Piaget also stated that while children indulge in their self invented play and interact with the environment, they master the natural capabilities such as spatial awareness, balance, gravity, sorting and collecting which nurtures the various stages of the cognitive development of the child. Through these independent explorations, children observe and generate knowledge out of their own experience and learn how to frame their imagination. Pikler and Piaget suggest that children master their own world with independent explorations. These early explorations build self-esteem and nurture the emotional development of children. (Saul McLeod, 2018). But Lev Vygotsky’s concept zone of proximal development explains that intelligence growth is a social process. Child’s interaction with adults and other children play a fundamental role in cognitive growth. Children learn through observing and modelling the behaviours, and emotional reactions of others. Sometimes children may need help engaging in activities or extending an activity. By being actively involved in the child’s play, teachers can create opportunities to extend upon a child’s current knowledge and help them make new connections. These interactions build a supportive and trusting relationship between the teacher and children and help teachers to provide effective learning experiences. Through engaging in conversations with others, children will develop decision-making skills, co-operation, empathy, language and also enhance their cognitive competence. This collaborative learning scaffolds the strategies for supporting cognitive growth and facilitates intentional learning. (World Health Organization,n.d). I believe that both individual exploration and collaborative play are essential to the development of the whole child. The role of educators is providing children with an age-appropriate stimulating environment and ample time to explore, discover and experiment (Marlen, 2014).

Conclusion:
Relationships are the heart of early childhood pedagogy. The early relationships have an impact on children’s development and shape the way they see the world. Through relationships, children learn about their world. Primary caregivers’ positive and lasting relationship with the children and their family is essential to provide valuable learning experiences in a nurturing environment. Teachers’ intentional and respectful teaching and love will enable the children to understand that they are cared for, respected and valued. These positive interactions, in turn, help children grow as respectful individuals (Hill, 2011). Teachers within early childhood settings have a unique and powerful role in shaping young minds. So teachers need to evaluate their own practice and develop a deeper understanding of various theoretical perspectives and pedagogies. Young children benefit from early childhood educators who actively weave their new knowledge into everyday practice and critically align it to the existing knowledge to provide high-quality infant and toddler care in nurturing environments. (Avgitidou, Pnevmatikos,& Likomitrou, 2013).

Reference List:
Avgitidou, S., Pnevmatikos, D., & Likomitrou, S. (2013). Preservice teachers’ beliefs about childhood: Challenges for a participatory early childhood education? Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 34(4), 390-404.

Brendtro, L. (2006). The vision of Urie Bronfenbrenner: Adults who are crazy about kids. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 15(3), 162-166.

Christie, T. (2011). Respect: A practitioner’s guide to calm & nurturing infant care & education (pp. 11-27). Wellington, New Zealand: Childspace Early Childhood Institute.

DorothyMarlen, 2014. Respect, care, wisdom. Retrieved from: https://thepiklercollection.weebly.com/uploads/9/4/5/3/9453622/eyed_2014_16_6_28_30.pdf.

Dr Emmi Pikler (n.d) The Development of Movement – Stages. Retrieved from: https://thepiklercollection.weebly.com/the-development-of-movement—stages.html.

Education Review Office, 2016. Designing, implementing and evaluating curriculum in early learning services: what is important and what works. Retrieved from: https://www.ero.govt.nz/publications/early-learning-curriculum/designing-implementing-and-evaluating-curriculum-in-early-learning-services-what-is-important-and-what-works/#anchors-for-practice-te-whariki-and-priorities-for-childrens-learning.
Hill, D. (2011). Theory as story: An invitation to engage with the ideas that nourish practice. The First Years/Ngā Tau Tuatahi. New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, 13(1) 7-11.

Linda Mitchell, with Maggie Haggerty, Viv Hampton, and Ann Pairman, 2006. Teachers, parents, and whänau working together in early childhood education. New Zealand council for educational research. Retrieved from: https://www.nzcer.org.nz/system/files/15120.pdf

McMullen, M. B. (2017, January/February). Continuity of care with infants and toddlers. Exchange, (233), 46-50.

Ministry of Education, 2015. Teacher actions that promote student learning. Retrieved from:
https://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/Inclusive-practices/Implementing-an-inclusive-curriculum/Effective-pedagogy-for-all-students/Teacher-actions-that-promote-student-learning

Ministry of Education. (2017). Te Whāriki. Retrieved from https://
tewhariki.tki.org.nz/assets/Uploads/files/Te-Whariki-Early-Childhood-
Curriculum.pdf

Natalia Shirvanian & Tony Michael, 2017. Implementation of attachment theory into early childhood settings. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318507925_Implementation_of_attachment_theory_into_early_childhood_settings.

Saul McLeod, 2018. Jean Piaget’s Theory and Stages of Cognitive Development. Retrieved from:https://www.simplypsychology.org/piaget.html

The Pikler Collection – collecting since May 2012.
Retrieved from: https://thepiklercollection.weebly.com/history.html.

White, E. J. (2015). Introducing dialogic pedagogy: Provocations for the early years (pp. 44-75). London, UK: Routledge.
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