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Quality Child Care Initiative Cheryl Anderson, PD & Training Coordinator February 25, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Quality Child Care Initiative Cheryl Anderson, PD & Training Coordinator February 25, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Quality Child Care Initiative Cheryl Anderson, PD & Training Coordinator February 25, 2014

2  The basic brain structure is determined by genetics  The brain’s architecture is shaped by a child’s experiences, interactions and relationships with parents and other significant people in their lives

3  Neuroscientists now understand that the brain’s neurons continue to both develop (plasticity) and disappear (pruning) throughout most of our lives  We experience the greatest growth and a high volume of pruning in childhood

4  During pregnancy, neurons grow at an astonishing rate of 250,000 per minute  This brain growth is dependant upon good care such as maternal attention to health, nutrition and stress management)  This process slows down somewhat after birth  At birth about 25% of neurons are connected together so that information can flow between them

5  Up until age of 12, these pathways (connections) continue to be formed and the thickening of the myelin sheath (which supports the speed of the electrical impulse between neurons thus creating a more efficient brain) continues to develop as the child interacts with their environment  Those neurons that are not stimulated or make connections to other neurons are pruned away and dissolve.

6  The more connections between neurons, the greater the brain’s ability to take in, process and make sense of information

7 Early brain development is stimulated through experiences and interactions with responsive adults!

8  Every time a child enters a stimulating classroom, one in which the child is invited to talk, share ideas, and manipulate real materials, the number of connections between neurons increases

9  Strong, secure attachments promote brain development. Attentive, loving responsiveness to children is critical. Physical and emotional responsiveness triggers neural connections.

10 How does what you know about children and their brain development influence the way that you plan your program?  Observation to know your children individually and as a group  Adding concrete materials to a rich environment that encourages active exploration and discovery

11  Hands-on experiences  Meeting up with children’s minds (why are they doing what they are doing?  Relationships (importance of connections)

12  Although both experiences and relationships are important, relationships are primary!  Relationships and connecting first!  Building of the brain through relationships essential part of healthy development!

13  Dr. Jean Clinton tml (Quality of Interactions; Connecting vs. Directing)

14  Be at the child’s level for face to face interactions; eye contact  Use a pleasant, calm, genuine voice using simple language  Warm, responsive, physical contact  Follow child’s lead and interests during play  Provide simple but clear expectations (not by directing)  Listen with interest  Be a play partner

15  Take time to engage children in process of resolving problems and conflicts, rather than reiterating rules  Consider number of rules and why?  When children’s behaviour is challenging and disruptive, think about where and how they might have more success and redirect them there  Help children identify and express their feelings

16  Foster thoughtfulness and caring by listening to children and by encouraging them to listen to others and share ideas – show empathy  By genuine in acknowledging children for their accomplishments and effort  Beware of the “praise trap”. Consider what really motivates children. FlFGE GROUP ACTIVITY

17  Connecting versus directing? Consider these scenarios at your table. Are we connecting or directing?

18  Our image of the child – what we believe about children matters! Do we see them as competent and capable or as empty vessels waiting for us to fill?  Our attitudes (8 children in attendance today versus naming and rejoicing in them individually)  Our actions (tone of voice, our body language, our physical presence) OUR ATTITUDES AFFECT OUR ACTIONS!

19  Our language (how well do our words serve the children?) - activity  Our mindsets tml OUR SCRIPT INFLUENCES OUR THINKING OF THAT CHILD! Individual activity: All children….

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