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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL and workshops to improve your teaching practices, try new things, and acquire new ideas. Learning also reminds you why you chose to work with young children in the first place. Personal Caregiving Philosophy Statement Complete the following statements: 1. I entered the field of child development because  . 2. The most rewarding part of my job is  . 3. My greatest concern for the children I care for is  . 4. My greatest gift is  . 5. I am committed to  . Here’s a sampling of responses: 1. I entered the field of child development because of young children. I care about the well-being seeing the smiling faces of the children each day and watching them grow and discover the world. 2. The most rewarding part of my job is that they won’t have an opportunity just to be children and that they will grow up too fast. 3. My greatest concern for the children I care for is 4. My greatest gift is 5. I am committed to each day. my ability to nurture young children. giving children 100 percent of my love and attention What do these completed statements have in common? Try to identify the ele- ments that are similar in each of them; these are the strengths and motivators of the caregiver who wrote this statement. Pay attention to similarities in your own state- ments. You might also look for statements that are not congruent, that don’t seem to fit with the rest. Perhaps these represent new interests or ones that you’ve kept buried. It’s important to give careful consideration to each statement. After you’ve completed your statement and thought it over, post it in a prominent place, like your entryway or welcome space, so you and the children’s parents can see it daily. If you write your statement at a staff meeting, share it with your coworkers and the larger school community. Final Thoughts Young children grow and develop best in loving, stable, nurturing environments. Help them develop their foundations for future learning and healthy, stable relation- ships. In a high-quality early care setting, you can create opportunities for children to learn while you protect and care for them. You can explore who you are as a care- COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Introduction 5