1 Caregiving and the
Professional As an early childhood professional who cares for infants, toddlers, and twos, you
play a critical role in children’s growth and development. You are essential to their
well-being and future development, and this takes commitment and dedication.
You need to know what responsive caregiving is, the types of care available, and the
developmental stages of infants, toddlers, and twos. Such knowledge deepens your
understanding and improves the quality of care you provide.
CharaCTerisTiCs of responsive Caregivers
As a responsive caregiver, you do a lot! To make a long story short, you provide a
loving, nurturing, stable, and responsive learning environment for all children. You
respond to their needs quickly and appropriately. Because infants and toddlers are
wholly dependent on adults for their care and safety, their well-being lies in your
hands. Positive interactions with caregivers are critical to children’s formation of early
attachment and trust. You create an atmosphere in which these can arise: Your set-
ting is relaxed and peaceful. You recognize that establishing trust with the important
adults in their lives is the cornerstone for how children will feel about themselves
and others throughout their lives. As children develop and change, you modify your
program to meet their changing needs.
You continuously evaluate your activities, the environment you’ve created, and
the children in your care. You’re flexible in your daily schedule, balancing the pre-
dictability and comfort of routines with the changing needs of children. You adjust
and modify your setting so children can master their developmental milestones.
Because a cohort of children differs so widely, you plan a range of activities that vary
in difficulty. You challenge children, but only to the extent that they can successfully