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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET About This Book I wrote Foundations of Responsive Caregiving to help you become a responsive care- giver. I’m going to acquaint you with theories of child development, components of high-quality care, best practices in teaching and caregiving, and an overview of how children grow and develop from birth to age three. I also provide you with strategies for supporting children who have special needs. Each chapter offers tips on how to promote young children’s learning, a summary of the big ideas to take away from that chapter, and reflection and application ques- tions to help you explore the ideas further. Chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9 address the four learning domains. In each of those chapters, you’ll find references to my companion book, Activities for Responsive Caregiving. The activities in that book can help you implement age-appropriate activities and strategies through play. But before you look at these many elements of responsive care, you need to first explore your personal caregiving philosophy. Exploring Your Personal Caregiving Philosophy Creating your personal caregiving philosophy statement requires you to think about what you know and feel about working with young children. This important state- ment can help you reflect on your current beliefs and attitudes and deepen your commitment to caring for young children. You might include your core beliefs about caring for infants, toddlers, and twos; your approach to teaching and caring for other people; and your com- mitment to quality care for all children. Make your statement personal, and use it to inspire and motivate you to become the best caregiver you can. Start by asking yourself, What can I do to ensure that children reach their full po- tential and grow to be emotionally healthy? Next, reflect on who you are as a teacher and caregiver. What skills do you bring to those roles? What areas do you think need strengthening? Are some areas more challenging to you than others? Assess the areas you see as your strengths and those you feel need improving. Because everyone can improve on her skills and expertise, examine what you’re doing right now to increase your knowledge of child development. Creating your personal caregiving philosophy statement can help you focus on why you entered the field of ECE, what joys and concerns you have now, what your gifts are as a caregiver, and how to deepen your commitment to young children. The field of ECE changes continually. Don’t allow yourself to get stale! Keep taking classes 4 Introduction COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL