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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET giver and use your new understanding to help children learn. You chose to become a highly qualified ECE professional, and that means having an ongoing commitment to professional development and program excellence. To help you achieve your goals, in the next chapter I discuss varieties of child care, characteristics of infants and toddlers, and your role as a caregiver. What Caregivers Can Do Respond to the needs of the whole child. Respond to infants, toddlers, and twos in a warm, nurturing, loving manner. Demonstrate a genuine interest in children’s well-being. Increase your knowledge of child development. Explore your commitment to infants and toddlers. Create a personal caregiving philosophy statement. Share your statement with families and coworkers. Use your statement to set personal goals that expand and deepen your skills and commitment to very young children. Big Ideas for Caregivers Caregivers need specific knowledge and skills so they can provide optimal early care and learning environments. Caregivers teach and guide children’s learning. Children grow best where they are loved, cared for, and valued as unique individuals. Reflection and Application 1. Identify three teachable moments you’ve experienced. How did you use those moments to build on a child’s learning? 2. Name three ways you can improve yourself as a caregiver. 3. Apply your personal caregiving philosophy statement to your work with young children. Do your actions and statement align? Why or why not? 4. What two things can you do to further your commitment to ECE? 6 Introduction COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL