Product Code:
547855 (Softbound)
978-1-60554-785-5 (Softbound)
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A workbook to relieve stress and burnout.

Caring for Self: A Workbook for Early Childhood Educator Wellbeing supports early childhood educators in addressing the intricacies of their health—physical, emotional, cognitive, social, psychological, and spiritual—in the increasingly complex and changing landscape of early childhood education. Lasting self-care practices go beyond surface-level responses or quick fixes to focus on the more fundamental, emotional parts of well-being. Increase your professional and personal well-being by strengthening your foundation of professional skills, reflective practice, and emotional support.

Every day, early childhood caregivers leave the field after experiencing workplace stress and burnout. This workbook offers a three-pronged approach to navigating compassion fatigue: building healthy relationships, establishing boundaries, and having a sense of agency. It teaches skills to help mitigate the emotional labor, burnout, and resulting compassion fatigue of early childhood by building self-care and resiliency practices. It helps caregivers identify their emotions around challenges, recognize barriers and bridges to meeting their professional goals, and implement tools for self-care and mentoring to increase their effectiveness while decreasing workplace stress.

Through abundant reflective questions and activities, this workbook helps the profession reflect on the meaning of well-being, identify emotions in the work, and engage in professional skills of self-stewardship to foster well-being. It walks through steps of reflection, identifying and accessing emotional support, and professional skill development in pursuit of well-being. It culminates in a seven-step problem-solving pathway for identifying and resolving problems that arise in professional practice and the emotions that accompany them.


"Caring for Self: A Workbook for Early Childhood Educator Well-Being is a much-needed and invaluable resource for the field of early childhood education. In a profession marked by high levels of stress and emotional demands, this workbook offers a refreshing and essential perspective on self-care and well-being. The authors skillfully guide educators through a reflective journey, encouraging them to not only consider 'what they do' but also 'who they are'. The book equips educators with practical skills to navigate the challenges of their profession while prioritizing their own well-being. Caring for Self is a beacon of support and empowerment for early childhood educators, promoting not only professional growth but also personal fulfillment, making it an indispensable resource in the field." —Cate Heroman, Author and Early Childhood Consultant

"Dr. Anderson and Dr. Baumgartner demonstrate their understanding of the many challenges and common practices in Early Childhood Education and Care in the book, Caring for Self. This much-needed guidebook for ECEC professionals offers opportunities to reflect on, respond to, and actively support well-being. Caring for Self is a deeply supportive text that helps ECEC professionals understand how to recognize and respond to stressful situations and build the skills necessary to set boundaries and develop a professional identity. Caring for Self can be utilized by an individual or a group as an ongoing resource for professional development. It is a must-read for anyone working in ECEC or supporting ECEC professionals today.
PS: This book is amazing." —Sally Guyon, Ed.D., Early Childhood Education Coordinator, Umpqua Community College, and University Lecturer, Cal Poly Pomona

"Why is it so stressful to work in early childhood? Caring for Self examines the multi-layered barriers and stressors experienced by many early childhood educators in our current time. As an Indigenous educator, I could not agree more with the text that "well-being does not happen in isolation." This book encourages the reader throughout to reflect on their own cultural models of well-being and relationality to community. It offers a complete hands-on guide for reflecting on the problems of practice and promoting educator well-being. A much-awaited reminder to early childhood educators everywhere, simply because you are worthy." —Valeria Atanacio, MS, Early Childhood and Inclusive Education, ZERO TO THREE Policy Fellow

"Jennifer Baumgartner and Ingrid Anderson have created a verdant garden of a text blooming with practical ideas to nurture early childhood professionals' growth through enhancing their capacities for self-care. The authors have years of practical and academic experience supporting early educators to find the most impactful resources for coping with the intensifying challenges of the field. Jennifer and Ingrid have crafted original and transformative exercises for self-awareness and problem solving that help early childhood professionals make the most of their time, mentorship opportunities, and community resources. Caring for the Self beckons individuals and groups to refresh and flourish in personally and professionally sustaining ways." —Melissa Sherfinski, Associate Professor of Early Childhood & Elementary Education, West Virginia University; Chair, American Educational Research Association special interest group

About Ingrid Mari Anderson, EdD

Ingrid Anderson, EdD holds a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution and Peaceable Schools from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from more..