Daycare of infants and toddlers by outsiders has become an indispensable practice in the modern world. It is a common situation when parents do not have the opportunity to be near their children constantly, so caregivers should be ready to make children’s time without parents calm and effective. Nevertheless, one should consider the benefits and disadvantages that may arise from this practice. While caregivers have sufficient skills to contribute to infants’ and toddlers’ development, they cannot fully replace many functions that parents perform.
Emotional and social development are the main processes during the first 24 months of life. Caregivers may contribute to emotional self-regulation by introducing some distractions to redirect infants’ attention and reduce their distress (Infants and Toddlers Are Particularly Vulnerable 85). Other techniques that make daycare beneficial are showing interest in an infant’s actions and being specific with praise (BabySparks). However, influential Bowlby’s theory conceptualizes attachments as links that may be formed only with primary caregivers (Zaar 157). Attachments form a secure base, a feeling of having protection from external threats and dangers. Thus, it means that an outsider cannot fulfill the role of mother or father during social and emotional development.
Developing self and self-awareness may also be addressed by someone else. It can be achieved through looking at the self in a mirror, understanding gender attributes, and recognizing personal temperament (Zaar 154). At this point, temperament may be only temporary and change at a later age, so caregivers should have skills to adjust to children’s traits. The problem may arise if there is a discrepancy between cultural values and perceptions between parents and caregivers (Zaar 149). The first signs of understanding personal cultural roots are already seen at the age of two, so parents should take a primary role in this development.
- The researcher Gordon Allport considered culture to be an important influence on traits and defined common traits as those that are recognized within a culture (Page 149).
This sentence has a very meaningful idea that scholars often miss. One may trace a peculiarity that research on the emotional development of infants has become highly cosmopolitan. It does not consider the world to be a multicultural place. In reality, every family has traditions and cultural traits that vary across different ethnic groups (Zaar 4). In addition, another reason why this sentence has resonated is that it explains the major reason why childcare cannot be delegated to an outsider caregiver entirely. Without parental care, infants will lose their cultural identity and spiritual bonds.
- As can be seen, the percentages do not equal 100% as some children could not be placed neatly into one of the categories (page 147).
This sentence is used after the table presenting the classification of infants’ and toddlers’ temperaments. The first reason this sentence deserves to be discussed is that it highlights the uniqueness of every newborn. Some children may not fall into one category, which is absolutely normal. The second reason is that this provokes some thoughts about how babysitters may find proper strategies of care. It explains that one cannot find a universal solution for every child because everyone is unique.
- While temperament is determined by genetics and emotions to develop through maturation, the early interactions we have with the adults that care for us as infants and toddlers are very important for healthy emotional development (page 146).
This sentence greatly summarizes the content of the whole chapter. Firstly, it proposes the balance between the impact of biological and social factors. Maintaining this balance is essential in an era of polarizing ideologies on this issue. Secondly, this sentence summarizes the main idea of the teacher’s work. In personal practice, everyone can notice this difference. In fact, you need to take this for yourself and proceed from this when planning your time of birth with a baby.
BabySparks. Developing a Sense of Self: Age 2. BabySparks, 2020. Web.
Infants and Toddlers Are Particularly Vulnerable: Good Child Care and Early Education Can Play a Vital Role in Their Development. Children’s Defence Fund, 2018.
Zaar, Jean. “Chapter 6: Social and Emotional Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood.” Child Growth and Development, edited by Jean Zaar, College of DuPage Digital Press, 2021, pp. 146-164.