Children are one of the greatest gifts and the most important responsibilities given to us. They are gems of inestimable value. Their beauty and brightness needs to be encouraged and fostered. How you polish and shape these gems will determine whether their precious potential talents, gifts, and capacity for joy will shine forth or become hidden under a pile of ignorance and/or neglect and emotional scars.
The decision you make of whom you entrust with the proper care and guidance of your children can affect their whole lives, as well as yours. Would you place a precious gem in the care of anyone less qualified than a skilled jeweler? Can you leave your children with someone who is watching children because they are unskilled, or is preoccupied with other tasks? The caregiver in your home is one of the most important and weighty decisions that you will make.
As an experienced and trained caregiver, I believe that the care and the interest of the children are uppermost at all times. First of all, children must feel safe and loved in order to grow and develop normally- they need a nurturing environment. Love provides security to a child; Infants receive input mainly through their kinesthetic and gustatory senses. Therefore, a baby needs a reliable and consistent person who is “touchy-feely” in expressing love.
An expression of warmth and positive regard becomes more diverse as the child grows older, but is essential to the child’s health and wellbeing at any age. Keeping children safe while they explore their world requires good decision making skills on the part of the caregiver. All too often making good decisions comes only from experience with children and maturity.
Children have optimal time periods in which they can learn a particular skill or develop a particular habit most easily. Capitalizing on these optimal learning periods and adapting it to the needs and capacities of your child takes far more than a safe and secure environment. In order for children to thrive, the caregiver must provide an environment and learning opportunities which are appropriate to their age and stimulates both their growth and development, socially, intellectually, emotionally, and physically.
This dictates someone who is highly experienced with children. This necessitates someone who knows about child development and how to promote healthy patterns for the best good of the child. This requires someone who is creative in using the circumstances and environment available and who takes time to plan activities.
Caring for children is interactive in nature. The caregiver must be able to observe, listen, and understand or interpret what children are communicating.
Quality care giving requires attending to or being present and sensitive to the child, not focusing on a list of errands and chores to be done around the house or preoccupied in some other way. In order to sensitively respond to the child’s unique situation, creativity is extremely valuable. Creativity is necessary to solve problems and teach problem solving skills when difficulties or problems occur, as well.