It’s an interesting concept to think about caring for infants and toddlers with respect. We might think that this is obvious - “Of course I respect children!”

But often our understanding of what that means and what it looks like in reality can be a bit different. Having worked with young children for many years, I have developed a personal philosophy that is based on experience, my studies and the theories and ideas of others. One of the most influential approaches I have studied and which I wholeheartedly embed in my work with children is Magda Gerber’s RIE philosophy.

RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) is a beautiful philosophy for parents and anyone who cares for our youngest children.

“Magda Gerber’s educaring approach affirms that caring educates children about themselves, and that in the infant-toddler years, caregiving is the curriculum.Parents and professionals find that the Educaring™ approach allows them to focus on what matters most: the connection between themselves and the baby in their care. In attuning to their baby, they learn to trust their baby and themselves” RIE

Magda once famously said....

Caring for Infants and Toddlers with Respect

written by angela bush
I love that quote because it is a great reminder that if we always keep respect at the forefront of our interactions with children, then we are likely to be on the right path. But what does being respectful of infants and toddlers mean for our daily interactions with them?

It is all good and well to say that we are respectful, but if we truly value this, then it will be evident in our care and interactions with children. And actually, respect is not just something we “Do.” It must also be who we are on the inside, and the outside.

At Kids Collective (the early childhood centre in New Zealand that I am part of ), we base our philosophy on RIE and respectful care.

And so, we have developed a set of guidelines for our infant and toddler teachers to help guide respectful practice. I have attached this here for you to refer to, and to support your own journey towards developing a respectful approach to caring for our youngest children. These guidelines are not just for early childhood teachers, they are relevant to anyone who cares for infants and toddlers, including parents and nannies. I am always so excited when others develop an interest in learning about the concept of respectful care.

Because just imagine what our world would be like if every child across the globe was raised with not only love, but with RESPECT.
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Download a copy of our "Guidelines for Interacting Respectfully with Infants and Toddlers"

Thank you!