Growth in our first five years is more rapid than any other time in our lives – a phenomenal pace! From the moment of birth, infants begin developing a sense of belonging. Within the first year of life, basic survival skills present that remain with us for a lifetime — eating, sitting, walking, and communicating. Children learn to talk – from early cries to babble to first words then sentences – sharing internal thoughts and messages with others, making social connections, and setting their mark in history. As children gain a sense of who they are and how they fit in, they develop self-esteem and confidence. While feeling supported, loved, cared for, and guided in life, children begin to communicate and explore within their communities. This process toward becoming competent adults truly is incredible.
As a veteran early childhood educator, I playfully guide children through their levels of development – supporting their reach to competence, confidence, and well-being. I observe children smiling at their own accomplishments, imitating models provided by adults and peers, initiating their own trials, and learning from their errors. The ah-ha moments of discovery, reward me daily. I do have one of the best jobs because I get paid to be strategically playful.
I thrive while collaborating with passionate teams of people, including family and professionals from other disciplines, such as occupational therapists and mental health personnel. We work together to support healthy growth for children. It truly does take a community to raise our youngest citizens. We owe it to them to develop a solid positive beginning for their future.