Buzzwords Explained

Breaking Down Common Terms in the Early Childhood Field

Jargon is out. Simple and succinct explanations are in.

In this series, ZERO TO THREE’s subject matter experts tackle common terms and topics in the early childhood field.

Reflective Practice

Reflective practice fosters responsivity versus reactivity. It’s a tool that invites us to pause and slow down to become aware of thoughts, feelings and reactions that arise in everyday interactions.


At its core, equity in early childhood means that children in any space have the same opportunities regardless of their race, location, physical or mental abilities, income or background.

Child Trauma

Strong relationships with caregivers and a safe environment help young children learn to trust the world. Early traumatic events — called adverse childhood experiences or ACEs — can have the opposite effect.  

Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma-informed care gives kids security. Whether in classroom or clinical settings, the more we support children who have had traumatic experiences, the better their chance of thriving.

Compassion Fatigue

Early childhood professionals care deeply and work tirelessly to help the children and families they work with. That’s why their role is so critical, but it’s also why they are at risk of developing of compassion fatigue.

Play-Based Learning

Playful exploration is a natural way of learning. When babies and toddlers get more chances to use their natural skills through play-based learning activities, they tend to stay engaged and creative learners even as they grow up.

Stay tuned for more Buzzword videos and articles coming soon!

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