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How Early Childhood Educators Make the Most of Everyday Moments

Early childhood educators are alongside families celebrating milestones, comforting through challenging moments and providing enriching experiences.

Loving and Learning Through Daily Activities

Everyday moments are rich opportunities to encourage healthy development.

Early childhood educators are literally building brains. They know there’s magic in everyday moments – how each positive experience makes valuable neural connections that benefit babies and toddlers for the rest of their lives.  

A trusted partner, they are alongside families celebrating milestones, comforting through challenging moments and providing enriching experiences. They treat children in their classrooms like their own, and for many families, they become like family.  

There is nothing quite as exhausting as a group of toddlers, but there is also nothing quite as satisfying as helping those early synapses form. It’s a chance to play a role in the most critical years of a child’s life.

We are with early childhood educators every step of the way.

We advocate for better pay. We support their ongoing professional development. We regularly add to our extensive library of research-based early-learning resources. Early childhood educators are the backbone of our country, and their value should never be overlooked. 

This Teacher Appreciation Week, join us in saying #ThankYouChildCare and celebrating the little things early educators do that have a big impact.

child care provider comforting a sad young boy

They Make Goodbyes Easier

It’s never easy for caregivers and little ones to part. But the warm, familiar smile and gentle touch of early childhood educators help ease even the most challenging transitions.  

One of our favorite tips is to create a special good-bye routine. For example, caregivers can give their child a kiss on the palm to “hold” all day long. Or, the two of them can sing a special song together before you leave. Good-bye routines are comforting to children and help them understand and prepare for what will happen next.

They’re Always Up to Get their Hands Dirty

Sensory play gives children tools to enjoy all the adventures the world offers. Whether it’s water, mud or paint – early childhood educators encourage learning through exploration.  

They know it’s more than just play. What a child has enjoyed most in the earliest years of life may be deeply cherished and held in long memory. Some adults re-create their earliest sensory experiences in music, painting, and literature. Some continue or elaborate their early sensory experiences in their occupations, domestic arts, and religious observance. Some guide new generations of babies and young children as they explore the comforts, delights, and wonders of the world.

They Have the Best Activity Ideas

Early childhood educators come up with the most creative crafts and activities that enrich learning and create excitement. And that’s no easy task!

Planning around weather, different interests and temperaments is no easy task. That’s why we’ve developed a year-round guide with activity ideas.

They Help Teach Good Habits

Young children have so much to learn — including the smallest of tasks that many adults take for granted. 

From personal hygiene to self-care, early childhood educators are there every step of the way with tips and tricks to help babies and toddlers build self-confidence and encourage independence while learning these important skills.

The Have the Best Dance Parties

Like all the best learning experiences in early childhood, music activities simultaneously promote development in multiple domains.

Dancing or being rocked (to both fast and slow music), support young children to build muscles, practice balance and learn body awareness. Many favorite songs used in the classroom also promote learning basic language and math skills. Plus, it’s fun!

They're There Through Challenging Moments

Part of early childhood educators’ job is to help young children navigate the tide of strong emotions they experience. This is no small task!

But they take the time to understand the meaning behind challenging behavior and help children learn how to cope with strong feelings. Most of all, they have a special ability to remain calm throughout it all.

Their Smile Lights Up the Room

It’s scientifically proven that when babies make an authentic smile, the left frontal part of their brains is activated — the same part of the brain that is activated when adults experience happiness. 

Early childhood educators spend their days smiling and engaging with children in their care. They know that emotionally-nourishing connections lay the foundation for lifelong health and well-being.

Early childhood educators often do not get the pay, benefits or support they need and deserve.

Legislation now in Congress can change that. Urge Members of Congress to #ThinkBabiesandAct and support the Child Care for Working Families Act.

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Early Childhood Teachers’ Well-Being: What We Know and Why We Should Care
Kyong-Ah Kwon and Diane M. Horm, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa Chris Amirault, Tulsa Educare MacArthur, Tulsa, Oklahoma Abstract Researchers from the Happy Teacher Project found that many early childhood teachers experience stress and demonstrate lack of well-being at rates and levels that threaten the quality and sustainability of the workforce. Further, working with children exposed to trauma adds significant emotional and […]
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