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6-Examine culturally and developmentally appropriate environments for infants and

toddlers

Culturally and developmentally appropriate environments for infants and toddlers


can enrich childrens early experiences. Infants and toddlers learn best in
environments where they can have secure relationships with caring and responsive
adults. Young children need to feel safe, secure and free to explore and learn.
Caregivers can support the natural desire of infants and toddlers to actively explore
their environments with their whole bodies by knowing about developmentally
appropriate environments. Having this knowledge helps caregivers better
understand a childs developmental needs and supports learning and development.
When we take the time to connect with families to better understand their cultures,
values, beliefs, and expectations, children will feel a sense of belonging. Childrens
experiences at home influence their reactions to care and learning environments.
Understanding the home culture can help caregivers create more familiar and
comfortable care and learning environments. I learned from the article Culturally
sensitive schools that a culturally sensitive high quality child care provides a child
care that must be in harmony with what goes on at home. We need to make the
environments relevant of the families. Dont try to teach culture, reflect the childs
home culture. When there is a link between home and day care, children feel more
at ease and are ready to learn. Developmentally appropriate environments for
infants and toddlers understand caregiving routines become part of the curriculum.
Young children strive to make sense of the world in which they live. The first step in
creating age appropriate environments for infants and toddlers is to examine how
young children develop and learn. Infants and toddlers learn about their worlds by
acting on objects and materials in their environments. In infancy emotions let
babies communicate with others and behavioral organizations. I learned from
Chapter 7 of Children through emotions infants communicate. Emotions influence
an infants social responses and adaptive behaviors as they interact with others.
Social relationships provide the setting for the development of emotions. The ability
of an infant to communicate emotions permits coordinated interactions with their
caregivers and the beginning of emotional interactions. Positive interactions
between caregivers and infants creates responses as compared to objects. Infants
come into the world with a brain waiting to be woven. The experiences infants and
toddlers are exposed to determine the direction of brain development. Children who
have the opportunities to develop in appropriate environments are challenged to
think and use materials in new ways. Young children respond differently based on
the design of the environment in which they live. A culturally and developmentally
appropriate environment has the potential for positively influencing all areas of the
childs development: physical, social, emotional, and cognitive. I learned from the
article Being with babies real conversations happen between infants and adults.
When we talk to infants while doing caregiver routines, babies respond and relax.
Teachable moments happen daily. I learned a few simple things child care providers
can do to make daily activities more pleasurable. They are:

1) Never pick up and infant unexpectedly into your arms in a way that is
startling for them
2) Moves should be never overly hasty
3) Help them also with words to prepare them for what is going to happen
4) The baby must be listened to when the adult is caring for them
Infants that become participants in the daily activities of their lives make the time
you spend with them joyous and babies will learn. I learned in Chapter 7 of
Children that infants gradually develop the ability to regulate their emotions and
is tied to the gradual maturity of the frontal region of the cerebral cortex. I learned
emotional development and coping with stress are influenced by interactions with
caregivers. Infants have three types of cries; basic, anger, and pain. Context can
influence emotional regulation. By the age of two, toddlers can define their feelings
states and the context that is upsetting them. Infants must learn to adapt to
different context that requires emotional regulation. Even at birth infants have
different emotional styles. These tendencies reflect temperament. Temperament is
an individual behavioral style and characterizes ways of responding. I learned from
Chapter 7 of Children that reactions of an infants temperament may depend in
part on culture, physiological, and hereditary factors between a childs
temperament and an adults personality. The cultural differences in temperament is
linked to parental attitudes and behaviors. Emotions and temperament represent
key aspect of personality. Attachment emerges from social cognitive advances that
allow infants to develop expectations for the caregivers behavior and determines
the quality of the relationship. I learned based on how babies respond to the strange
situations, they are describes as being securely attached or insecurely attached (in
3 ways).
1) Securely attached babies use the caregiver as a secure base from which to
explore their environment.
2) Insecurely avoidant babies show insecurity by avoiding the mother.
3) Insecure resistant babies cling to the caregiver and then resist her by fighting
against the closeness.
4) Insecure disorganized babies are disorganized and disoriented. Babies must
show a strong pattern of avoidance and resistance.
As a measure of attachment the stranger situation may be culturally biased.
Securely attached infants have caregivers who are sensitive to their signals and are
consistently available to respond to their needs. Security attachment is important to
development. Secure attachments in the first year provides an important foundation
for psychological development later in life. Securely attached infants move freely.
Research in the role of hormones and neurotransmitters in attachment has
emphasized the importance of oxytocin and vasopressin in the formation of the
mother-infant bond. I learned the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hypothalamus
influence attachment connections. Many factors influence to quality of child care.
The quality of child care matters in development. High quality child care can provide
a safe environment, access to age appropriate toys, participate in age appropriate
activities, and low caregiver to child rations. Caregivers must also practice
responsible sleeping habits that prevent sudden infant death syndrome and be

trained in shaken baby syndrome. Infants need loving and caring adults who are
trained in culturally and developmentally appropriate practices.