While most early childhood professionals choose to go into this field because they want to work with children, it is important to understand that those children come with families. Those families are the child’s first teacher and play a crucial role throughout that child’s life. In the early years, there will be much interaction between the child’s home and school environments and the important people in each.
In Chapter 1 (Theories), you may have noticed that the majority of the theories presented focused on the individual child and their development from “within”. Constructing knowledge; meeting basic needs; developing a sense of trust. These are all very important. Bronfenbrenner's Ecological model took a different approach and looks at developmental influences outside of the child, and how they impact who the child becomes. One very important system is the child’s family. Children develop within the context of their families and the community that supports those families. As early childhood professionals, we build meaningful partnerships with the families of the children in our programs to ensure that their families are respected and valued in our program.