chapter  6
15 Pages

Preparing Teachers for Infant Care and Education

BySusan L. Recchia

New knowledge about the powerful and long-lasting impact of responsive care giving on early brain development has created a compelling need for early childhood practice and policy to develop deeper understandings of how infants learn and how to best support their learning (National Scientifi c Council on the Developing Child, 2007; Schore, 2005). The signifi cance of the fi rst years of life as foundational to all later learning brings a moral imperative to the fi eld of early childhood education to fi nd better ways to prepare teachers and leaders to work effectively with infants and families (Lally, 2013). Promoting high-quality infant care and education has become a national policy focus in the U.S. (Obama-Biden “Zero-to-Five Plan” [White House, n.d.]), where more than half of the 12 million infants and toddlers regularly spend their time in a child care program (Hyson & Tomlinson, 2014; Horm, Hyson, & Winton, 2013). Evidence from other countries also refl ects a heightened focus on early care and education (Dalli, White, Rockel, & Duhn, 2011; Mathers, Eisenstadt, Sylva, Soukakou, & Ereky-Stevens, 2014) which has led to changes in policy and practice.