The first three years of your child’s life is vital to their development and future. As Shonkoff and Phillips (2000) discuss, it is during these formative years that your child will rapidly go through monumental learning and development milestones (as cited in McMullen, 2017). Shonkoff and Phillips also discuss how the relationships children form, and the activities they engage in during this period, help shape their future and the person they will become (as cited in McMullen, 2018).
In regards to your child’s care and education during these important early years, extended research supports continuity of care as providing the best outcome for their learning, development, emotional wellbeing, and future.
Continuity of care promotes the importance of meaningful and deep relationships and quality learning experiences by allowing your child to remain in the same environment with the same group of peers and childcare staff for a minimum of two to three years (McMullen, 2018).
McMullen (2017) also discusses how it is detrimental to a child’s growth if they are constantly made to change to new environments, adapt to new faces, and learn new routines. Her research supports continuous childcare with minimal change as being the best practice in which to nurture and accelerate a child’s developmental growth.
As a parent, it is important to look towards the long-term, and to consider the environment you choose for your child’s education and care as an investment in their future. Choosing a supportive and stable learning environment where your child will have the opportunity to develop secure attachments with people who know and care about them is one of the most important factors for a parent to consider.
Continuity of care has proven to be beneficial not only to children, but also to parents, childcare staff, and to the community as a whole. McMullen (2017) lists a number of benefits of continuity of care.
When considering schooling or childcare it is always best to think towards your child’s long-term future. The commitment you make to continuity of care will greatly benefit your child’s emotional, social, and developmental progress, and will provide them with the best possible environment during their important formative years. Research supports continuity of care as the best practice to give your child the most beneficial early education experience. Childhood education is an investment into your child’s future, and we urge you to consider the above benefits and make the commitment to pursue continuity of care wherever possible.
McMullen, M.B. (2017). Continuity of Care with Infants and Toddlers. Retrieved from https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/continuity-of-care-with-infants-and-toddlers/5023346/
McMullen, M.B. (2018). The Many Benefits of Continuity of Care for Infants, Toddlers, Families, and Caregiving Staff. Retrieved from https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/jul2018/benefits-continuity-care