Inclusive Child Care For Infants And Toddlers / Edition 1

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This educational book gives child care providers the practical guidance they need to serve infants and toddlers with and without disabilities in inclusive settings. It offers information and helpful advice on handling daily care tasks, teaching responsively, meeting individual needs, developing rapport with parents, understanding toddlers' behavior, working with IFSPs, and maintaining high standards of care.

Suggested play activities and intervention approaches help promote healthy development in all children. Ready-to-use quality check forms, parent report forms, and feeding/play schedules target skills in areas in which infants and toddlers need the most help. Students preparing for careers in child care and professionals working in settings that welcome children of all abilities will find this resource to be a valuable tool for providing high quality services to their young clients.

Covers teaching responsively, meeting individual needs, feeding, diapering, toilet training, working with IFSPs.

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Editorial Reviews

Victoria Youcha

"The information is helpful and clearly presented. It is gentle and respectful of staff, parents, and children. It makes the point that inclusive child care can be an opportunity to benefit the development of ALL children."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557662965
  • Publisher: Brookes, Paul H. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/1/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Marion O'Brien, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). She also serves as Director of the Family Research Center at UNCG, an interdisciplinary group of researchers interested in parent–child relationships, children's development, and family functioning.

Dr. O'Brien conducts research on parenting, parent–child relationships, child care, and the relationship between parental attitudes, parental behavior, and child development. In addition to her work with families of children with autism spectrum disorders, she studies families of children with other developmental disabilities and those who are at medical risk, and adoptive and foster care families, as well as families of children who are typically developing.

Throughout her career, Dr. O'Brien has maintained a strong focus on the application of findings from research to practice and policy. She has developed and implemented intervention programs that directly benefit children and families. She organized and directed an inclusive full-day child care and early intervention program and an in-home family intervention program in which research-based knowledge of parenting practices was applied to assist families at high risk for abuse and neglect. She has written several books that translate research findings into practical guides for professionals in human services fields.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from Inclusive Child Care for Infants and Toddlers: Meeting Individual and Special Needs
By Marion O'Brien, Ph.D.
©1997. Brookes Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

A Developmental-Ecological Approach to Inclusive Infant-Toddler Care

The developmental-ecological approach taken in this book is based on two principles:

  1. Infants and toddlers face unique developmental tasks that are different from those of older children.
  2. Quality child care environments can be structured to help children achieve these tasks.
The first part of this chapter focuses on the developmental characteristics of infants and toddlers that set them apart from older children. The second section provides a general perspective on aspects of child care program design that are particularly appropriate for children from birth to 3 years of age.


Taking a developmental approach to infant-toddler care involves defining the important tasks with which children are presented at particular points in their development and then identifying programmatic aspects that will help them master these tasks. This emphasis on development builds on and extends the concept of "developmental appropriateness" that has been widely discussed in both early childhood education and special education forums (Bredekamp, 1987; Wolery & Bredekamp, 1994; Wolery, Strain, & Bailey, 1992) by focusing on the psychological and emotional needs of infants and toddlers as well as on their "readiness" or competencies to perform particular tasks. The environment described here is designed to support infants'and toddlers'development of a secure sense of self, ability to communicate effectively, and trust in others—three psychological qualities that form the basis for learning and adaptation throughout life.

This section outlines the psychological tasks facing infants and toddlers and describes specific ways in which the developmental and ecological approach taken in this book is uniquely designed to help children with those tasks.

The Developmental Needs of Infants

Most people are familiar with babies and have an understanding of their needs. In general, babies demand a lot of physical care, and their schedules are determined internally—largely by their needs for food and sleep. In an infant classroom, it is also important to give babies many experiences with objects and people when they are not eating or sleeping. Infants thrive when they are given responsive, individual attention. Providing such attention should be the goal of quality infant care.

Many people have an image of infant care that is more similar to babysitting than to teaching, but responsive teachers of infants are expected to do a lot more than be babysitters. They must follow regular routines for feeding, diaper changing, and naps that involve high standards of care and cleanliness, and they must learn to use a wide range of toys and play activities to help babies explore and experience the world. Babies tend to cry a lot, often for no explainable reason, and this is stressful. It is tempting for teachers of infants to think that the work is done when all of the babies are fed, have clean diapers, and are happy, but that is not the case. Infants who are comfortable and alert are ready to learn, and so teachers must use these calm moments as opportunities for teaching. Overall, teachers of infants constantly work very hard providing responsive care and presenting interesting play activities.

Despite the hard work involved, it is very rewarding to care for infants. Every baby offers unlimited possibilities and gives us hope for the future. Babies smell good (most of the time), make sweet sounds, and have cute faces. Infants also develop rapidly, so that a baby who starts the year all curled up and with an inward focus will be an active, smiling, interactive child by the end of the year.

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Table of Contents

About the Author

Part I: An Introduction to Inclusive Child Care for Infants and Toddlers

  1. A Developmental-Ecological Approach to Inclusive Infant-Toddler Care
  2. Child Care as a Setting for Early Intervention
  3. Parents as Partners
  4. Organizing Inclusive Infant-Toddler Care
Part II: Teaching and Learning in Inclusive Infant-Toddler Care Settings
  1. Exploration and Experience
  2. Responsive Teaching Techniques for Infants and Toddlers
  3. Responsive Guidance for Infants and Toddlers
Part III: Activities of Daily Living
  1. Food and Nutrition
  2. Diapering and Toilet Training
  3. Transitions
Part IV: Management and Administration of Inclusive Infant-Toddler Care
  1. Administering Inclusive Infant-Toddler Care
  2. Evaluating Quality in Inclusive Infant-Toddler Care

Appendix A: Themes for Infant and Toddler Play
Appendix B: Sample Play Activities for Inclusive Infant and Toddler Care
Appendix C: Planning Forms for Infant and Toddler Play
Appendix D: Recording Forms for Inclusive Infant-Toddler Care


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