Why practice continuity of care?
Our Neighborhood practices continuity of care, a system of keeping children and teachers together from infancy until age three. This practice is backed by research that tells us there are many benefits. Continuity of care promotes healthy brain development. It allows caregivers a deeper knowledge of the children and reduces stress on children and families.
Continuity of care promotes healthy brain development by ensuring that the child feels safe and secure at school. Keeping a child with the same adult from when they enter school until they turn three allows time for their relationship to become strong and secure. Having a secure attachment between children and their caregivers is very important for children of all ages. Additionally, it is especially important for infants and toddlers since 80% of brain development happens before age three. When children experience secure attachment it sets up strong pathways in their brains for healthy development and resilience. It also helps build a strong foundation for learning and social emotional growth.
Continuity of care also gives caregivers the time to develop a deeper knowledge and better understanding of the child and their family. This leads to more individualized and high quality care for the child since the caregiver has known the child over many developmental stages. Another way continuity of care is beneficial is that it reduces stress on children and families. Children rely on familiarity and routine. When a child is separated from their familiar caregivers and moved to a different classroom, it causes stress on the child and disrupts learning. It can also be stressful on families to be separated from the person who helped them and their child adjust to life at school, and have to rely on someone new. Continuity of care reduces these stressors and provides the best possible environment for young children.
Research shows that continuity of care is the best way to support young children and their families.
- Mary Mcmullen article about the benefits of Continuity of Care in Childcare Exchange (PDF) Continuity of care with infants & toddlers: Identifying benefits and addressing common concerns
- The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services article on Continuity of Care and how to use it to ensure quality of childcare Continuity of Care
- The Center for Law and Social Policy article with a description of benefits, recommendations and suggestions about how to implement Continuity of Care for providers and caregivers https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6LBzeXGQi10RXJZN09ncktPWlU