Identifying positive brain development from bonding between infants and caregivers and implementing programs to achieve these results for high-risk infants.
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How can caregiving facilities ensure that children and infants are provided with an environment for optimal brain development? Many childcare facilities aim to offer a safe but stimulating environment; they are equipped with toys, tactile experiences, and educational products. In addition, staff are trained and vetted to provide care to children. However, there is another component that needs to be addressed in ensuring care facilities provide environments for optimal brain development. Research has shown that an important component of cognitive development in children requires bonding to occur between caregivers and children. For most children, this crucial bonding is often established between mother and child, but children who are in single parent homes and are shuffled between caregivers may miss out on the attachment opportunities. Bonding requires regular interactions with specific individuals, however the time period to establish attachment is flexible. Bonding may occur between daycare workers and children provided there are consistent individuals who are prepared to engage in concentrated interactions. Attachment requires interactive dialogue/play with specific individuals over a period of time. In many facilities, constant staff turnover and scheduling convenience can impact children’s ability to bond with caregivers. This paper highlights current research on the importance of children’s interaction with consistent individuals/caregivers, and the brain development that results from bonding. It also details how local programs designed to improve bonding opportunities for children can help promote this brain development.
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