Dinoland Early Years Centre is located in the western part of Singapore and it provides infant and toddler care services to parents. The Centre believes that “Every child deserves the best” and its mission statement is “Developing confident children in a safe and nurturing environment”.
Jade is 14 months old and she attends Dinoland Early Years Centre. She has a mild temperament and is slow to warm up. She is attached to her educated, Ms Deena, who has been taking care of her since she was six months old.
Ms Deena builds relationships with Jade through interactions that are respectful, responsive and reciprocal. She knows the importance of communicating with infants and toddlers and respects their individuality. Hence, Ms Deena takes every opportunity during routine care to talk to the children under her care.
Ms Deena considers Jade’s temperament and her needs before making any decision or taking any action. For example, she would always observe and connect with Jade, either through eye contact or touch, before getting her ready for her bath. As a result, Jade responded well to her.
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Last Wednesday, Jade’s mother brought Jade to the centre using a stroller. Jade was expecting Ms Deena but she was greeted by Ms Lena instead. Ms Lena greeted them with a hasty “Good morning!” without any eye contact while she tried to remove Jade from the stroller and carry her to the health check area.
Ms Lena sat down and gave Jade a quick health check, glancing at her palms, her soles and inside her mouth. Ms Tina, another educator, who was sitting adjacent to Ms Lena gently caressed Jade on her back throughout the health check routine.
Jade turned her head to look around the room silently in search of Ms Deena. Ms Tina understood her gesture, she continued to caress Jade on her back and told Jade gently that Ms Deena had gone for a class to learn new things and would not be back till the next day. Jade smiled at Ms Tina, she then clutched onto her backpack tightly across her chest and walked towards the cubbyhole.
For that day, Jade’s class had to be combined with Ms Lena’s group of infants. During breakfast, Ms Lena stood at the edge of the table opposite Jade and urged her to quickly finish her cereal as Jade had not eaten much of the cereal.
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According to Ms Deena, Jade needed a little encouragement when it comes to eating her meals because she is still very much dependent on her milk feeds. Jade’s mother mentioned before that Jade mainly drinks milk with some snacks in-between her milk feeds during the weekends.
During large group activity time, Ms Lena demonstrated the actions of the song “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes”. After which, Ms Lena played the music and the children followed Ms Lena’s actions. Suddenly, there was a loud thud sound followed by a child’s wailing. Dane, who was ten months old had lost his balance while trying to touch his toes and his forehead hit the floor.
The loud cry made Jade cringe as she stood in fear. Ms Tina came into the classroom to assist. She gathered the toddlers calmly and brought them over to the library corner. She spoke and comforted them in a soothing voice, explaining to them what had happened to Dane that caused him to cry. Ms Tina then picked up a picture book from the bookshelf nearby and started telling a story to distract as well as calm the toddlers.
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