“I'm Home!!” A Manual for Providing Therapeutic Childcare
“I’m Home!!” is written out of more than thirty years of experience at the Addison County Parent/Child Center. It elaborates on the philosophy, teacher attributes, curriculum, physical environment, and administrative supports needed to implement and sustain therapeutic childcare to infants and young children who are experiencing high levels of stress. The manual includes checklists, strategies, and lessons learned. Its goal is to help and inspire everyone engaged in this most critical and rewarding work with young children and their families.
Countless research studies have shown children's experiences during their first years of life dramatically impact their future quality of life. For young children with social, emotional or behavioral challenges or who are in high stress situations, it is important to help set positive
patterns of behavior early on the give these children and their families the best start to a healthy, productive future.
For more than 30 years the Addison County Parent/Child Center has cared for children and families with these sets of challenges and, as such, we have amassed decades of expertise in the field of therapeutic care.
Childcare centers across the region and state have sought information from us about how to provide quality therapeutic care to children within their own population. Now, we have made that information more accessible through our book, “I'm Home!!” A Manual for Providing
Therapeutic Childcare. It is our hope to equip early practioners everywhere with the tools to provide quality therapeutic care to children in need, birth through age five.
The manual shares the framework we developed for our own Middlebury, Vermont facility as well as other successful strategies we have implemented. One of the main components of the manual is the Therapeutic Childcare Checklist. The checklist is divided into
Teacher/Caregiver Attributes, Curriculum, Physical Environment (Indoor and Outdoor) and Program Structure. The book also covers therapeutic care for infants, useful strategies (including helpful key phrases to use with toddlers/preschoolers) and a section dedicated to
lessons learned using real stories. These stories highlight how a child and caregiver together made social and emotional gains specific to the child's own unique set of challenges.
What is Therapeutic Childcare?
Therapeutic childcare is care provided to young children who struggle with social/emotional/behavioral challenges or who are in high stress situations that put them at risk for experiencing these types of challenges. This type of care focuses on providing a healing or compensating environment for young children who, for either internal or environmental reasons, struggle in their interactions with the people in their world.
Therapeutic childcare gives highest priority to social and emotional development, focusing most strongly on helping children form strong attachments and learn ways to successfully function socially and emotionally in their lives.