The principles of the Attachment Based Development Approach (ABDA) are observed in many quality early learning environments, but as far as we know, Nest is the only one that uses it as the foundation for its philosophy and approach to child care. There are quite a few misconceptions about ABDA, therefore it’s important to address them and make some clarifications about why we do what we do.
Many people think that an attachment approach means coddling and indulging the child, eating only organic, babywearing or co-sleeping. Attachment has more meaning than these superficial stereotypes, as it’s about establishing a strong connection between adult and child, which is the ultimate driving force towards guiding children to be healthy, strong, and respectful individuals in society. It’s important that as adults, we understand what behaviours and learning outcomes are developmentally appropriate and allow children to express themselves in the natural ways that they understand, without consequence. Children are not little adults and should not be expected to learn how to behave like adults. It can be a scary world that they are learning to be a part of and our job is to come alongside them and provide a safe environment within appropriate boundaries.
Our role as educators at Nest is to maintain the irreplaceable attachment between the children and their primary caregivers (in most cases, the parents, but can be extended family), while also establishing positive connections with the children ourselves. We are creating a “home away from home”, so the children can be fully comfortable expressing themselves and seek enriching experiences to learn and grow.
Please stay tuned for Part 2 of this entry!
- Sara Solomon (Program Manager)