How Does Learning Happen?

A Five Minute Checklist for ECES


BELONGING: Cultivating Authentic Relationships and Connections

GOAL FOR CHILDREN: Every child has a sense of belonging when he or she is connected to others and contributes to their world.

PROGRAM EXPECTATION: Early childhood programs cultivate authentic, caring relationships and connections to create a sense of belonging among and between children, adults, and the world around them.


Educators can meet this expectation, and create contexts so all children can develop a sense of belonging by:

  • Staying in tune with the physical and emotional states of each child and responding in a warm and sensitive manner.

  • Planning for ways to support smooth transitions— between the home and the early years setting – in daily routines – across early years settings.

  • Conveying a warm and caring manner through body language as well as words. How we touch, carry, and move children through daily routines sends a strong message.

  • Capitalizing on opportunities for one-to-one interactions during daily routines.

  • Discovering the unique characteristics and gifts of each child by talking with his or her family, observing, and documenting.

  • Creating opportunities throughout daily experiences that enable children to explore, wonder about, care for, and make connections to the natural environment.

  • Building connections between the home and the program by communicating with families using multiple means –e-mail updates, blogs, Facebook/Twitter/enewsletters, documentation panels—placed where families can review children’s experiences.

ABOUT 100 Days of Child Care Programming

100 Days of Child Care Programming, tames the flurry of ECE programming noise into short and snappy ideas for the everyday ECE.