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SPEAKER 1: Young children are dependent on the adultsaround them to ensure they develop and learn in a waythat will let them be happy and achieve their full potential.Hopefully, they will make special close attachmentrelationships with a number of key peoplein their early lives, and these are based on trust.
MOLLY: Can I see?It's that one.
SPEAKER 1: We're going to follow one child,Ava, through her third year so that wecan see how these key issues both at home and at nurseryaffect her life, play, and learning.
MOLLY: Can I eat it now?
SPEAKER 1: We're going to see Ava at homewith her family, where mom is the most important attachmentfigure, and also at the nursery, where the attachmentfigure will be a key person.
CLAIRE: You're going to look after this teddy.
SPEAKER 1: And we'll be hearing from Peter Elfer, a leadingresearcher in nursery practice for children under three.[MUSIC PLAYING][Life at TWO Attachments, Key People and Development][MUSIC PLAYING]
MOLLY: You're squashing me.
SPEAKER 1: Ava was now two.From birth, she's been brought up by her mom, Molly.A secure, well-attached relationshiphas developed between them because Mollyhas always been responsive to Ava's communications and needs.In difficult situations, Ava knows that Molly is alwaysthere to help.She's her secure base.
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: Molly and Ava live with Molly's mom and brother Jack-- Ava'sgranny and uncle.They usually all get together at meal times.Ava is gradually getting to understand who she isand develop a sense of belonging in this family setting.She's attached to all three adults.But there's a hierarchy, and Molly's at the top.
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: If she's available, she'll alwaysbe Ava's first choice, especiallyin times of distress.But it Molly has to go out, Ava stillfeels secure with her Uncle Jack.She's usually happy to be left with him,and she's used to the physical games he plays with her.
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: She knows that Molly will return.
SPEAKER 2: Do you think that one's a bit small?
SPEAKER 1: She's particularly attached to grandmabecause grandma's always responsive to her.
AVA: That's mummy.
SPEAKER 2: Is it mummy, is it?
SPEAKER 2: Should we show mummy what we've been doing?
AVA: Show mommy been doing.
SPEAKER 2: Aren't they fantastic?
MOLLY: They're brilliant.What are they?
MOLLY: They look delicious.
AVA: Another one.
MOLLY: Another-- you've done so many.Can I eat it?
PETER ELFER: Close attachments are so important,not just for self-image but for social developmentand emotional development because they make children feelmore secure about themselves, and theyhelp children to begin to understand other people'sfeelings.
MOLLY: Oh, you want it back?Not my present?Is it not my present?
MOLLY: No?You just gave it to me.I want it.
AVA: I want it.
MOLLY: It's my present.
PETER ELFER: If a child can begin to tune in to one or twofamiliar adults, and begin to predict and understandtheir responses, it's the basis for empathy and understanding--relationships, generally.So it's terribly important for social interactions.
AVA: Let's talk.
MOLLY: Let's talk.
SPEAKER 1: As Molly's always been responsiveto Ava's communications and talked with her a lot,she now has a rich understanding of spoken languageand enjoys conversations.
AVA: Mommy [INAUDIBLE].
MOLLY: I'm awake.
AVA: What to do today?
MOLLY: What should we do today?
SPEAKER 1: This good attachment alsomeans that Ava's keen to try and do things for herselfand please Molly.This makes it easier for Molly to teachher to do everyday tasks and become more independent.
AVA: This is the hole.
MOLLY: That's the hole, but you'vegot to put it up the teacher.Put your hand up the t-shirt.
SPEAKER 1: She's specific with praise,and consistently encourages Ava even though ittakes much longer to get ready.As Ava's understanding and her own ability grows,she's motivated to practice and put her own boots on.It makes her feel good about herself.
MOLLY: You've done-- did you do that one by yourself?Wowee.Well done.Sorted.Clever girl.Do you want to put this on, Ava?
MOLLY [continued]: [Ava starts nursery]
SPEAKER 1: Molly has just started taking Avato the local nursery.She'll spend two and a half days a week there.This will be an important change for Ava and Molly.If it's a good experience, they'll both benefit.Ava will still have the love and individuality of her home lifewith the learning time she needs at home,
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: as well as the benefits of being part of a nursery community.And Molly can resume her work interest.How is Ava going to cope with these two very differentplaces, home and nursery?How can she be happy without Molly to look out for herand be her base?What will matter most will be the way the nursery
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: staff interact with her.One of the staff is going to be the key person for Avaand will be responsible for her settling in.Molly and Ava have already visited a few timesand met the staff, but this is the first timethat Molly is going to leave Ava on her own.Claire is going to be Ava's key person,although of course she'll interact with all the nursery
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: staff.
CLAIRE: There we go.Good morning.
CLAIRE: Come on in.Who's in here?[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
MOLLY: Want to take your coat off?Yeah.And where will you put it?
CLAIRE: There might be a spot on there.
AVA: On this one?
CLAIRE: On this one.
SPEAKER 1: Claire will never replace Molly,but hopefully she'll build an attachment relationshipwith Ava that will provide the same key aspectswithin their relationship that Molly provides for Ava.And that's availability, sensitivity, and warmth.
MOLLY: Want to have a look at the Play-doh do you think?
AVA: Mommy, come with me.
MOLLY: Yeah, I'll come with you.I'll just hang up my coat and put your bag over here.
AVA: Mom, [INAUDIBLE]
PETER ELFER: When children start at nursery-- say,a child starting at the age of two--come into nursery with a secure attachment.One of the things John Bowlby showed us through attachmenttheory was that children will show anxiety and protestwhen they're separating.Now that's sometimes seen by nursery staffas a sign-- as a bad sign-- that a child's insecurely attached
PETER ELFER [continued]: if they find it difficult to settle into nursery.In fact, the opposite is the case,that it's quite a normal and healthy response for a childto be anxious about separating from loved ones,from parents or grandparents or other main carers at home.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
AVA: I hurt my thumb.
CLAIRE: You hurt your thumb?
AVA: It bit my finger.
CLAIRE: You bit your finger?
AVA: Yes.This finger.
SPEAKER 1: Molly hasn't left yet.Claire gets down to Ava's level to show her availabilityand responsiveness.
AVA: And Holly's.
CLAIRE: And Holly bit her finger?
AVA: Holly bit her finger outside.
CLAIRE: Oh, dear.Do you think maybe we should give them a little wash?
SPEAKER 1: Now she sees Ava glance at Mollyand senses her anxiety.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
CLAIRE: You want mummy to help you?
AVA: Mummy?Mummy, mummy.
MOLLY: Do you want me to help you wash your hands?
PETER ELFER: The way to really help childrenafter that distress has been acknowledgedis to provide a secondary attachment in nursery,somebody in nursery who'll be familiar and reliable for them,who'll be there as much as possible to greet themin the morning when they arrive, will gradually
PETER ELFER [continued]: help the child feel confident, that they'vegot a special relationship at nursery.
MOLLY: Mummy's going to have to go to work in a minute.Is that OK?And you're going to stay here and havesome snacks with everyone.And I'll go to work for just for a little bit.Then I'll come back and get you.Is that OK?
MOLLY: So will I see you quite soon?Have a nice time with Holly and Kate and everyone.OK, see you soon.Bye.See you soon.
CLAIRE: Bye-bye, mummy.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: Molly is also anxious,finding it hard to leave.Claire understands the worry, and triesto make it easier with a relaxed approach.
CLAIRE: You all say bye Ava's mommy.
MOLLY: See you soon.
SPEAKER 1: And then she's coming back again.
CLAIRE: See you very soon.
PETER ELFER: We might ask what are the most importantattributes of a key person.A key person really needs to be somebodywho can both be available to the child,be responsive to the child, is able to tune into that child,but can also hold onto their professional roleso they're acting as something as a bridge for the child
PETER ELFER [continued]: while the child is away from their main carers at home.And in that sense, they have a very personal role.They're very key from the child's point of view.But the key person also has to keep in mindthat they're a professional work and that they'reworking within professional limitsand professional boundaries.
CLAIRE: Shall we see if we can find Ava's coat?
AVA: But mine is there.
CLAIRE: Oh, there it is.
SPEAKER 1: The children prepare to go outside,and Claire is there to support Ava and help her with her coat.Just like Molly, she offers help but gives her timeand encouragement to do it herself.
CLAIRE: Well done, sweetheart.
SPEAKER 1: Wait one minute, Caitlin.One minute.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
CLAIRE: You're having a good try.Do you need a little help?Shall I help you pop it in?And then you can pull it up, OK?
SPEAKER 1: No pushing.That's not nice.
CLAIRE: Well done.What a clever girl.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: It feels very different to home.Lots of children, noise, and jostling.
CLAIRE: All right, everybody listen.We need to have a little squeaky mouse timebecause it's getting too noisy.So a little squeaky mouse time.
SPEAKER 1: Ava stands and watches.Hierarchies exist in the playground.Dominance is often exerted through possession of toys.Here, an incident occurs where an older girl takes Ava's doll.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 2: I'm good at looking after babies.
SPEAKER 1: Ava is very uncertain in her new surroundingsand doesn't object.She copes well, though, and finds a solution.
SPEAKER 2: Will you hold her while I go to work?[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: Claire is involved with another child,but is keeping an eye on Ava and sees what's happening.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]As Claire sees her withdraw, she approaches to offer help.
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: [BACKGROUND CHATTER]
CLAIRE: Fasten her in so she doesn't fall out.And I'll just use our special straps so she doesn't fall out.
SPEAKER 1: This is what Ava needed-- a feelingthat maybe she has a secure base here,and she's able to join in with a little more confidence.Claire waits for her, supporting her little adventure.She engages Ava in conversation and listens carefully.
CLAIRE: Because the wind's blowing.I can see it blowing your hair.It blows Claire's hair, too.
SPEAKER 1: She picks up of Ava's interests.
CLAIRE: And you can feel some rain, too.
AVA: Like that.
CLAIRE: Yep.Just a little bit on our hands.
AVA: Bit like mummy's house.
CLAIRE: Is it a bit like mummy's house?
CLAIRE: Did you see the curtains?
SPEAKER 1: She makes sure she understands what Ava is saying.
CLAIRE: Would you like to have a look at what's inside?Maybe you can make your baby a drink.
AVA: Not a bottle anywhere.
AVA: Not a bottle anywhere.
CLAIRE: No bottle anywhere.Oh, a bottle.You've not got a bottle.
CLAIRE: Maybe we can find her a cup.
AVA: A blue cup.
CLAIRE: Go on, then.You see if you can find a blue cup.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: We need to get some more of this sandout of these [INAUDIBLE].[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
AVA: Mommy's back?
CLAIRE: Mummy's back.
AVA: Hello, mommy.
CLAIRE: Whoops.A bit stuck.
AVA: Hello.A big long snake.
AVA: Hello, snake.
MOLLY: Where's a big long snake?
AVA: Pushing my baby.
MOLLY: Have you been pushing your baby?
SPEAKER 1: Eva and Molly are thrilledto see each other again.Ava shows Molly what she's been doing.After a separation, this behavior-- the reunion--is the mark of a good attachment relationship.
MOLLY: She has?
SPEAKER 1: Claire withdraws to let Ava and Molly greeteach other by themselves.
MOLLY: Oh, the clothes.That's brilliant.
AVA: [INAUDIBLE] cup.
MOLLY: She'll wait?Have you had a good time?What have you been doing?[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
CLAIRE: But she did really well, and just watched her leavewith her baby.
MOLLY: Did she?
CLAIRE: And walked back into the playhouse,and got another baby.And Ava came back out.
MOLLY: Oh, that's good.
CLAIRE: Just little things like that.And it's rained a little, so time-wise, she just watched,seeing what everybody's doing.And apart from that, she's been fine.
MOLLY: Just enjoyed it.She seems like she's had a nice time.
SPEAKER 1: Claire tells Molly about Ava's morning,keeping Molly involved.She knows the separation is hard for Molly, as well.
MOLLY: Yes.Finish my tea.
CLAIRE: I'm quite surprised.
PETER ELFER: One of the most common anxietiesabout the key person role is that it involvesan attachment between the key person and the key childrenthey're responsible for.And nursery staff often say they'reafraid that that will undermine attachments at home.It's as if they feel that there'sa fixed amount of attachment, and there's
PETER ELFER [continued]: more of it in nursery, then there must be less of itat home.But in fact, research seems to point to the opposite,that close attachments at home seemto enable children, support children to makeclose attachments in nursery.And equally, children who have the opportunityof close attachments at nursery seem
PETER ELFER [continued]: to be supported in their attachment relationshipsat home.[A day at home Developing independence]
AVA: Yes.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: Helped by her close relationship with Molly,Ava's becoming keen to assert her own autonomy.She's making choices.While Molly gets ready, she chooses herself a book.
SPEAKER 1: Being able to make choicesis an important part of learning about yourself, about whatyou're like as a person.
MOLLY: I'm just going to dry my hair.OK?Ava?
SPEAKER 1: She's used to Molly reading her stories,and knows how books work.
AVA: [INAUDIBLE] No.The end.The end.All done.One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine--
SPEAKER 1: Today, friends are coming for lunch,so Molly and Ava are going to go shopping for food.
MOLLY: Shall I make a list of what we need from the shops?
SPEAKER 1: Molly includes Ava in making a shopping list.Ava wants to write the list.
MOLLY: How about I write it?
AVA: How about I write it?
MOLLY: Well, you write one thing and then shall Iwrite the rest.
SPEAKER 1: She now often insists on doing things herselfeven when they're beyond her capabilities.It's part of becoming a separate person.
AVA: Well, we do the list.You do the list.
MOLLY: Thank you.What do we need?
SPEAKER 1: The local environment outside her family homeis becoming familiar to Ava.She's comfortable in these surroundingseven though it's much more unpredictable than the homeenvironment.She's experiencing how the world works,like shopping and different forms of transport.
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: She's recognizing that she's part of this wider community.
MOLLY: A bowl.This way.Can you help me put the cart in?Don't go too far.
MOLLY [continued]: Ava, wait.Can you come hold these for me?Come hold the cucumber.
SPEAKER 1: Her growing independence oftenmakes things difficult for Molly.She has to strike a balance between the needto keep her safe and letting her go.
MOLLY: Right.Will you hold the cucumber for me?Or I'll have to carry you then.Ava, I'm not very happy with you doing that.
AVA: Put down.
MOLLY: Are you going to help me carry some things?
MOLLY: Or are you going to run away?
MOLLY: Oh, that's not good.
AVA: I'm going to run away.
MOLLY: Will you hold these for me?
SPEAKER 1: In the big shop, Molly has to be firm.These strong-willed tantrums can bedifficult to deal with, especially in a public place.
MOLLY: Ava, if you run away-- I can't put you down if you'rejust going to run away.I'll do what I have to do then.
AVA: I do no run away.
MOLLY: Well, I'll tell you what I'll have to do then.I'll have to go and get the trolley,and you'll have to sit in the trolley.[AVA SCREAMING]Are you going to sit in the Trolley?
MOLLY: Yes.Hold the ticket for me.[AVA SCREAMING]
MOLLY: Ava, we've got to get--[AVA SCREAMING]
AVA: Let go of me.
MOLLY: You can't run away from me, Ava.You can either hold my hand, or I'llhave to carry you or go in the trolley.
MOLLY: You want to have a carry.Right.
SPEAKER 1: Ava chooses to be carried.Molly offers Ava a choice so that Ava can stillfeel she has an element of control in the situation,and Molly doesn't become authoritarian-- whichcould be equally as negative as being overly permissive.
MOLLY: You want to hold it?Think that'll be a bit heavy?
SPEAKER 1: This sort of negotiationis an important skill.To negotiate, Molly has to be very clear in her own mind whatAva can and can't do.
MOLLY: Clever girl.That's it.
SPEAKER 1: And making choices is part of learning about yourselfand becoming a separate person.Ava often has the opportunity to make choices,and this helps her feel competent and goodabout herself.
AVA: [INAUDIBLE][BACKGROUND CHATTER]
MOLLY: Do you like having tea cups?
SPEAKER 1: To further encourage Ava's social development,Molly provides opportunities to develop friendships.Molly's friend Amy has a daughter, Ester, of similar ageto Ava.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
AMY: [INAUDIBLE] can you remember the namesof any of the other children?
SPEAKER 1: When they visit, Ava and Ester play together.They mostly play side by side in parallel play,but often watching each will learn and imitatewhat the other is doing.
AMY: Oh, well.Well, just give her a bit without the mushrooms.There we go.
SPEAKER 1: There are often conflicts over objects.
MOLLY: What's Ester doing?
AVA: I'm going to cut mine.
MOLLY: We can only cut with plastic Play-dog knives,though, can we?We can't cut with big knives.
AVA: I want to use the knife.
MOLLY: Well, have we got another knife?Shall I have a look?
AVA: I want the pink knife.
MOLLY: Tada.I've got a red knife.
AVA: No, I want the pink knife.
MOLLY: You want a pink knife?
AVA: Yeah.I want the pink knife.
MOLLY: Ava, why do you have the red one, then?
AVA: No, I [INAUDIBLE].
MOLLY: Why does everyone want the pink one?Oh, that's nice sharing, giving it to Ava.What a kind girl.That's lovely.Are you going to say thank you, Ava?
AVA: Thank you, Ava.
SPEAKER 1: Ava's still learning about whoshe is and isn't always able to think of Ester's name.Sharing's still a difficult concept, and she needs support.[Ava's first full day at nursery][BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: Four visits later, and Ava's goingto stay for her first full day.
CLAIRE: Come in.
CLAIRE: Come on in.How are you today?[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
MOLLY: Are you?You've got two cars?Wow.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]So have a look-see, see, what's going on?
AVA: Will you stay with me?
MOLLY: Well, I'm going to go off to work for a little bit.Is that OK?And then I'll come and see you later.You'll be able to play.That a good idea?
SPEAKER 1: Ava still wants Molly to stay with her.Molly prepares to leave, and Claire steps in.
CLAIRE: Jonathan's glasses steamed up this morning,and Ruth's glasses steamed up this morning because it'sso rainy and cold outside.And what's this?
AVA: It got wet.
CLAIRE: Did that get a bit wet?Shall we dry it?
CLAIRE: Shall we get a paper towel and dry it?And I wonder what's inside.
SPEAKER 1: Ava loves her food, and knowing this,Claire swaps in a lunch bag.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
CLAIRE: Is it Ava's lunch?Is it your packed lunch?We've got some sandwiches.
AVA: And yogurt.
CLAIRE: And a yogurt.That's lovely.Shall we zip it back up then to keep it fresh for lunch time?Well done.And Claire will pop it on the shelf--look-- with all the other boys and girls' lunch boxes.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]Pop it right up there.
MOLLY: Right.I'll see you later.Have a nice day.[INAUDIBLE] I think it's [INAUDIBLE] and Caitlinover there talking about trains.I think so.And with Ruth.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
MOLLY [continued]: Right.Are you going to walk?
CLAIRE: Are you going to say bye to mummy?
MOLLY: You're going to say goodbye to me,and you'll walk over there with Claire.And I'll come back very soon.You have a nice day, all right?See you later.Have a wave.
CLAIRE: Bye-bye, mum.
MOLLY: Right Ava, I'll wave to you through the window.
CLAIRE: Say bye to mom.
MOLLY: See you later.
CLAIRE: We're going to lift up so we can wave at mum.
MOLLY: You're going to wave through here.
CLAIRE: You ready?There she goes.And a big wave.That's a nice little wave.Blow kisses to mummy.Big blowy kisses.
SPEAKER 1: Ava's still very uncertainnow that Molly's left.Hopefully, the developing relationshipwith her key person, Claire, will help her overcome this.She's happy to play alone, though, and chooses a jigsaw.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]And your daddy's car is blue.
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: So that's one, two, three.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]All right, everybody.Everybody's here at nursery today.We need to come sit in the back corner now.Claire's going to come in--
SPEAKER 3: Bye-bye, Holly.
HOLLY: Bye-bye, dad.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: Bye, dad.
HOLLY: Oh, Caitlin, look.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: Let's see if we can all make a circle.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
CLAIRE: You're just straightening upthe jigsaws first.
SPEAKER 1: Now Claire tries to encourageher to join the group.As she's very sensitive to Ava's feelings,Ava relaxes and doesn't feel pressurized.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: Would you like to do it again?
CLAIRE: Come on then, Ava.Do you want to come and join the others?Listen to some songs?No?You do this one then.Claire's just going to go and see the boys and girls.You can come when you like.
SPEAKER 1: The setup is flexible enoughto let Ava make her own choices.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]Claire has other children to work with, as well,but keeps an eye on Ava.
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: And there are always other staff to help her.
SPEAKER 1: Shall I put them on this side, Caitlin?Caitlin can finish that [INAUDIBLE] Which oneare you going to-- [INAUDIBLE]
SPEAKER 1: She's still uncertain about the group activities,but is relating well to Claire and benefiting in many ways.It seems that Ava is interested in circlesand encircling things.One of the ways of looking at children's learningis through the idea of schemas.
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: The schema is a group of actions that the child usesthat are linked to the same idea,and theme is explored in different situations.Here, Ava draws round the face, and thenwants to draw round her hand and then circle it.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: Claire encourages this.Outside, Claire notices that she's taking her whole bodyaround in circles.
AVA: Running around.
SPEAKER 1: This could be a circle schemathat Ava users in her play, and identifyingher schemas helps make sense of her interests and learning.Outside, Ava is still much on her own.She's getting to trust Claire, though,and feels able to ask for the help she wants.
AVA: Can have the car?
CLAIRE: Have a car?
CLAIRE: We'll see if we can find one for Ava.Shall we?
AVA: I want to go in road.Will you find me car?
CLAIRE: Come on, Ava, have a look.Do you want to your doll?That's a special place, isn't it?Do you think baby would fit in there?
CLAIRE: No, I think baby's too big.
AVA: I want the hold her.
CLAIRE: You want to pop her on your knee?You go really fast.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]Go then really, really, really fast.Got her?There you go.
SPEAKER 1: Now she seems happy to beable to join in to an extent.[BACKGROUND CHATTER][BACKGROUND CHATTER]
CLAIRE: Look out.Oh.What happened?Did it bump Ava on the head?
PETER ELFER: One of the criticisms often leveledat the key person approach is that no memberof staff in a nursery can possibly be with a childall of the time.And of course, that's absolutely right.All nursery staff working shifts will perhaps notbe there when the child arrives in the morningor may not be there when the child goes home.And of course, they have to attend meetings and have leave.
PETER ELFER [continued]: And there will be days when they're away sick.But it's absolutely not a part of a key person approachthat you should be the child all of the time.Of course, that's not possible.No parents could possibly be with their child 24 hoursa day.Those times when people are most important to the child aren'twith them are very important learning opportunities
PETER ELFER [continued]: for the child.The child has the opportunity to learn.The people that are really special to them do go away,but do also come back.And that's the basis of learning trust and the buildingof relationships.
AVA: What's out?What's out?What's out?
SPEAKER 1: Back inside, Ava chooses to play on her own.She's being creative, using the pastaas food for the little dog.
CLAIRE: Spread it round.Spread it [INAUDIBLE].
SPEAKER 1: This sort of unplanned pretend playwith open-ended resources is valuable for children,allowing them to follow their own interest,learning much in the process.Their thinking becomes free-flowingis their play develops.
CLAIRE: Whoops, we stepped on the table.Where's he going?
SPEAKER 1: Although she's playing alone,she frequently has to interact with others.She's thinking about the other girl's reaction,and decides to give the pasta back,but explains why she needed it.
AVA: It's dog's food.
SPEAKER 3: But where is it?[INAUDIBLE]
SPEAKER 1: When the other two girls arrive,she decides to move away, seeminglywary of losing her play things.This time, she insists on keepingwhat she's playing with, trying to explain what it is.
AVA: No, it's for [INAUDIBLE].
SPEAKER 4: Will you please let me see?
CLAIRE: You're carrying him.You're very strong.
SPEAKER 1: Although Claire hasn'tbeen involved in Ava's game, she'sbeen observing so as able to explain the game to others.
CLAIRE: Is he sitting?I think this is some food for the dog.
SPEAKER 1: Claire's helping Ava sociallyby helping her feel part of the groupand feel valued for the contribution.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
CLAIRE: I know, but Ava's pretending that it's hot.Oh, I think everybody wants to have a look.Does it smell nice?Does it smell like pasta?
CLAIRE: Mm, I can't smell it.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 4: All done.
SPEAKER 1: Towards the end of the day, Avafeels at ease enough to choose to joinin the group for a story.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
CLAIRE: Come and sit down.You'll find him.Perhaps he's in the garden.They looked all around the garden,but clearly he's not there.
SPEAKER 1: She listens well, feeling confident enoughto speak up about it.
CLAIRE: And when he saw the box, hesaid, who lives in this house?
AVA: It's a bear.It's a bear [INAUDIBLE]
CLAIRE: Let's see.Let's see what he's doing.
SPEAKER 1: She's encouraged now to listen with the groupso that the whole story can be read first.
CLAIRE: --don't live here, said the little mouse.
SPEAKER 1: Mummy's here.
CLAIRE: Is she?
CLAIRE: Where can she be?
AVA: I'm reading the stories.
MOLLY: Are you reading stories?
SPEAKER 1: She's so excited to tell Molly what's happened.
PETER ELFER: The originator of the key person approach is,of course, Eleanor Goldschmidt, an international trainerand consultant-- consultant in early years.And one of the things Eleanor wasso strong about in talking and developing the key personapproach was the importance of triangleof relationships between the child, the parents,
PETER ELFER [continued]: and the key person.And she always maintained-- Eleanor alwaysmaintained that no key person approach should be attemptedunless that triangle of relationshipswas carefully nurtured and maintained.Her thinking behind that was that there'sa danger of a very close relationship developing
PETER ELFER [continued]: between the key person and their key children,and that slowly and subtly parents are cut outof that picture.And of course, parents always remain the most importantpeople in their child's life, And they must almost alwaysbe part of the child's relationshipswith key staff at nursery.
PETER ELFER [continued]: So I think it's very helpful to keep in mind that triangleof relationships between parents, child, and key person,and that the relationship between the key personand the parents is as important to maintain and nurtureas the relationship between the key person and the childso that parents are always part of the picture, alwaysinvolved, always kept in mind.
CLAIRE: Are you going home now?You got your coat on to keep you nice and warm?
MOLLY: Shall we say, see you next week, Claire?
CLAIRE: Next week?And you're going to look after this teddy.
CLAIRE: That's fine, if you'd like to,as long as you look after him.You better give him lots of cuddles.[A day with mum Learning and exploring]
SPEAKER 1: Back with mom for the day,Ava is learning all the time.Molly takes advantage of the sunny weathereven though it's cold and windy, and off theygo walking and exploring.
MOLLY: Better come over here and see.Oh, look, they're all coming.Can you hear them?That's close enough, because remember,the edge is just there.So let some bread out.Give me some, give me some.Come on, come on.
SPEAKER 1: Again, Molly has to get the balanceright between allowing a little riskand making sure she's safe.
MOLLY: Don't get too close.That's it.Just there, that.Well done.
AVA: Too close.
MOLLY: That's just right.If you just stay there.
AVA: Too close.
MOLLY: Don't get any closer.You might do it.It would be very cold.I would stand one step back.That's it.Good girl.
SPEAKER 1: Molly knows how Ava's likely to respond,so she doesn't need to be too restrictive.
MOLLY: Wow.That was pretty good.Best to get-- oh, look at that around your feet.The swelling mud.
AVA: I did it again.
MOLLY: I know.It looks like you're making rings.Stamp again.
SPEAKER 1: Ava's curious and interested in what'shappening to the water, and Molly encouragesher signs of interest.Molly helps Ava's learning by being actively involvedand sharing the enjoyment.
AVA: Why are the ducks over there?
MOLLY: Shall we go and see them?
MOLLY: Come on, then.
MOLLY: All right, then you can walk along [INAUDIBLE]Now jump down.I can see your shadow.
SPEAKER 1: Ava makes her shadow smaller by moving back.
AVA: I don't see your shadow.
MOLLY: There's mine.
AVA: There's mine.
MOLLY: Who's is bigger?
AVA: And this is my Ava.
MOLLY: Does mine look like a star?
AVA: How do you do them?
MOLLY: You just put your arms out.That' it.Now you're a star, too.
AVA: I turn around.
MOLLY: Or an aeroplane.
AVA: Or an aeroplane.
MOLLY: What else could we be?
SPEAKER 1: She's learning about size,being creative, using symbolism, and experiencing her bodymovements.
PETER ELFER: One of the most striking thingsthat John Bowlby taught us with attachment theorywas the importance of attachmentsfor helping children to feel secure and confident and freefrom anxiety.And of course, a very basis for children's explorationsis that they feel confident to explore.
PETER ELFER [continued]: If a child is anxious, then they tendto be preoccupied with their anxietyand want to stay near to familiar adults.That dramatically restricts their capacityto explore, to experiment, to try out new things.A child who's confident, who's secure, and feels safe
PETER ELFER [continued]: is much more likely to experiment, to move awayfrom familiar adults, to try new situations,to try new experiences.And that's the very basis of play, of learning,and the development of thinking.
SPEAKER 1: Back home, Ava takes upMolly's suggestion of playing while she gets the lunch ready.
AVA: Where we going?Mummy, come ride the bus.
MOLLY: What are you doing?You're on a bus?
MOLLY: Where are you all going?
AVA: To [INAUDIBLE] and to Newcastle.
MOLLY: Ah.Very good.Is everyone going?
MOLLY: Who's in there?
AVA: [INAUDIBLE] rabbit.(WHISPERING) Be quiet.Be quiet.
MOLLY: (WHISPERING) Oh.Are they asleep?
AVA: (WHISPERING) Yeah.
MOLLY: (WHISPERING) All right.
AVA: (WHISPERING) Don't wake them up.
MOLLY: (WHISPERING) OK.I won't.Right, I'm going to go and finish the dishes.
SPEAKER 1: She's secure enough to play on her own,and does so with total involvement.She's very interested in transport,and moves her animals around a lot.She moves them from container to container.She often pretends to move yourselfas well as her toys on journeys, sometimes to Newcastle,
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: and sometimes, as we saw with the shadows outside,pretending to be a plane or a train.This can be described as another schema-- this time,a transport schema.
AVA: What happened to you?Oh, what happened to you?What happened to you?what happened to you?
SPEAKER 1: The open-ended nature of unstructured playmeans that she's now able to use it to explorehow others might feel.She's practicing empathy.
AVA: What happened to you?What happened to you?Oh, frog, what happened to you?
PETER ELFER: One of the most important thingsthat attachment enables-- babies and very young childrendevelop-- is empathy.And really, empathy means no morethan the ability to understand the feelings of another person.It's quite different from sympathy.It's about being able to put yourself
PETER ELFER [continued]: in another person's shoes and begin to imaginewhat they may feel like.Now the basis for that, the rootsof that are in having your own feelings understood,and that only happens through an attachment relationship.So attachment is of very importancenot just for feelings of security and self-esteem,
PETER ELFER [continued]: but for the development of empathyand the building of friendships and social interactions,generally.
AVA: You want your rabbit, frog?Rabbit.Here, rabbit.[A feeling of belonging at nursery][BACKGROUND CHATTER]
CLAIRE: Yay, it's Ava.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: This time coming to nursery,Ava's confident about being left without Molly.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
MOLLY: I know.Are you going to go and sit down with everyone?
AVA: And you give me a kiss.
MOLLY: Yes?Are you going to have a lovely day?
AVA: Now give [INAUDIBLE] to love
MOLLY: OK.Are you going to go and sit down with everyone.
MOLLY: See you later.Have a good day.See you later.
SPEAKER 1: Today, they're going to explore countryside,even though it's cold and wet.
SPEAKER 5: It might be about 10 years old, this tree.So every ring-- and that means one year is a ring.So you think it's about 10 years old?
SPEAKER 1: Ava's curious about the environmentand things in it.
CLAIRE: Can you see?See the tails?Look.
AVA: Nice footy.
CLAIRE: Oh, Jack had nearly fell on his bum.Come on, then.
AVA: I'm going down.
CLAIRE: You go through that and I'll go through this big one.Slip that up a bit.
SPEAKER 1: We can see how attached she is to Claire,and how Claire returns the affection.
CLAIRE: Who's that bumping me?
SPEAKER 1: It's this relationship with Clairethat seems to have enabled Ava to settle so happilyin the nursery setting.
CLAIRE: Got my legs.All right.She's just playing.She's a monster.
PETER ELFER: Physical contact with children is so important,and yet it needs to be managed very carefully in a nursery.Nurseries now are, very rightly, veryconscious of child protection issuesand of ensuring that any physical contact with childrenis done in a way that's appropriate and sensitive andthoughtful, and in line with what the child wants.
PETER ELFER [continued]: But we also know that physical contactis absolutely crucial to children's sense of themselvesand to their well being.And physical holding, cuddling, and handling, and carryingare all very important parts of looking after childrenwell and of supporting children's emotional wellbeing and self-esteem.
AVA: I don't know.
CLAIRE: Where's your toes?
SPEAKER 1: Claire still sees to Ava's care routines.It's usually a good time to chat.
CLAIRE: Where can it be?This one.
AVA: That one.This one.
CLAIRE: Come on, Ava.You ready/ Oh, you're stuck.Oh, you're stuck.You're stuck.What should we do?Lift your bum.There.
AVA: I'm lifting it.
CLAIRE: And now I'll pull you up.You ready?I think I need to wipe your nose.It's a bit runny.Shall I get a wipe to wipe your nose?Oh, you don't like that, do you?Would Ava like to do it?
CLAIRE: You wipe your nose then.Thank you.Trousers.
AVA: I got you.
CLAIRE: Yeah, you got me, and I've got you.Whoop.I got you.
AVA: [INAUDIBLE] my friend.
CLAIRE: Your mom is your friend?She is. [INAUDIBLE] mum's friend.I'm Molly's friend.You're Molly's friend.
SPEAKER 1: Claire allows Ava to expressa wide range of feelings, and encourages cuddlingwhen Ava instigates it.Ava now seems to trust Claire completely,and is confident enough to express her thoughtsand feelings.
AVA: No, let me [INAUDIBLE]
AVA: I did push.
CLAIRE: Right there.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: Meal times are good for socializing.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
CLAIRE: What was that?
AVA: Now this is the tiger, and [INAUDIBLE]
CLAIRE: What about his toes?Did you eat his toes?[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
AVA: I play with the barn.
MOLLY: Are you?
MOLLY: Can I have a look?
AVA: Yeah.Come on.Horsies and cows.
MOLLY: And cows as well?Oh, there's lots in this farm, isn't there?
MOLLY: [INAUDIBLE] Goodness me.
CLAIRE: We went through rivers and up hills today and up bigsteps.
MOLLY: Did they all really enjoy it?
CLAIRE: Oh, they had a great time.Had a great time.
MOLLY: What, darling?
AVA: We lost Claire.
MOLLY: You lost Claire?Did you?
AVA: Yeah.Then we go out.
MOLLY: Did you go out?
CLAIRE: We had a long walk, and we pludged in the mudand Claire nearly fell on her bum.[Playing with Claire in the nursery]
SPEAKER 1: It's six months since Ava firstvisited the nursery with Molly.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: The staff often make observations of the childrenso that they can see what to plan for them.Claire has observed Ava's likes and dislikes,and how she tends to learn.She likes pretend games with small toys.
AVA: [INAUDIBLE] Broked.That was a shock.
CLAIRE: That was a shock.It frightened me.What should we do?
SPEAKER 1: She's learning about weights and howthe physical world works.
CLAIRE: Like a roundabout.
AVA: It's like a wheel.
CLAIRE: Mmhmm, it's a wheel.
AVA: You put one.Let's put one monkey on.
CLAIRE: Come on, then.You put your yellow monkey on.And what color should Claire put on?
AVA: Don't put two much on, though.
CLAIRE: What happens if I put too much on?
AVA: It will fall off again.
CLAIRE: It'll fall off again.
PETER ELFER: One of the most striking thingsabout watching children playing in nurseryis how much they love to have the attentionof an adult watching what they're doing or initiatingsome play activity.Now the key person-- any adult in nurserycan do that-- but the key person for a childmay have a particular knowledge or understanding
PETER ELFER [continued]: of that child's interests or concerns.And I've seen many times a key person just sit with a childand be interested in what they're doing.And you can see the child's interest almost physicallyexpand and their engagement with the activity increase.
PETER ELFER [continued]: It's really quite remarkable.It's not that the key person does anythingor certainly not that they take the lead-- it'svery important that the child is takingthe lead-- but just the presence and quiet interestof the key person seems to make such a differenceto children's thinking and engagement with activities.
SPEAKER 1: She often instigates pretend games with soft toys.
AVA: This is [INAUDIBLE] and that's mummy, and that's Amy.
CLAIRE: This is Amy.
AVA: And he's [INAUDIBLE] baby.
CLAIRE: Where could-- Amy's baby'sfallen down off Claire's leg.Oh no.Quick, let's get them.[CLAIRE PRETENDING TO SOB]I think he's sad because he fell down.What should we do?How can we make him feel better?
AVA: [INAUDIBLE] wants to go home.
CLAIRE: Home.He wants to go home.Will that make him feel better?
AVA: Yeah.Do you want to go home?
SPEAKER 1: Claire follows Ava's lead,encouraging her understanding of thoughts and feelings.
CLAIRE: Oh, thank you, Ava.You rescued my baby.You made him feel so much better.Now he's happy.
AVA: All friends sit at the top.
CLAIRE: All friends.You can sit on the top.
SPEAKER 1: Ava will become more socially competentas she gradually develops an understanding of allthose various emotions.
CLAIRE: There.There's the baby.Yeah.
AVA: But he's happy again.
CLAIRE: Oh, brilliant.He's happy again.
AVA: But he's a little bit sad.
SPEAKER 1: Ava now plays really well with Claire,and she's also beginning to be moreinterested in the other children and be sociable with them.
AVA: Hello, I'm [INAUDIBLE] Hello.
SPEAKER 6: I'm telling on a mountain.[INAUDIBLE]
AVA: I'm a lion.[KIDS PLAYFULLY SHOUTING][Making friends, joining in]
SPEAKER 1: It's now a couple of weeksbefore Ava's third birthday, and shefeels at ease and confident to play and learnin both settings.She's getting to the stage where having friendsand being sociable with them is becoming more important to her.
MOLLY: Thanks a lot.Thanks a lot.
SPEAKER 1: Her attachment relationshipshave helped her to be able to predicthow other people might respond to her,and how she might respond to them.And that's the basis for the development of friendshipsand for being part of groups.
AVA: Well, if you want to open that, open it faster.
SPEAKER 1: Ava starts a pretend game of shop with Ester.
AVA: You be the doctor now [INAUDIBLE]What would you like to buy?
ESTER: I already got some.
AVA: What would you like to buy, [INAUDIBLE]?
ESTER: I got one.
SPEAKER 1: Rather than the parallel play we saw earlier,the pair are becoming able to cooperate in extended play.
AVA: Beep, beep.There you go.
SPEAKER 1: One of the social skills childrenneed to develop in maintaining friendshipsis dealing with conflicts.
MOLLY: No, you use the other bit.
AVA: No, I wanted that bit.
MOLLY: You have to share it.
SPEAKER 1: Ava is gradually understandingthe idea of sharing, but it's still hard work.
MOLLY: Ava, that's not very kind.Listen, Ava, we have to share it.
AVA: Ester's doing it, too.
MOLLY: Oh, good girl.
AVA: I can share.
MOLLY: Good girl.
AVA: When you're finished, Ester, [INAUDIBLE]You finished?
SPEAKER 1: Sometimes it's OK, but at other timesit's still too much for her to manage.
ESTER: Baby's here [INAUDIBLE]
AVA: All right, so do hers now.
SPEAKER 1: On home ground, she upsets Ester by grabbing teddy,and Ester withdrawals.The cooperative game is over and ends in a fight.
AVA: No I has to, though.It has to.It has to, Ester.It has to.It has to.
SPEAKER 1: The ability to regulate emotionsdevelops slowly, and feelings are still easily overwhelmed.
AVA: She's pushing me.
MOLLY: Well, Ava, you don't hoover Ester's hair.Yeah, it's good [INAUDIBLE], isn't it?No, you don't-- Ava, Ava, Ava.Listen, we're not going to hoover Ester's hair today.
AVA: But I'll won't do it with [INAUDIBLE].
MOLLY: You don't hoover people.You hoover floors, like this, don't you?I think you should go in and see Ester because I thinkshe's worried that you-- Ava.
AVA: She throws it at me.
MOLLY: Ava, I think you threw things at Ester, didn't you?
AVA: I let her throw things at me.
MOLLY: I know, but you threw it at Ester first.Could you go peep through and say sorry to her, please?
SPEAKER 1: In these situations, Avaneeds Molly to help her to regulate her emotionsand to act as a role model in helping her rememberother people's feelings.
MOLLY: Good girl.Can you give her a quick hug?Good girl.Are you friends again?
SPEAKER 1: The conflict is soon forgottenand they're cooperating again.We can see that one of the most important challengesfor close to children is to help themdevelop the skills to interact with others.And Ava is learning all the time nowabout relationships with her peers.
AVA: This is [INAUDIBLE]
MOLLY: Fish and [INAUDIBLE]
ESTER: Fish and [INAUDIBLE]
AVA: Look.Sit down, everybody. [INAUDIBLE]
SPEAKER 1: After nine months at the nursery,Ava still likes playing alone, but she'sbeginning to play cooperatively with other children.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
AVA: [INAUDIBLE] outfit?[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 7: Isn't it hard?
AVA: No, isn't it hard?[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: Group talking time is nowsomething Ava seems to enjoy.And she contributes in a way that she wouldn't havebeen able to six months ago.
CLAIRE: Another airplane.Very noisy, aren't they?
AVA: Just a little one.
CLAIRE: It was just a little one this time, I think.
JACK: No, it was actually a big one,but it was really far away.Ah, that's probably right, Jack.Well done.[INTERPOSING VOICES]
CLAIRE: And when they make a big noise, what does that mean?
JACK: It's really close.
CLAIRE: Really close.Right.[INAUDIBLE] yesterday.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1: One thing that's often difficultis joining in with an existing group game.Ava's learning ways of doing this.Watch how she includes herself in the train game.She goes to find tickets for passengers.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
AVA: I found them.
CLAIRE: Ava's found us a ticket.Thank you, Ava.We're going to have ticket to leave.
SPEAKER 7: The train is there now.
CLAIRE: Who'd like to wear the hat?One minute.Ava?I think these are the blue tickets for your baby.Baby needs a ticket, too.[TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWING]
MOLLY: Ah, train's ready to go.Who's coming on the train?All aboard.All aboard the train.Which carriage is Ava getting in?
SPEAKER 8: All right.Check the ticket.
SPEAKER 1: She's an individual who is at home in twoquite different settings.She's learning all day long and is developing independence,making her own choices, and learningto socialize with her peers.Above all, she seems to feel good about herself.What is clear from this film is the waythe two settings complement each other.
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: There's been good dialogue between Molly and Clairethroughout.Although this is a small nursery,the same principles apply to key people in a large nursery.It's all to do with everyday interactions.Claire has been sensitive and responsive to her interactionswith Ava right from the beginning,
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: and has succeeded in building a special closerelationship with her.This has given Ava a secure base from whichshe's been able to explore, learn, and develop.[BACKGROUND CHATTER]
SPEAKER 1 [continued]: [MUSIC PLAYING]
Life at Two - Attachments, Key People & Development
View Segments Segment :
This film follows one child, Ava, through her third year. Shown are the key issues, such as attachment, that affect her life, play, and learning--at home and the nursery.
This film follows one child, Ava, through her third year. Shown are the key issues, such as attachment, that affect her life, play, and learning--at home and the nursery.