Researching Primary Caregiver System in Early Childhood Education

I am currently the Director of the Early Childhood Program at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, leading a team of six early childhood teachers as we provide care for the youngest learners at the school. A graduate of the University of Vermont (BS in elementary education), American University (MA in Ed-special education focus), and Johns Hopkins University (Graduate Certificate in school administration and supervision), I recently achieved certification as a school administrator in the state of Maryland.

As a former elementary school teacher, I still enjoy being a part of the dynamics in the classroom, and thus have a true working knowledge of the procedures that are established, relationships that are nurtured, and activities in which the teachers and children are engaged. Experiences working with our toddlers and two-year-olds have generated my desire to investigate different practices that support an early learning curriculum and have lead me to my research question: “Will using a primary caregiver structure in the Toddler/Twos classroom result in a more positive experience for teachers, students and families?” I hypothesize that establishing a primary caregiver system will result in reduced negative behavior incidents, timely logging of care routines and an increased awareness of child needs and interactions.

Options for further study include reading about the research that supports the use of a primary caregiver system as best practice in early childhood education and experiences of educators who have employed such a structure. Variables to look at will include incident reports and charts, student experiences as data gathered through observations and recorded as anecdotal notes, daily review of LifeCubby records and teacher and parent experience as data gathered through survey and interviews.