Continuity of Care
What is Continuity and Primary Care?
- Continuity of care refers to a practice of one continuous caregiver from the time of enrollment until the child is 36 months old or leaves the program.
- Continuity is a program policy that supports the secure, close relationships in a peaceful and engaging setting that infants and toddlers need in order to thrive.
- A primary care system involves the assignment of a small group of children to one caregiver. Small groups help children and adults become equipped to function in a more focused and attentive way. Primary caregivers become equipped and personally responsible to meet the emotional and physical needs of the child.
- With continuity of care, the infant is not moved to a new group. Either the entire group moves with the caregiver to another space that is more appropriate for older infants, or the caregiver modifies the environment including daily interactions that will meet the child’s changing needs.
- Family child care automatically provides continuity provided that the child stays with the same provider for a length of time. In Indiana, licensed child care centers are required to provide a reasonable effort to implement continuity of care.
Why is Continuity of Care so important?
Children’s first relationships, especially with families and primary caregivers, address two fundamental needs:
- The presence of the caregiver reduces a child’s fear of challenging situations and enables the child to explore with confidence and to manage stress.
- Attachment relationships strengthen a young child’s sense of confidence.
~ From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood
Ongoing Nurturing Relationships
“Every child needs an intimate relationship with a primary caregiver over a long period of time. This is far more important to emotional and intellectual development than early cognitive training or educational games. If this relationship is absent or interrupted, a child can develop disorders of reasoning, motivation and attachment.”
~ Dr. T. Berry Brazelton & Dr.Stanley Greenspan
Exciting news in our state and community:
- Indiana is the only state that addresses primary care and continuity of care in licensing regulations.
- International leaders are looking to Indiana to improve care for infants and toddlers nationwide.
- In Southwestern Indiana area there are more centers implementing continuity of care than anywhere else in the nation.
- In Indiana, every child care resource and referral agency has a full-time infant toddler specialist to assist early care providers with the implementation of best practices.
Need more information?
Click here to view the Presentation: Why Primary Care and Continuity of Care?