In continuing with our CARE, Children and Residential Experiences: Creating Conditions for Change series, here is the next story.

CARE is based on six practice principles: developmentally focussed, family involved, relationship based, trauma informed, competence centered, and ecologically oriented and is designed to significantly influence the way professionals work with children.

We apply these principles to all of what we do at Ranch Ehrlo, including our Ehrlo Early Learning Centres. We can see these principles in action in our day-to-day work, as is illustrated by stories from our EELC staff.

CARE in interactions
At Ruth Pawson, a school-age child arrived for the after-school program upset. The child didn’t want to enter the room and stayed in the hallway hidden behind a door away from all staff and other children. Based on their relationship, a staff member knew this child enjoyed trivia, so she asked the child if they would like to go play trivia with her in a separate room.

The child agreed. The staff member made sure to choose questions that were an appropriate difficulty level – the child was challenged but able to answer the questions; thus, integrating CARE principles. Three CARE principles can be seen in this simple but powerful interaction: relationship based, developmentally focussed, and competence centered.