KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

glassesbeepingAI and Robotics

Oct 20, 2013 (4 years and 19 days ago)

132 views





08

Fall

Literature Review

Component 2: Developing children’s
social and emotional skills



KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

2







www.kidsmatter.edu.au



©
Commonwealth of Australia 2012


Acknowledgement

KidsMatter Early Childhood

Mental Health

Initiative

has been
developed in collaboration with
beyondblue
, the Australian
Psychological Society, Early Childhood Australia and, with
funding from, The Australian Government Department of
Health

and Ageing and

beyondblue
.

Important Notice

KidsMatter Early Childhood Australian Mental Health Initiative
and any other KidsMatter mental health initiatives are not to be
confused with other businesses, programs or services which
may also use the name ‘
Kidsmatter’.

Disclaimer

While every care has been taken in preparing this publication,
Bey
ond Blue Ltd, The Australian Psychological Society Ltd
and Early Childhood Australia Inc and the Commonwealth of
Australia, do not, to the extent permitted by law, accept any
liability for any injury, loss or damage suffered by any person
arising from the
use of, or reliance on, the content of this
publication.

KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

3






www.kidsmatter.edu.au

Contents

Component 2: Developing children’s social and emotional skills

5

Background Information on KidsMatter Early Childhood

................................
................................
.......

5

Developing children’s social and emotional
skills

7

Positive relationships between children and staff

................................
................................
...................

7

Opportu
nities for children to develop social and emotional skills

................................
......................

10

Staff development and support

................................
................................
................................
................

13

Summary and Implications for Practice

................................
................................
................................
..

15

References

17


KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

4



www.kidsmatter.edu.au




KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

5






www.kidsmatter.edu.au

Component
2: Developing children’s
social and emotional skills


Background Information on KidsMatter Early Childhood


KidsMatter Early Childhood
is a national men
tal health promotion, prevention and early
intervention initiative developed to support the mental health and wellbeing of young
children in early childhood education and care services (ECEC). It has been developed in
collaboration with
beyondblue,

the Aus
tralian Psychological Society and Early Childhood
Australia, with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing
and
beyondblue
. It involves families, early childhood professionals, and a range of
community and health professionals
working together to make a positive difference to
young children’s mental health and wellbeing during this important developmental period
of birth to five years.


KidsMatter Early Childhood uses a risk and protective factor framework to focus on four
compo
nents that ECEC services can use to strengthen the protective factors and minimise
risk factors for children’s mental health and wellbeing.


All four components are outlined below.



1.

CREATING A SENSE OF
COMMUNITY
within ECEC services
by focusing on
belonging, inclusion,
positive relationships and
collaboration.


2.

DEVELOPING CHILDREN’S SOCIAL
AND EMOTIONAL SKILLS

is
fundamental to children’s mental
health. These skills are developed
through adults’ warm, responsive and
trusting relationships with the
children
in their care, as well as through
constructive peer relationships.



KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

6



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

3.

WORKING WITH PARENTS AND CARERS

ECEC services and families can
establish collaborative partnerships in the interests of their children. ECEC services
can support families by hel
ping them to connect with other families and by providing
access to parenting support.


4.

HELPING CHILDREN WHO ARE EXPERIENCING MENTAL HEALTH
DIFFICULTIES
.

ECEC services are well placed to recognise when young children
may be experiencing difficulties, to
implement simple strategies to assist children,
and to support families to seek additional help.



Definitions of terms used in this document

Children:

Children from birth to five years unless otherwise stated.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD):

A broad concept that encompasses individual differences,
such as language, dress, traditions, food, societal structures, art and religion.

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services:

Preschools, kindergartens and long day care
services.


Early
childhood staff:

Educators, teachers, day care staff, integration aides, assistants, and other staff that
are based within ECEC services.

Externalising:

Disruptive, impulsive, angry or hyperactive behaviours (i.e. where the child ‘acts out’). These
behav
iours are generally readily observed and therefore are relatively easy to detect.

Internalising:

Inhibited or over
-
controlled behaviours (i.e. where the child ‘holds in’ their difficulties),
including withdrawal, worry, and emotional responses that primari
ly affect the individual child rather than
having effects on others.

Mental health:

Early childhood mental health involves being able to experience, manage and express
emotions; form close, satisfying relationships; and explore and discover the environmen
t
.

Parents and carers:

This includes biological mothers and fathers, parents of adopted children, GLBT
parents, foster parents, grandpare
nts, aunties and uncles. The primary caregivers of a child/children and are
usually the child’s legal guardians.

Protective factors:

Strengths that enable children to maintain positive mental health and wellbeing, even
though risk factors for mental healt
h problems are present.

Resilience:

A person’s capacity to adapt to adverse situations in ways that enable them to cope positively
and reduce or minimise negative impacts on mental health and wellbeing.

Risk factors:

Factors that increase the likelihood
that mental health difficulties will develop. The presence of
particular risk factors does not necessarily mean a difficulty will develop. The presence of multiple risk
factors usually increases the likelihood of difficulties developing.

Temperament:

Indiv
idual characteristics and style of behaviour that a child is born with, now considered to
have a basis in both biology and environment.



KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

7



www.kidsmatter.edu.au




Developing children’s social and
emotional skills


IT IS WIDELY ACCEPTED THAT THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL AND
EMOTIONAL
SKILLS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD

benefits all aspects of children’s learning, development,
mental health and wellbeing.
1

This is because throughout life, learning hap
pens within and
through relationships. The literature suggests that effective social and emotional skills in
early childhood can foster a number of protective factors for mental health and wellbeing,
including positive relationships with others
2
; effective planning and decision making skills
3
;
resilience
4
; the ability to focus attention
4
; and a strong sense of identity.
1

Research has
also identified a variety of ways that the development of children’s social and emotional
skills can
be enhanced. These include creating environments that sustain positive
relationships and offer children ample opportunities to develop and practise these skills;
and having support and development programs at services for staff.



Component 2 of the KidsM
atter
Early Childhood initiative:
Developing children’s social and
emotional skills

is divided into
three target areas selected
because of their impact on
children’s mental health and
wellbeing:
positive relationships
between children and staff;
opportunities for children to
develop social and emotional
skills; and professional development and support for staff
. While there is some overlap in
the target areas, each also makes a unique contribution to children’s wellbeing. Each of
the target are
as is discussed in detail below. The numbers appearing in the text are linked
to references listed at the end of the document. If you would like more information about
the ideas presented in this paper, the reference list is a starting point.

Positive rela
tionships between children and staff



To grow up socially and emotionally healthy, children need to experience authentic,
loving and interactive relationships with adults who are responsive, warm and
trusting.
1
,
5
-
11

It is through positive experiences in primary relationships (such as their

families, and in some cases, early childhood staff) that children develop their sense of self,

KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

8



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

confidence and worth; emotional skills such as learning how to experience and express a
range of emotions, having empathy for others and cope with challenges; a
nd social skills,
such as how to interact with others.
6
,
12
-
14

These social and emotional skills then support
virtually every other aspect of a child’s development; such as learning, school readiness
and cognitive and language develop
ment.
9



Research into brain development in the early years has shown that neural networks
are s
electively established according to what a child experiences.
15
,
16

Positive
relationships with others are essential for the optimal development of brain

structures and
functions that support children’s social and emotional skills
.
11
,
17

The emotional exchanges
that occur in positive relationships help to establish the neural networks that are re
quired
for the development of children’s intrinsic motivation, sense of self, social and emotional
skills.
5
-
7
,
15
,
17
-
19



When a child does not experience positive relationships with their caregivers, the neural
networks that support social and emotional skills develop differently.
15
,
16

In this case, the
connections to the areas of the brain involved in social and emotional development are not
as well formed as they are when a child does experience positive interactions with their

caregivers.
Brain development continues after early childhood, and the ability of the brain
to change functionally and structurally as a result of environmental input (also known as
neuroplasticity) means that there are many opportunities for support and

intervention
throughout the lifespan.

21
,
22

However, t
he networks developed in the early years form the
foundation for lifelong mental health and
wellbeing.
4
-
6
,
14
,
18
-
20


Children develop positive relationships with staff when the balance of care they
rec
eive is sensitive and responsive to their needs.
6
,
11
,
14
,
17
,
20
,
21

Often described in the
literature as a ‘dance’ between a child and their caregivers, responsive care is defined as
a caregiver’s ability to respond to signals from the child in a timely, sensitive and
appropriate way.
22

The emotional exchanges that occur as a result of this caregiving
consist of cycles of give and take; attention and non
-
attention; emotional engagement and
attunement; and negotiation. Attunement, or ‘being in tune’ with the needs of the child and
emotionally sensitive and available, is crucial in fostering social and emotional
development.
11

When staff are in tune, they engage in emotional exchanges that provide
children with opportunities to co
-
manage interactions and repair ‘mistuned’ interactions.


During infancy, the reciprocity of interactions between adults and children nurtures
new sk
ills and affirms experiences for young babies
.
9

Children who experience daily
positive interactions with their caregivers are more likely to understand the thoughts,

Social and emotional skills support virtually every other aspect of a child’s
development, including learning, school readiness and cognitive and language
development.



KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

9



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

behaviours and motivations of others and shape their own behaviour accordingly.
23

In
contrast, poor or inconsistent relationships in early childhood

can lead to different
developmental outcomes for young children.
9

These relationships have been linked to
poorer self
-
regulation and empathy for others; and emotional and behavioural difficulties.
15

Reciprocity of interactions allows children t
o develop social understanding and self efficacy
as a social partner.
1
,
24
-
27


Staff in ECEC services are ideally placed to provide children with the opportunity to
form positive relationships outside of their family.
One of the most significant
contributions that sta
ff can make to mental health and wellbeing in early childhood is
developing positive relationships with the children in their care.
28
,
29

Research indicates that
a positive relationship with at least one caring, competent
adult outside of the child’s
immediate family is related to greater mental health and resilience in children.
28
,
29

Positive
relationships with early childhood staff are particularly important for children who have not
experienced close rel
ationships with their parents or carers.
30

Under these circumstances
the formation of a positive relationship with at least one adult (even if it is not a parent or a
carer) is enough to improve developmental outcomes for these children.
30



Finally, warmth, affect
ion and consistency have also been identified as key qualities
of child
-
staff relationships that foster children’s social and emotional development
and mental health and wellbeing.
For example, following a 30 year longitudinal study,
Maselko, Kubansky, Lip
sitt and Buka
31

reported better emotional functioning in adults who
received more warm and affectionate care as a baby than those who did not. Other work
suggests that children’s social and emotional developme
nt is fostered through care that is
consistently and therefore, predictably, warm and responsive.
1
,
30
,
32

For example,
Gonzalez
-
Mena & Widmeyer Eyer
21

identified that children need consistency in
relationships in order to understand and accurately predict the behaviour of others and to
adjust their behavio
ur accordingly.


Combining limit setting and structure with
sensi
tive and responsive caregiving is also
important in fostering the development of
children’s social and emotional skills.
6
,
8

When relationships between

children and staff
are consistently warm, affectionate and
responsive and staff reliably establish
boundaries around children’s behaviour,
children are more likely to internalise morals
and values and master self
-
regulation. All of
these social and emot
ional skills are the foundations of life
-
long mental health and
wellbeing.



Often described as a ‘dance’
between a child and their
caregivers, responsive care is
defined as a caregiver’s ability to
respond to a child in a timely,
sensitive and appropriate way.


KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

10



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

Opportunities for children to develop social and emotional
skills


PROVIDING CHILDREN WITH AMPLE OPPORTUNITIES to learn, develop and
practise new skills is an important part of developing their social and emotional
skills.
33

Children learn and develop by making sense of what is happening to and around
them, both with adults and their peers.
Play also has a central role in children’s lives and is
a key facilitator for child
ren’s learning and development, reflecting the cultural and social
contexts in which children live.
34

Whilst children’s relationships foster their developing
social and emotional skills, these skills can also be explicitly taught and learnt across the
lifespan.
35

Research indicates that young children’s social and emotional development can
be fostered by staff offering devel
opmentally appropriate experiences and engaging in
intentional teaching.
1
,
30
,
32
,
36
-
38

Intentional teaching involves staff being deliberate,
purposeful and thoughtful in planning opportunities, environments and experiences to
stimulate children’s curiosity and foster social and emotional understanding.
1
,
6
,
39
-
43



The importan
ce of staff offering developmentally appropriate experiences to
optimise children’s social and emotional development is clearly emphasised within
the literature.
7
,
34
,
43
-
45

Children have been shown to learn better when staff use everyday
experiences as ‘teachable moments’ and respect and respond to the child’s ac
tive role in
creating their own skill development opportunities.
39
,
40
,
46
-
48

Young babies learn social and
emotional skills best in face
-
to
-
face interactions with adults who talk to them, hold them
and nurture them.
40

Preschoolers learn social and emotional skills through experiences
that foster self
-
regulation and positive peer interactions, such as imaginative play;
discussions, debates and othe
r opinion orientated conversation; story
-
telling and games;
and creative ‘hands
-
on’ experiences.
6
,
49
,
50



Through responsive teaching that is dynamic and interpersonal, staff can provide
the opportunities children need to for social and emotional development.
Children
are supported to go the next developmental level when staff scaffold their learning
onto
existing skills

provide an environment that creates shared understandings and new
knowledge for the child through collaborative experiences.
26
,
40
,
51

The Australian Early
Years Learning Framework
1

recommends staff use strategies such as open questioning,
speculating, wondering, explaining, shared thinking and problem solving support each
individual child’s learning.

In this way, teacher knowledge and deci
sion making are key in
developing children’s social and emotional skills.



By offering a variety of experiences and engaging in intentional teaching,
early childhood staff can provide
the opportunities that children need for
healthy social and emotional development.


KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

11



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

Children need access to a variety of opportunities in order to foster development of
their social and emotional skills.
One of those is the opportunity to form positive
relationships with their parents, carers and siblings; their peers; and their early childhood
staff. As discussed in the previous section, young children need positive interactions with
others in order to stimulate the brain structures and functions associ
ated with social and
emotional development.
11
,
17

Positive interactions with others also allow children to develop
behavioural, social and emotional skills, such as resilience; communication skil
ls; the
ability to experience, regulate and express a full range of positive and negative emotions;
and the ability to actively explore their environment and learn about their world.
52
,
53

In
short, the positive interactions that arise from relationships with others support all aspects
of children’s social and emotional development.


Developing children’s social a
nd emotional skills is achieved through practise,
allowing skills to become established as second nature and be generalised to other
situations and contexts.
46

Skill development is facilitated when children spend most of
their time in dynamic
learning interactions with their caregivers and peers.
6

These
interactions provide children with experiences that support optimal brain
development.
20
,
27
,
40
,
42
,
54
,
55

For example, Thompson
26

found that children need
opportunities to develop and refine their skills for und
erstanding and handling emotions in
themselves and others. This doesn’t mean that children must be constantly stimulated
through interactions with adults and peers. It is also important for children to have
opportunity, time and
space for their own const
ructions, their own understandings and
their own peace of mind to facilitate rest, regulation and learning.
56


In addition to practise, children benefit from systematic help, feedback and
opportunities to integrate their developing skills into their everyday behaviour until
the skills become natural and routine.
This can be facilitated where a whole service
approa
ch to developing children’s social and emotional skills is undertaken, that is
reflected in policies and procedures, curricula and staff practice and provides a safe,
physically, socially and emotionally stimulating learning environment so children feel f
ree
to participate and contribute.
37



Children’s social and emotional skills develop
through experience and in the context of
supportive relationships. When families
and
ECEC services work together and share
information about children’s development,
this facilitates learning, maintenance and
generalising of skills.
6


Play is also another important factor for the development of young children’s social
and

emotional skills.
1
,
48
,
57
-
59

Play has widely been identified as an fundamental part of
social and emotion learning.
49

It is through play that children build resilience, develop the

Children learn social and emotional
skills through direct experiences
with
people, objects, events, and
ideas.



KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

12



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

ability to regulate their own emotions and behaviour, learn to manage stress and to form
relationships with others.
42
,
49
,
57
,
60

Thompson
26

describes how play provides children with
opportu
nities for sharing face
-
to
-
face emotional exchanges and engaging in goal directed
activities and cooperative tasks. Ginsburg
57

indentified the importance of play in
developing children’s confidence through practice and mastery of new skills. Through play,
children build new knowledge, mean
ing and understandings from current experiences onto
existing knowledge in long term memory.
34
,
54
,
57

The proces
s of play also allows children to
explore, feel comfortable with and regulate their emotions through having an opportunity to
work through challenging feelings, such as fear or sadness, or express strong feelings,
such as anger, in acceptable ways.
34

Furthermore, play, especially cooperati
ve
experiences, also fosters prosocial behaviours such as sharing, helping and cooperating
by facilitating appropriate peer interactions between children.
61

In summary, play supports
every aspect of children’s social and emotional development.


Children’s learning and mental health and wellbeing is optimised through
opportunities to engage in extended free, child
-
driven, creative play and to move
through activities at their ow
n pace.
54
,
57

Staff sensitivity in facilitating children’s play by
being available to join in, support and encou
rage and provide guidance but not being too
directive or controlling, provides children with invaluable opportunities to make choices and
solve their own problems. These opportunities provide children with satisfaction and
mastery experiences which are imp
ortant for their developing sense of self, social and
emotional skills.
21
,
5
4
,
57



Children also develop their social and emotional skills through social interaction in
their physical environment.

Structuring the physical environment to support children’s
social and emotional learning requires consideration of group size, experiences and
materials.
34
,
43
,
62

Research has demonstrated the impact of physical environment factors
and a calm and positive classroom climate in developing children’s social and emotional
skills.
54
,
62
,
63

Envi
ronments that support children’s learning are flexible spaces that are
responsive to the needs, interests and abilities of each child. The importance of
predictability and consistency in children’s relationships with adults for their security, trust
and
social and emotional development has already been addressed in this paper.
Familiarity and consistency in the child’s physical environment and routines also helps
children to build expectations of what will happen based on what has happened before.
Being a
ble to predict future encounters helps children feel safe and secure. Thus service
routines can minimise children’s stress and have demonstrated effectiveness in supporting
peer interaction and reducing problem behaviours.
54
,
64
,
65



The process of play allows chi
ldren to explore, feel comfortable with and
regulate their emotions.


KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

13



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

Staff development and support


STAFF DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT ARE ESSENTIAL for teaching children
social and emotional skills.
Despite the many rewards that may result from working with
young children, it is not uncommon for early childhood professionals to experience
occupational stress.
66

The demands on early childhood staff are numerous and common
sources of stress come from challenging workloads, relationships with colleagues, high
staff turnover, lack of resources,
physical demands, low income levels, and lack of
professional recognition.
66
-
68


With

sufficient knowledge, skills, con
fidence and emotional resources, e
arly childhood staff
can

foster children’s developing social and emotional skills and support children’s mental
health and wellbeing.
20
,
30

Staff may not have acquired the specialised knowledge and
skills required and can be overwhelmed by the social and emotional difficulties of man
y of
the children in their care.
4
,
18
,
19
,
63
,
69
-
71

There also remains a gap between best practice
knowledge and current staff practices. Closing this gap requir
es attention to processes of
organisational and individual change and workplace factors such staff development and
support.
18


Research indicates there are skills that help early childhood staff to foster and
support children’s social and emotional skills.
These include extensive child
development knowledge, professional skills in observation and relationship building, self
-
awaren
ess, and emotional resources including a commitment to fostering the wellbeing of
children.
7
,
30
,
50
,
63
,
72
,
73

Knowledge of social and emotional development, including how
children learn and the conditions that optimise learning, is paramount to staff’s ability to
provide appropriate caregiving and scaffold children’s development of social and
emotional skills.
4
,
12
,
19
,
39
,
70
,
74
-
76

Skills in observation, documenta
tion, and interpretation
increase staff’s understanding of child behaviour and help them to be attuned to children’s
needs and emotionally available to them.
21
,
42
,
47
,
72
,
77
-
79

Relationship building skills like
providing sensitive and responsive care, being ‘in tune’ with children, and having
knowledge and awareness of both self and others,
30

are also important. Finally,

because
staff’s thought processes, attributions and beliefs affect how they interact with children,
self
-
awareness of their own attitudes and behaviour is essential for fostering healthy social
and emotional development in the children for whom they care.
63



In the context of education and care in early childhood, professional development
involves building expertise in these skills and integrating that knowledge int
o

With sufficient knowledge, skills, confidence and emotional
resources, early
childhood staff can foster children’s developing social and emotional skills and
support children’s mental health and wellbeing.



KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

14



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

practice.
18
,
47
,
80

The efficacy of formal training programs has

been widely demonstrated
and the sensitivity and responsiveness of care has been shown to increase following
training.
81

Participation in formal training programs has also been associated with an
increase in staff’s capacity to foster and support children’s developing social and
emotional skills.
82

An evaluation of a program that was designe
d to support and develop
staff practice demonstrated improved relationships between children and staff, and more
prosocial behaviour and less behaviour difficulties in a sample of 218 children aged one
and over.
83



S
taff development and support, however, does not just involve participation in
formal training courses. Another useful mode of staff development is reflective
practice.
69
,
80
,
84

The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)

identifies reflective practice
as one of the principles that supports and enhances teaching and learning. Reflective
practice is defined as a continual learning process where staff engage with questions
pertaining to their own philosophy, ethics and prac
tice involved in teaching young
children.
1

During reflective practice, staff start to systematically gather information, reflect
on their actions and change their practice to offer more effective programs that support
and enrich children’s learning, development and mental
health and wellbeing.
1

Reflective
practice involves discussing and thinking about their work with the aim of increasing staff’s
understanding of the internal world of the children in their care. This then leads to an
increase in staff’s ability to make decisions about th
e best way to support and enrich
children’s learning, development and mental health and wellbeing.
1

85

Reflective practice
involves critically examining each aspect of an experience and the reasons as to why it
unfolded as it did.
85

This can be done individually or in a group, with a trusted senior
colleague or an external consultant who sits outside the service and can assist w
ith
reflection at a different level.


Individual reflective practice can be
enriched through the involvement of a
supportive, collaborative relationship with
another (more experienced) staff

member
in order to foster their personal and
professional development. This relationship
develops over time and enables learning
and improvement, emotional support and
professionalism through shared beliefs and
goals and a commitment to growth and change.
25
,
86
-
8
9



Research suggests that engagement in reflective practice fosters staff’s
development of key caretaking skills.
An improved capacity to be calm,
available and
supportive with children after engagement in reflective practice over time has been
reported.
88

Reflective practice can also increase staff’s understanding of their own
reactions to emotionally significant events with children. This includes understanding how
interactions are influenced by past rela
tionships and leads to increased attunement to

Reflective practice is defined as a
continu
al learning process where
staff
engage with questions
pertaining to the philosophy, ethics
and practice involved in teaching
young children.



KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

15



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

children’s reactions. Reflective practice has also been associated with heightened
caregiver awareness, insightfulness and sensitivity.
25
,
90
,
91

Gilkerson
89

demonstrated that
reflective training was more effective than traditional training in developing insightfulness.
Just as children develop their social and emotional skills through repeated practice, staff
also benef
it from having time, space and multiple opportunities for reflective practice to
build their capacity for understanding their intra and interpersonal worlds, reflecting on
action and building practice wisdom.
25
,
92
,
93



Engaging in reflective practice is also an excellent way

for early childhood staff to
receive support.
25
,
86
-
89

When staff are supported by others in a one
-
on
-
one relationship,
or within a group, this
can help to contain and manage feelings of uncertainty,
helplessness or confusion
-

just as staff hold and contain children’s feelings and
behaviours so that

they are more manageable
.

It is also a forum in which staff can develop
and practice new skills, e
xchange information and ideas, set goals, and trouble
-
shoot
problems or concerns without fear of judgment or failure.
94
-
97

As such, effective reflective
practice sup
ports staff’s wellbeing and enhances their capacity to provide sensitive and
responsive care, which in turn supports children’s mental health and wellbeing.
98


Summary and Implications for Practice


ECEC services play an important role in promoting mental health and wellbeing in young
children. Component 2 of the KidsMatter Early Childhood initiative,
Developing Children’s
Social
and Emotional skills,

provides a framework that can be used in an early childhood
setting to achieve this goal. The three target areas of Component 2 focus on the
importance of positive relationships with early childhood service for children’s social and
e
motional development; providing ample opportunities for children to learn, develop and
practice social and emotional skills; and professional development and support for staff.


A substantial body of evidence suggests that the development of social and em
otional
skills in early childhood is a significant protective factor for mental health and wellbeing.
1

The social and emotional skills developed during this period form the foundation for all life
-
long learning and development.
1

Fostering positive relationships between children and
early c
hildhood service staff provides children with the authentic, loving and interactive
relationships with adults that they need to grow up socially and emotionally healthy.
2
,
6
-
12

Children who experience positive relationships with others also have ample opportunities
to learn and practice newly developed social and emotional skills. Finally, early childhood
service staff can further enhance children’s social and emotional develop
ment by
participating in professional development activities such as reflective practice and
supervision. By constantly building on their knowledge of child development and working
in an environment that focuses on supportive relationships, staff will have

access to the
necessary skills, confidence and emotional resources required to foster children’s
developing social and emotional skills and support children’s mental health and

KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

16



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

wellbeing.
20
,
30

In conclusion, developing children’s social and emotional skills is essential
for good mental health and wellbeing in young children.





KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

17



www.kidsmatter.edu.au


References


1.

Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations. Belonging, being
and becoming: The early years learning framework for Australia. Barton, ACT:
Commonwealth of Australia; 2009a.

2.

Denham SA, Weissberg RP. Social
-
emotional le
arning in early childhood: What we
know and where to go from here. In: Cheesebrough E, King P, Gullotta TP, Bloom
M, eds.
A blueprint for the promotion of prosocial behavior in early childhood
. New
York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers; 2004:13
-
50.

3.

Au
stralian Government Department of Health and Ageing. KidsMatter Early
Childhood
-

Australian early childhood mental health initiative: Component 2 book
(Stage 1
-

pilot phase). Canberra ACT2010.

4.

Denham SA. The emotional basis of learning and development

in early childhood
education. In: Spodek B, Saracho O, eds.
Handbook of research on the education
of young children
. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum; 2005:85
-
103.

5.

Bowlby J.
Attachment and loss: Vol 1. Attachment
. New York: Basic Books; 1969.

6.

Brazelton TB
, Greenspan SI.
The irreducible needs of children: What every child
must have to grow, learn, and flourish
. Cambridge: Perseus Publishing; 2000.

7.

Lally JR.
Curriculum and lesson planning: A responsive approach
. The Program for
Infant/Toddler Care: WestEd
; 1997.

8.

Pawl JH, St. John N.
How you are is as important as what you do
. Washington:
Zero to Three; 1998.

9.

National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.
Young children develop in an
environment of relationships: Working paper No.1.

Cambridge: The Center on the
Developing Child at Harvard University;2004.

10.

Thompson RA. Development in the first years of life.
The Future of Children.
2001;11(1):20
-
33.

11.

World Health Organization.
The importance of care
-
giver child interactions for

the
survival and healthy development of young children.

Geneva: World Health
Organization;2004.

12.

Parlakian R, Seibel NL.
Building strong foundations: Practical guidance for
promoting the social
-
emotional development of infants and toddlers.

Washington:
Zero to Three; 2002.

13.

Perry BD, Szalavitz M.
The boy who was raised as a dog: And other stories from a
child psychiatrist's notebook: What traumatized children can teach us about loss,
love and healing
Cambridge: Basic Books; 2006.

14.

Scho
re AN. Effects of a secure attachment relationship on right brain development,
affect regulation, and infant mental health.
Infant Mental Health Journal.
2001;22(1):7
-
66.

15.

Archer C, Burnell A, eds.
Trauma, attachment and family permanence: Fear can
stop

you loving
. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers; 2003.


KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

18



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

16.

Gerhardt S.
Why love matters: How affection shapes a baby's brain
. New York:
Brunner
-
Routledge; 2004.

17.

Tronick E. Dyadically expanded states of consciousness and the process of
therapeutic chan
ge.
Infant Mental Health Journal.
1998;19(3):290
-
299.

18.

Shonkoff JP. Building a new biodevelopmental framework to guide the future of
early childhood policy.
Child Development.
2010;81(1):357

367.

19.

Zeanah P, Stafford B, Nagle G, Rice T.
Addressing soc
ial
-
emotional development
and infant mental health in early childhood systems.

Los Angeles: National Center
for Infant and Early Childhood Health Policy 2005.

20.

World Health Organization, Department of Health and Substance Abuse in
collaboration with the

Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, The University of
Melbourne.
Promoting mental health: Concepts, emerging evidence, practice.

Geneva: Author;2004.

21.

Gonzalez
-
Mena J, Widmeyer Eyer D.
Infants, toddlers, and caregivers
. 8th ed. New
York: McGraw
-
Hill
; 2009.

22.

Berk LE.
Development through the lifespan
. 5 ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon; 2010.

23.

National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. Children’s emotional
development is built into the architecture of their brains: Working Paper No. 2. 2004.
http://developingchild.harvard.edu/index.php/resources/reports_and_working_paper
s/working_papers/wp2/
. Accessed 21 February 2012.

24.

Dolby

R. The ABCs of aggression: The roots of bullying behaviour.
Every Child.
2009;15(4):32
-
33.

25.

Emde RN. Facilitating reflective supervision in an early child development center.
Infant Mental Health Journal.
2009;30(6):664

672.

26.

Thompson RA. The psycho
logist in the baby.
Zero to Three.
2008;28(5):5
-
12.

27.

Tronick E. Emotions and emotional communication in infants.
American
Psychologist.
1989;44:112
-
119.

28.

Werner EE. Resilience in development.
Current Directions in Psychological
Science.
Jun 1995;4(3)
:81
-
85.

29.

Department of Education and Children's Services. Healthy minds/Healthy futures:
Child mental health and wellbeing study. Summary of findings. 2006.
http://www.decs.sa.gov.au/speced2/files/pages/chess/hsp/Research/final_2005_par
ent_results.pdf
. Accessed 17 February 2012.

30.

Council of Australian Governments.
Investing in the early years: A national early
childhood development strategy.

Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia;2009.

31.

Maselko J, Kubzansky L, Lipsitt L, Buka SL. Mother’s affection at 8 months predicts
emotional distress in adulthood.
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
2010;July:1
-
5.

32.

Boyd J, Barnett WS, Bodrova
E, Leong DJ, Gomby D.
Promoting children’s social
and emotional development through preschool education
. New Brunswick: National
Institute for Early Education Research; 2005.

33.

Linke P. Social and emotional learning as a basis for curriculum.
Every Child
.

Vol
17. Australia: Early Childhood Australia; 2011:14
-
15.


KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

19



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

34.

Isenberg JP, Quisenberry N. Play: Essential for all children: A position paper of the
association for childhood education international. 2002.

35.

Fox SE, Levitt P, Nelson CA. How the timing and quality of early experiences
influence the development of brain architecture.
Child Development.
2010;81(1):28

40.

36.

High/Scope Educational Research Foundation. High Scope: Inspiring educators to
inspire ch
ildren. 2009;
www.highscope.org
. Accessed 21 February 2012.

37.

Response Ability. Response Ability: Resources for teacher education: Early
childhood and primary. Barton: Commonwealth of Australia; 2007.

38.

Early Ch
ildhood Australia. Intentional Teaching.
The Early Years Learning
Framework Professional Learning Program e
-
Newsletter.
2011(2).
http://www.earlychil
dhoodaustralia.org.au/eylfplp/newsletters/EYLFPLP_E
-
Newsletter_No2.pdf
. Accessed 21 February 2012.

39.

Lally JR, Mangione PL. The uniqueness of infancy demands a responsive approach
to care.
Young Children.
2006;61(4):14
-
20.

40.

Rushton S, Larkin E. Shaping the learning environment: Connecting
developmentally appropriate practices to brain research.
Early Childhood Education
Journal.
2001;29(1):25
-
33.

41.

Rushton SP, Eitelgeorge J, Zickafoose R. Connecting Brian Cambourne’s
Condit
ions of Learning Theory to brain/mind principles: Implications for early
childhood educators.
Early Childhood Education Journal.
2003;31(1):11
-
21.

42.

Rushton S, Juola
-
Rushton A, Larkin E. Neuroscience, play and early childhood
education: Connections, impl
ications and assessment.
Early Childhood Education
Journal.
2010;37:351

361.

43.

Powell D, Dunlap G, Fox L. Prevention and intervention for the challenging
behaviors of toddlers and preschoolers.
Infants & Young Children.
2006;19(1):25
-
35.

44.

Hunter A, He
mmeter ML. The center on the social and emotional foundations for
early learning: Addressing challenging behaviour in infants and toddlers.
Zero to
Three.
2009;29(3):5
-
12.

45.

Zero to Three.
Caring for infants and toddlers in groups: Developmentally
appropriate practice
. Washington: Zero to Three; 2008.

46.

Fox L, Lentini R. "You got it!" Teaching social and emotional skills.
Young Children.
2006;61(6):36
-
42.

47.

Helterbran VR, Fennimore BS. Collaborative early childhood professional
development: Buil
ding from a base of teacher investigation.
Early Childhood
Education Journal.
2004;31(4):267
-
271.

48.

Bredekamp S, Knuth RA, Kunesh LG, Shulman DD. What does research say about
early childhood education? 1992.
http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/ecdh/eecd/Curriculum/Planning/edudev_art_00421
_081806.html
. Accessed 21 February 2012.

49.

Epstein AS.
Me, You, Us: Social
-
emotional learning in preschool
. Mic
higan:
HighScope Press; 2009.


KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

20



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

50.

Kay
-
Lambkin F, Kemp E, Stafford K, Hazell T. Mental health promotion and early
intervention in early childhood and primary school settings: A review.
Journal of
Student Wellbeing.
2007;1(1):31
-
56.

51.

Stremmel AJ, Fu VR. T
eaching in the Zone of Proximal Development: Implications
for Responsive Teaching Practice.
Child & Youth Care Forum.
1993;22(5):337
-
350.

52.

Zero To Three. Social emotional development. 2009.
http://www.zerotothree.org/site/PageServer?pagename=key_social
. Accessed 21
February 2012.

53.

Zins JE, Elias MJ. Social and emotional learning: Promoting the development of all
students.
Journal of Educational & Psychological Consultation.

2006;17(2):233
-
255.

54.

Gallagher KC. Brain research and early childhood development: A primer for
developmentally appropriate practice.
Young Children.
2005;60(4):12
-
20.

55.

Trevarthen C. Intrinsic motives for companionship in understanding: Their origin,
development, and significance for infant mental health.
Infant Mental Health
Journal.
2001;22(1
-
2):95
-
131.

56.

Barblett L. Play
-
based learning.
Early Years Learning Framework

Professional
Learning Program.
2010.
http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/eylfplp/pdf/Play
-
based
-
learning
-
Lennie
-
Barblett.pdf
.

57.

Ginsburg
KR, Committee on Communications, Committee on Psychosocial Aspects
of Child and Family Health. The importance of play in promoting healthy child
development and maintaining strong parent
-
child bonds.
Pediatrics.
2007;119:182
-
191.

58.

Greenspan SL. The emot
ional basis of intelligence In: Lally RL, Mangione PL,
Greenwald D, eds.
Concepts for care: 20 essays on infant/toddler development and
learning
San Francisco: WestEd; 2006:15
-
19.

59.

Hirschland D.
Collaborative intervention in early childhood: Consulting

with parents
and teachers of 3
-

to 7
-
year
-
olds
. Melbourne: Oxford University Press; 2008.

60.

Berk LE.
Child Development
. 8th ed. Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon; 2008.

61.

Stonehouse A. Supporting children's development: Social skills and relationships.
P
utting Children First.
2008:no pagination.
http://ncac.acecqa.gov.au/educator
-
resources/pcf
-
articles/Supporti
ng_children's_social_skills%20_and_relationships_PCF%20Mar08.
pdf
. Accessed 21 February 2012.

62.

Bovey T, Strain P.
Using environmental strategies to promote positive social
interactions
: Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early
Learning;20
03.

63.

Pianta R, Howes C, Burchinal MR, et al. Features of pre
-
kindergarten programs,
classrooms, and teachers: Do they predict observed classroom quality and child

teacher interactions?
Applied Developmental Science.
2005;9(3):144
-
159.

64.

Bovey T, Strai
n P.
Using classroom activities & routines as opportunities to support
peer interaction
: Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early
Learning;2003.


KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

21



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

65.

Ostrosky MM, Jung EY, Hemmeter ML, Thomas T. Helping children understand
routines and classroom schedules.
What works brief No. 3.
2005.
http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/briefs/wwb3.pdf
. Accessed 21
February 2012.

66.

Thomas P. Stress management for carers of young children.
Childcare and
Children's Health.
2004;7(6):1
-
4.

67.

Kelly AL, Berthelsen DC. Preschool teachers' experience of stress.
Teaching and
Teacher Education.
1995;11(4):345
-
357.

68.

Tansey S. Managing stress in childcare services.
Putting Children First.
2008;26:24
-
26.

69.

Casas P.
Toward the ABCs: Building a healthy social and emotional foundation for
learning and living
. Chicago: Ounce of Prevention Fund; 2001.

70.

Early Childhood A
ustralia, Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child
Care.
COAG Mental Health Early Intervention Measure: Early childhood
component. Study to scope potential service delivery.

Canberra: Department of
Health and Ageing;2007.

71.

Shonkoff JP, Phil
lips DA, eds.
From neurons to neighborhoods: The science of
early childhood development
. Washington: National Academy Press; 2000.

72.

Barnett L. Creating and using video for teaching child development and the care of
young children: Learning from experien
ce.
Infant Observation.
2006;9(2):179
-
189.

73.

Council of Australian Governments.
National quality standard for early childhood
education and care and school age care.

Barton: Author;2009.

74.

Graham MA, White BA, Clarke CC, Adams S. Infusing infant menta
l health
practices into front
-
line caregiving.
Infants and Young Children.
2001;14(1):14

23.

75.

Summers JA, Marquis J, Mannan H, et al. Relationship of perceived adequacy of
services, family
-
professional partnerships, and family quality of life in early
childhood service programmes.
International Journal of Disability, Development &
Education.
2007;5
4(3):319
-
338.

76.

Zambo D. Childcare workers’ knowledge about the brain and developmentally
appropriate practice.
Early Childhood Education Journal.
2008;35:571

577.

77.

Monti F, Crudeli F. The use of infant observation in nursery (0
-
3 years).
Infant
Obser
vation.
2007;10(1):51
-
58.

78.

Tucker J. Using video to enhance the learning in a first attempt at 'watch, wait and
wonder'.
Infant Observation.
2006;9(2):125
-
138.

79.

Tomlin AM, Sturm L, Koch MS. Observe, listen, wonder, and respond: A preliminary
explorat
ion of reflective function skills in early care providers.
Infant Mental Health
Journal.
2009;30(6):637
-
647.

80.

Tansey S. Professional development for staff, carers and managers.
Putting
Children First.
2007;22:8
-
11.

81.

Burchinal MR, Cryer D, Clifford RM
, Howes C. Caregiver training and classroom
quality in child care centers.
Applied Developmental Science.
2002;6(1):2
-
11.

82.

Powell D, Dunlap G.
Evidence
-
based social
-
emotional curricula and intervention
packages for children 0
-
5 years and their families:

Roadmap to effective
intervention practices.

Tampa: University of South Florida;2009.


KidsMatter Early Childhood Component 2 Literature Review

22



www.kidsmatter.edu.au

83.

Benevolent Society. Evaluation of the Benevolent Society’s partnerships in early
childhood program.2010.

84.

Owens A. Skills and knowledge to support quality.
Puttin
g Children First.
2008.

85.

McFarlane J. Developing a culture of learning through reflective practice.
Putting
Children First.
2009(30):16
-
18.

86.

Bertacchi J, Norman
-
Murch T. Implementing reflective supervision in non
-
clinical
settings: Challenges to prac
tice.
Zero to Three.
1999;20(1):18
-
23.

87.

Pflieger J. Reflective supervision.
Head Start Bulletin.
2002;73:34
-
36.

88.

Weigand RF. Reflective supervision in child care: The discoveries of an accidental
tourist.
Zero to Three.
2010;Dec:31
-
36.

89.

Gilkerson L. Irving B. Harris distinguished lecture: Reflective supervision in infant
-
family programs: Adding clinical process to nonclinical settings.
Infant Mental Health
Journal.
2004;25(5):424

439.

90.

Virmani EA, Ontai LL. Supervision and training in
child care: Does reflective
supervision foster caregiver insightfulness?
Infant Mental Health Journal.
2010;31(1):16
-
32.

91.

Weigand RF. Reflective supervision in child care: The discoveries of an accidental
tourist.
Zero to Three.
2007;28(2):17
-
22.

92.

Go
odfellow J. Practical wisdom in professional practice: The person in the process
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood.
2003;4(1):48
-
62.

93.

Heffron MC, Irvins B, Weston DR. Finding an authentic voice: Use of self: Essential
learning processes for relationship
-
based work.
Infants & Young Children.
2005;18(4):323
-
336.

94.

Geist U, Baum A. Yeah, but’s that keep teachers from embracing an active
c
urriculum.
Young Children.
2005;July:1
-
8.
http://journal.naeyc.org/btj/200507/03geist.pdf
. Accessed 21 February 2012.

95.

Graham MA, Hogan AE, White BA, Chiricos CA. Enhancing the quality of
r
elationships in infant
-
toddler child care: A developmental process.
Zero to Three.
2003;July:14
-
20.

96.

Pavia L, Nissen H, Hawkins C, Monroe ME, Filimon D. Mentoring early childhood
professionals.
Journal of Research in Childhood Education.
2003;17(2):250
-
260.

97.

Sheerer M. Using individualization and scaffolding to improve inservice programs.
Early Childhood Education Journal.
1997;24(3):201
-
203.

98.

Manlove EE, Vazquez A, Vernon
-
Feagans L. The quality of caregiving in child care:
relations to teacher com
plexity of thinking and perceived supportiveness of the work
environment.
Infant & Child Development.
2008;17(3):203
-
222.




This resource is part of the KidsMatter
Early
Childhood
Initiative. The KidsMatter
team welcomes

your feedback at www.kidsmatter.edu.au