Finding an early learning centre that suits your family’s learning philosophy can often be difficult and overwhelming. For many parents it’s not just about taking the next available spot at a local centre, it’s making a decision which can potentially impact a young child’s life. One such approach to learning that is guaranteed to have a significant impact on a child is the RIE® Philosophy (Resources for Infant Educarers).
What is the RIE Philosophy?
The RIE Philosophy began with Magda Gerber, an early childhood educator originally from Hungary. Gerber was extremely passionate about infant care and was very impressed by paediatrician and infant educator Emmi Pikler, particularly Pikler’s past success with creating environments that provided opportunities and encouragement for children to reach their full potential.
Inspired by Pikler’s core values of respect, trust, and acceptance, Gerber was inspired to create her own philosophy known as RIE® (Resources for Infant Educarers), the Educaring Approach®. The main goal of RIE® is to create an authentic child who feels secure, autonomous, competent, and connected to the world around them. A strong sense of self and an even stronger connection to the people and places around them promotes amazing growth and happiness in life beginning as infants and continuing on into adulthood.
The Educaring Approach is based upon the following set of principles:
- Basic trust in the child to be an initiator, an explorer, and a self-learner.
- An environment for the child that is physically safe, cognitively challenging and emotionally nurturing.
- Time for uninterrupted play.
- Freedom to explore and interact with other infants.
- Involvement of the child in all care activities to allow the child to become an active participant rather than a passive recipient.
- Sensitive Observation of the child in order to understand the child’s needs.
- Consistency and clearly-defined limits and expectations to develop self-discipline.
Benefits of an Educaring® Approach
Your baby will have the opportunity to eat, sleep and play in accordance with their individual needs. By anticipating individual caregiving activities, caregivers are able to be respectful of personal rhythms with feeding, nap times and activities to suit individual infants.
With the RIE® philosophy, caregiving is an opportunity for one-on-one time. During this time the Caregiver talks with, listens to and allows time for the baby to respond. When caregiving needs are met, infants have the opportunity to engage in play and the caregiver’s attention facilitates the optimum development of motor skills, problem solving and self-esteem.
Kerry Hanson from Little Characters, who has completed the RIE® Foundations: Theory and Observation course intensive says that this approach to caregiving fosters connection through the building of relationships that support quality pedagogy. In Magda Gerber’s own words,“RIE® helps adults raise children who are competent, confident, curious, attentive, exploring, cooperative, secure, peaceful, focused, self-initiating, resourceful, involved, inner-directed, aware and interested”.
If you love the sound of your child learning in a space inspired by the RIE® philosophy and which focuses connecting with nature, why not book a tour of Little Characters Early Learning Centre Woombye. You’ll be able to appreciate the small, homely and nurturing setting that has so much to give babies, toddlers and kindergarteners and where play is recognised as a pathway to life-long learning.
For more information or to book a tour, visit Little Characters Early Learning Centre website.