| Studies on the effects of non-parental child care
on child development stress the importance of "Quality of
care" in daycare settings for the attainment of developmental
goals. Findings of recent studies carried out in Israel are particularly
disturbing, portraying very low-quality interactions between daycare
caregivers and infants and toddlers. In order to foster more sensitive
caregiving practices among Early Childhood staff, a model of video-aided
supervision was developed by the Schwartz Graduate Program for Early
Childhood Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The project
took place in early childhood settings in Israel over a period of
three years thanks to the generous contribution from the Irving
B. Harris Foundation.
This study set out to evaluate the video-aided supervision model
and learn how the use of video-observations during supervision
sessions may influence the quality of care. Forty family day-care
caregivers in the Jerusalem district, divided into a "study
group" and a "control group", participated in
the study. Forty 14-month-old infants were randomly selected,
one from each family day-care setting. Pre-test and post-test
observations were conducted to assess the quality of adult caregiving
behaviors and the child's daily experiences in the family day-care
settings. The caregivers were interviewed following the viewing
of a short videotaped episode, in order to evaluate their "empathic
understanding" of children and their understanding of "Developmentally
Appropriate Practice' (DAP).
The results identified specific patterns of caregiver-child interaction
characteristic of family day-care caregivers, and showed a unique
change in these patterns among the caregivers who participated
in the video-aided supervision program. Changes in caregiver interaction
- Diminished use of restraints and prohibitions, and the incorporation
of positive behavior when controlling children (i.e. sensitive
touch, positive speech, mutual affect, cognitive and social stimulation).
- An increase in positive caregiving practices as a response to
a greater variety of children's behaviors.
- Enhanced differentiated responsiveness to different distress
behaviors of the child.
- A more attentive and sensitive approach to children when they
are occupied and playful, when they seem satisfied and do not
signal an urgent need for an adult.
- More developmentally appropriate understanding and behavior
vis-a-vis peer relations and conflicts.
Video-aided supervision is well documented in empirical and
theoretical literature on the training of professionals in the
fields of education, psychotherapy, social work and medicine.
It has been found effective in parent intervention. The results
of this study indicate the significance of this visual medium
also for early childhood edu-care and in the training of paraprofessionals.
Video observation may facilitate an improved insight into the
child's behavior, intentions and emotions, as well as provide
an opportunity for the caregiver to observe her own patterns
of interaction. The video-aided supervision model enables adults
working with infants and toddlers to focus on observable behaviors
that represent sensitive and responsive care for children. An
ongoing process of supervision accompanying this self-observation
may produce a more developmentally appropriate approach to childcare.
As a result of this study, the initial model had been modified,
and a two-stage model of video-aided supervision was developed.
At the first year of participation in the program (stage 1)
the aim is to enhance general sensitivity and responsiveness
in caregiver-child interaction. During the second year (stage
2) the video-aided supervision focuses on a specific aspect
of interaction in daycare settings.
In the third year of the project we approached 'graduate' supervisors
who participated in the project during one of the previous two
years, and offered them to "specilize" during stage 2 on issues
of social interaction among peers - promoting empathy and resolving
conflicts in daycare.
In the future we propose to repeat the two-stage program, focussing
during stage 2 on additional issues such as sensitive interactions
with parents and among staff members.
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Last updated: December, 2002