Video Aided Prevention Program

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 patterns included:

  • 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.


  • Prof. Miriam Rosenthal
See report

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Last updated: December, 2002