What is love in Early Years ?

We chose a career in Early Years because we LOVE children! But what does this actually mean ?

The topic of love in Early Years Years and Education is not commonly spoken about, and this fact makes it more complicated to fathom & understand. ‘Surely as long as the topic of love remains unspoken, it remains undefined! ‘(2)

Slowly over time the word ‘love’ has been replaced & eradicated by the academic words of attachment, care, ethic of care and emotional labour.

Surely it is time we started to unpick & unravel & recognise our own natural human responses and have the open discussion of what LOVE or ‘professional love looks like in our settings? (3)

Let’s face it, in this year of pandemic we have continued to show love & affection to the children in our care. Even in light of our own anxiety about the Covid virus - in Early years we continued throughout to offer a emotionally safe space to the children we serve x 

Our settings, are places where children gain affection if they cry. Places & spaces whereby children are picked up for comfort & rocked to sleep if needed. Etc etc

Places in which Key persons lean in when a child’s behaviour is unfavourable & are totally present for a child in need!

Isn’t this LOVE ?

Isn’t this what we do already?  So why are we to scared to use the word Love to explain our daily practice?

Is the word now Taboo ?

Especially in this time of pandemic, trauma, grief & social distancing. Isn’t LOVE needed more than ever in our Early years settings ? For the children, our teams, families & ourselves?

Isn’t it time to reflect, research & unravel.

Time for those settings who perhaps have strict policies in place ‘no hugging or sitting on laps ‘ policies? To consider that now more than ever children need to come to our settings & their emotional needs are met !

“Safeguarding is, of course, at the forefront of every decision we make as professionals and we are mindful and observant of policies and procedures in place to keep children safe.“

Have we become so focused on being seen as ‘educators’ of children that forget the critical role we play in children’s emotional well being, mental health, self regulation & emotional intelligence?

Have you heard of the project

Professional Love’ in Early Years Settings (PLEYS) used a range of methods to reveal the ‘conceptions and practices of love intimacy and care in early years settings? ‘See link below (3)

At The Curiosity Approach we are inspired by Steiner & Pikler both share the same deep reverence & respect for the children

Reverence & cooperative caregiving

Steiner says

“Receive the child in reverence,

Educate him in love,

And send him forth in freedom.”

The mother cares for the child because she loves him. The nurse loves the child because she cares for him," wrote French psychiatrist, Myriam David, coauthor of LOCZY: An Unusual Approach to Mothering.



(1) https://www.eymatters.co.uk/ea...


(3) https://pleysproject.files.wor...