Daycare provider playing with children


Children develop through relationships with attentive adults. Every day, teachers help your child feel secure and important. From the morning greeting to the end of the day, teachers interact warmly with your child. Children who feel safe and cared for grow in all areas of their development.

Teacher/Child Relationships Look Like:

  • Warm and caring interactions.
  • Maintain proximity and eye contact with children.
  • Acknowledging children’s efforts.
  • Providing praise and encouragement to children and their parents.
  • Positive language at all times.
  • Responding to children’s communication attempts.
  • Frequently using language to talk about emotions and the environment.
  • Significant amounts of closeness to children, for example, rocking children, holding on laps and holding babies when feeding them a bottle.
  • Spending time on the floor with children.
  • “Serve and return” – imitate baby sounds in a back-and-forth “baby conversation” or repeat what toddler says and then let toddler take another turn at talking.


Teacher/Parent Relationships Look Like:

  • Providing praise and encouragement to children and their parents
  • Ask parents about their child’s needs, interests, routines, and preferences.
  • Talk frequently to the child’s parents about their caregiving practices at home (e.g., how do they feed the infant?) How do they put the infant to sleep?).
  • Communicate with children and families in their home language.
  • Communicate daily with families about the child’s activities and experiences.
  • Welcome families and encourage them to stay or visit anytime.
  • Develop rituals with families and children at “drop-off” and “pick up.”
  • Encourage breastfeeding and offer private, comfortable spaces for breastfeeding.
  • Conduct home visits.

From Zero to Three

Staff Relationships Look Like:

  • Staff interactions are positive and feel warm and supportive.
  • Information about the children is communicated daily among staff.

From Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services

Take these questions with you to ask child cares to learn more on the topic of Relationships

  • How do teachers keep families regularly informed about our child’s activities?
  • How does this program respect language, culture and the values of families?
  • How will you help me with my child’s initial adjustment to your child care?
  • Am I welcome to drop into the program at any time?
  • How will we work together to help my child transition to the next class?
  • Will my child have a consistent caregiver?

Print the Relationships Checklist or Print All Checklists