I reference a popularly-held assumption that attachment relationships in the home and particularly, in most instances, between a mother and her child - are fundamental to the healthydevelopment of young children. Thus, when a mother returns to work following the birth of her baby, the decision-making process about choice of childcare is likely to be difficult and complex. This chapter is based on the findings of a life historical study which examined the policies, practices and relationships which underpinned and influenced the decisions taken by six mothers to return to paid employment when their infants were under 12 months of age. The mothers’ need for their infants to develop close, secure, emotional attachments with other, key adults was an overwhelming concern. My focus is on the mothers’ perceptions of love. When mothers were able to distinguish the mutually-loving attachment between caregiver and their child as an intellectual encounter, complementary to their mother - child relationship, rather than seeking to undermine their own mother-child relationships, they were able effectively to give caregivers the permission they needed to love the children in their care. The study coined the term “professional love” and showed how the issue of love in day care is highly complex. In this chapter, I urge that a space is made for further debate so that “love” can be properly conceptualised, positively valued and appropriately taught with caregivers working in infant -toddler education and care.
|Title of host publication||Lived Spaces of Infant-Toddler Education and Care. International perspectives on early childhood education and developmen|
|Editors||L. Harrison, J. Sumsion|
|Place of Publication||Dordrecht|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Apr 2014|
|Name||International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development|
Page, J. (2014). Developing "professional love" in early childhood settings. In L. Harrison, & J. Sumsion (Eds.), Lived Spaces of Infant-Toddler Education and Care. International perspectives on early childhood education and developmen (Vol. 11, pp. 119-130). (International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8838-0_9