The first and foremost task that a child care program must perform is that of providing the quality of loving that is critical to a child's well-being. This quality must permeate all aspects of the environment, program and interactions with adults and other children. Because opinion regarding what constitutes loving behavior is broad, the CEC has developed a description of what constitutes loving values and behavior:
- Acceptance of children as they are, valuing their uniqueness.
- Nurturing and supporting children through physical contact and provision of positive verbal reinforcement while expressing forgiveness for actions which upset us.
- Facilitation of children's self-understanding through provision of accurate, non-judgmental feedback on their behavior.
- Maintenance of a secure environment through provision of clear, consistent limits for behavior and by clear, accurate explanations of behavior and events.
- Encouragement for children to develop self-sufficiency through taking responsibility for themselves, their actions, and their environment.
- Encouragement of clear communication, verbal expression of feelings, sensitivity to others' needs and attunement with one's own needs.
- Assisting children to perceive their world holistically, recognizing the connection and interdependence among all things, valuing uniqueness and diversity.
- Modeling of the foregoing ourselves, in our interpersonal relations, and encouragement to the children to do the same.