All infants and toddlers need experiences that nurture, support, and teach their home language and culture. Language is a vital component of early experiences well before a child can say his first word. Infants and toddlers whose families come from diverse backgrounds and speak different languages are appearing in all kinds of early care and learning settings in growing numbers. Even the most experienced caregiver can feel a bit unsure about meeting the unique needs of infants and toddlers from different language backgrounds.
Many Languages, Building Connections outlines adaptable strategies that caregivers of children younger than the age of three need to feel confident that they know how language develops, how cultural differences can come into play, and how to assess an individual child’s situation to provide appropriate support.
From welcoming diverse families and engaging them to participate in a child care program to creating nurturing communities that value and support each child’s home language while also fostering English acquisition, the helpful strategies in Many Languages, Building Connections will prepare caregivers for the diverse reality they encounter in their work.