Personal care routines – observation clip 1

Jack is waiting for his lunch with his key person Rose. They engage and communicate with each other while he waits for his food and then while he eats.

Good for looking at

  • The role of the key person
  • Care routines
  • Attachement
  • Attunement (tuning in)
  • Emotional development
  • Communication development
  • Physical development - self care

‘When you approach your baby with an attitude of respect, you let him know what you intend to do and give him a chance to respond. You assume he is competent and involve him in his care and let him, as much as possible, solve his own problems. You give him plenty of physical freedom and you don’t push development.’

Magda Gerber cited on (2009)


  • Look out for the way these children respond to their key people, with eye  contact and non-verbal communication, as well as talking and babbling.
  • Note the ways in which the key person involves the child in the process and the level of intimacy involved in these routine experiences.



What are your thoughts about:

  • What Jack communicated about his emotional state – what did his body language tell you?
  • How is Jack learning? Which areas of development, engagement and characteristics of learning can you observe?
  • The role of the adult in this interaction – how did she support Jack?

Further reflection

(you may want to watch more observation clips before moving on to further reflection)

  • Can you think of times when you have felt rushed or stressed carrying out personal care routines? Why was this? What would have helped?
  • How can you safeguard the amount of time (and space) that is required for personal care routines to be carried out in an unhurried atmosphere of warmth and nurture?
  • What are the challenges in giving children personal attention whist dealing with the needs of other children and how do you address these?
  • How can we show more respect to children, when engaging in personal care routines?


What next?

  • What action can you/your setting take to improve respectful interactions whilst engaging in personal care routines?
  • Are there any management issues to discuss and act on?