With its real-life stories and invitations for reflection and conversation, this book is an ideal professional development resource for pre- and in-service birth-age 3 professionals. The author shares lived experiences of being in four distinctly different baby rooms as a researcher over extended periods of time. She frames each story around elements of well-being and asks readers to consider whether and how environmental and relational factors supported or hindered the physical, psychological, and emotional health of the children and adults. The author encourages readers to see themselves in the stories, to consider how they may have acted in the circumstances described, and to deliberate on their own practices and beliefs. With empathy and respect, McMullen fully conveys an intent to elevate, celebrate, and honor those who spend their days in infant/toddler care and education, while examining the critical role all adults in society play in the lives of our youngest citizens.
- Invites personal reflection and discussion with colleagues in the form of prompts and questions after each story.
- Provides a friendly but scholarly look at the spaces, conditions, and quality of birth-to-age-3 settings, the area of fastest growing need in early childhood care and education (ECCE).
- Focuses on the well-being of the adults and children featured in the book, providing a holistic perspective on their needs, motivations, and experiences.
- Emphasizes a here-and-now perspective in contrast to books that tend to focus primarily on preparing children for future outcomes and accomplishments.