Adults who work in school-age programs must never loose sight of the enormous opportunity to impact and influence the lives of children. It is crucial that adults understand their role in establishing a positive social/emotional environment that brings out the best in children, who are quick to pick up on the unspoken values and patterns observed in those who care for them. The behavior of adults will either inspire them to positive ways of living and relating to others or will provoke the worst in them.
The childcare environment is essentially a complex network of relationships. Caregivers must effectively relate to the children, coworkers, parents and, in many cases, sponsoring agencies. Children must learn to function in multi-age groupings as well as learn to relate to adult caregivers. Quality relationships between and among children and adults is the key ingredient to an effective school-age childcare program.