Foreword by: Nancy File
Publication Date: May 27, 2022
Series: Early Childhood Education Series
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.
Mary Benson McMullen is a professor of early childhood education in teacher education and curriculum studies at Indiana University, Bloomington.
“The well-being concepts Mary Benson McMullen presents in each chapter, and the big ideas she draws from them, provide a focus for how adults can decide to ‘be’ with babies, as well as with their families. Mary has chosen to present her ideas through story. These stories have an immediacy and intimacy that sometimes took my breath away.”
—From the Foreword by Nancy File, professor emerita, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
“Full of wit, wisdom, and relatable stories, this book perfectly summarizes and culminates Dr. McMullen's lifelong love, vision, and dedication for infants and toddlers, care teachers, and their well-being. Her warm, respectful, and balanced view is comforting and affirming on the importance of supporting this special age group and their care teachers.”
—Kyong-Ah Kwon, Drusa B. Cable Endowed Chair in Education and Early Childhood Education, University of Oklahoma
“Through a multifaceted lens of well-being, Mary Benson McMullen shares compelling stories that bring to life the experiences of babies and care teachers in group care. Her thoughtful reflections illuminate the power of both being present and living in the present with infants and toddlers.”
—Peter L. Mangione, senior director of early childhood strategic initiatives, WestEd