Trauma-informed practice in ECE
It is estimated that a significant percentage of children and young people will experience at least one potentially traumatic event by the age of 16.
Trauma-informed practice does not mean that teachers are trained to treat trauma, but rather that they understand the wide-ranging impact that trauma can have on children, their development, their wellbeing, and their ability to learn and interact in ECE settings.
Traumatic experiences in childhood can impact a child’s mental, physical, social, or emotional wellbeing and their ability to function in ECE and other settings. Exposure to trauma and adversity can have serious short- and long-term impacts for children and young people.
Research is clear that exposure to trauma early in life can result in neurological, psychological, physical, social, and learning challenges across the lifespan. Recent research has also shown that, when teachers respond sensitively to the impact of trauma, it helps children to engage, gives them a sense of belonging, and helps to reduce disruptive behaviours.
It is important to ensure that teachers and leaders know about the prevalence and consequences of childhood trauma. The more that teachers know and understand about childhood trauma, the more confident and better equipped they are to appropriately support children who have experienced trauma.
- How can we build teachers’ knowledge and understanding about childhood trauma?
- Do we have policies in place to support children who have experienced trauma?
- How can we support teachers to develop practices and approaches that are responsive to children who have experienced trauma?
"Thank you for all the work you do providing New Zealand based perspectives on so many relevant topics in ECE"