Island of Intimacy
Have you ever been in love? Where the feeling is that no-one else exists apart form you and the object of your affection. Where the two of you are wholly focussed on each other and the rest of the world melts away.
Islands of Intimacy in early years are just that. They are spaces that occur between two people where there is connection, trust and a shared experience. Where movements, eye contact, facial expressions are in complete harmony.
You can see those moments often when people dance together, especially when that dancing together is about what Mine Conkbayir talks about in her recent book "Early Childhood and Neuroscience" as
"life affirming, pivotal interactions that shape a child's idea about their place in the world"
The term 'Island on Intimacy' was developed by Elinor Goldschmied. Her writing and thinking influenced the Key Person approach in early years settings and had a strong impact on the contemporary Early Years Foundation Stage. She advocated for focused interaction specifically organised to respond to very young children's need for close relationships with the keyworkers which is characterised by a flow of meaningful interaction.
These two 30 second videos show staff at Loughborough Campus Nursery experiencing Islands of Intimacy. They are beautiful moments where the connection between the adult and child is palpable and moving.
This is a time and place for intimate personal relationships that are understood as being important for children’s development and happiness. I would argue there also part of every practitioners happiness and development also and they have their place in every busy Early Years working room.