Emmi Pikler

Emmi Pikler’s work on freedom of movement and a young child’s ability to take an active role in their own development is the cornerstone of our teaching methods.

When treatment is being provided, the child can feel competent in his/her relation to the adult.

Emmi Pikler, 1902 – 1984

Emmi Pikler, 1902 – 1984, studied medicine and paediatrics in Vienna during the 1920’.

Her curiosity was peaked further by accident statistics in the surgery department at Salzer hospital in the suburbs of Vienna. In the working class neighbouring the hospital, where children spent their days roaming the streets, climbing up trees and swinging on and off trams, there were considerably less broken bones and concussions than elsewhere. More particularly, in wealthier areas of the city, accidents happened within the home or out on walks.


By then, Emmi Pikler was already convinced that a child who is allowed to move freely and without restriction is more careful and learns how to fall safely, whereas a child who is overly protected and whose movements are restricted puts him/herself in more danger because he/she has not experimented his/her own capacities and limits. 

She then decided to work with families, focusing on child guidance and on safety. She had a vision when it came to the child. She believed that a child, who was respected as a person and was allowed to develop at his or her own pace, would automatically be CURIOUS, OPEN and CONFIDENT. Pikler children are serene and independent, they love to play, smile spontaneously and eat with relish, ...


The Pikler method

The Pikler method is practical and applies to all aspects of a child’s daily life.
In a Pikler creche, care and attention is paid to the baby, to the professional care provider, to the parents, and to the surroundings and general atmosphere.

We observe the child together, we share our findings, we tell the parents, we summon up possibilities. 

When it comes to the psychological life of a child, the Pikler approach relates to analysis, mainly to the work of British psychoanalyst and child psychiatrist Donald W. Winnicott. Among other things, Winnicott highlighted the importance of continuity in an infant’s environment in order for him/her to constantly feel he/she exists without being divided.

To ‘provide continuity’ is a permanent challenge in a collective care centre...

Source : association Pikler Loczy de France