Emmi Pikler (1902 - 1984), pediatrician, founder and longtime director of the Pikler Institute (1946 - 1978), recognized the value of the child's own activity and autonomous movement development for its personality development as early as the 1930s - when she was also advising families pedagogically as a family doctor. In free play, the child "learns to learn", develops self-confidence, dexterity and endurance, among other things, and experiences his or her competence.


The name Emmi Pikler stands for a change of consciousness in dealing with the infant and toddler. In both family and institutional contexts, she has demonstrated and put into practice an educational approach without the use of violence, however slight or hidden.


The child is taken seriously as a person and partner. His need for security is satisfied by loving attention and undivided attention during care. Even the infant is given the opportunity to participate in the acts of care, which increasingly enables him to cooperate and forms the basis for his ability to relate and his social development.


Its principles have been further developed and deepened by its own staff and many other professionals in numerous countries. They have been analyzed in terms of other schools of thought, discussed and applied in different places where young children live.