Banking Time

A strategy for building positive, sensitive, and supportive relationships between an educator and child

Relationships with adults are critical resources for children. Banking Time helps educators to invest in this relationship by spending quality one-on-one time with a child outside of the classroom. When problems or conflicts arise, the time invested in the relationship can help solve problems, as the child remembers the educator as a listener and a helper.

Hallmarks of This Strategy

One-on-One Session

Includes a 20-minute session 2 to 3 times a week outside of the regular classroom routine.


The child chooses materials and activities while the educator follows their lead.

The Educator's Role

The educator observes, labels, and narrates as they play with the child.


Banking Time: The Educator's Role​

In this short video lesson, you’ll learn about the hallmarks of Banking Time sessions and about the key strategies you can use to build strong relationships.


Banking Time: Letting the Child Lead

To follow up on the educator’s role in banking time, this short video provides a closer look at what it means to let a child lead these important one-on-one sessions.


Banking Time Resources

Getting Started with Banking Time

See this short two-page explainer to continue learning about this strategy.

Planning Guide

Use this planning guide to prepare for a session with a child.

Guide to Banking Time (Español)

Learn more about this strategy and its importance, and learn tips for trying it in your classroom.

Banking Time was created by Dr. Robert Pianta, Dr. Bridget Hamre, and Dr. Amanda Williford at the University of Virginia. For more information about implementing Banking Time, please contact