Unit 301 – Communication and professional relationships with children, young people and adults. 1.1 – Effective communication is important in developing positive relationships with children, young people and adults because it ensures strong relationships between on another and helps create a positive working environment. By demonstrating and modelling effective communication skills with others you will create positive relationships. It is important that we know how to communicate to one another in a polite, friendly manner even in moments of stress. If we have positive relationships with children, young people and adults we are more likely to communicate information to one another. By thinking about the different ways we can communicate to each other this will ensure positive working relationships are carried out. 1.2 – If we can ensure children, young people and adults are comfortable in our company this will encourage relationship building.
It is important that we build on positive relationships with one another to create a friendly, happy and positive environment to work in. Children, young people and adults can pick up on unfriendly or negative atmospheres so by ensuring that we are relationship building with one another and are creating positive relationships through effective communication the whole setting will benefit. There are a few key points that ensure a positive relationship. These include; Effective communication, Being considerate, Maintaining a sense of humour, Showing respect, Remembering issues which are personal to them, Taking time to listen to others and Being clear on points. All of these key points will help build positive relationships with others. 1.3 – When working in different social, professional and cultural contexts it is important that we learn how to adapt the way we communicate in different situations. When working with others it is important that we consider the context in which we are working. For example, if I was in a meeting I would use more formal language and behaviour.
If I was communicating with a parent it would be more informal and more personal. It is important that all practitioners are aware of different types of communication with adults. For example, if I had a professional conversation over the phone, I would ensure that I listened well, I was attentive and responded well when speaking to the other party. When dealing with other professionals there will be meetings and discussions as well as more informal communication at times. On some occasions non-spoken forms of communication can be an issue if they aremisread by others. For example, how quickly someone responds to an email or phone message. It is also important that we are aware that different cultures will have their own norms of behaviour which will extend to gestures, body language and eye contact. 2.1 – In order to have effective communication with children and young people you need to demonstrate a number of skills. Children learn to communicate through the response of others:
If they do not feel that their contributions are valued, they are less likely to initiate communication themselves. Whilst communicating with children and young people it is very important that you make eye contact and actively listen. Body language is extremely important. When interacting with children and young people you should get down to their level. Children are aware of facial expressions and how approachable you are. It is important that we as practitioners smile and react in a positive way to what children are saying.
It is important that we allow children the chance to communicate and make sure that they are given sufficient opportunities to talk. As practitioners we should always react and comment on what children and young people are saying. On some occasions you may need to repeat back to pupils to check our understanding, particularly if they have used incorrect language. One of the main skills is to always be interested in what children have to say and ensure we respond and question children to maintain conversation.
For children to be able to communicate effectively we should encourage them to ask questions and put their ideas forward. 2.2 – In order to build relationships with children, you will need to adapt your behaviour and communication accordingly. By effectively communicating and interacting with children of all ages, cultures and abilities it will help them feel secure and valued. A) It is important that you adapt the way you communicate when interacting with children and young people of different ages. When interacting with younger children they may need more reassurance. They may also need to have more physical contact as a result. Children of different ages will require varying levels of attention. It is important that we know how to adapt our vocabulary and we consider how to interact positively with children and young people as we listen and respond to them. B) When working with children you will be dealing with children in a variety of different situations.
It is important that we adapt our verbal communication accordingly. For instance, if a group of children and me are carrying out acircle time activity it is important that all the children are engaged and focused and that I have dealt with any distractions before they interrupt my activity. However, when talking to children in more social situations such as lunchtime or free play, it is important that we use this time to create and develop positive relationships with children, although we should always speak to them in a way which maintains the relationship of professional carer to child. C) When working with children who have communication differences it is important to ensure care and sensitivity.
Some children will need to take their time and may feel under pressure when they are speaking. It is very important that we adapt the way in which we communicate accordingly to the child’s individual needs. Some children may not have many opportunities to speak, or may be anxious or nervous. If they have a speech disorder, such as a stammer, or conditions which make communication difficult for them, they should be allowed to take their time and not feel rushed. It is important that we try not to fill in words for them or guess what they are going to say, as this may add to their distress. When working with children who have communication differences you may need additional training such as makaton or sign language.
This is so you are able to communicate effectively. In some cases where children have special educational needs you may need to have additional equipment in order to communicate with one another. 2.3 – When communicating with adults and with children there are many similarities, always maintaining eye contact and interest, responding to what they are saying and treating them with courtesy and respect.
However when communicating with children it is very important to maintain the relationship of carer to child and what this means in a preschool setting. Children will always see adults as carers no matter how well you get along with one another and we have to ensure that our relationship with them will always be on a formal basis when in school and out. When communicating with children we need to be clear so they understand what is expected of them and so they can learn to communicate themselves.
When communicating with children it is important that the vocabulary and verbal expressions we use are at the right level for all children. It is also very important that we as carers do not encourage physical contact when communicating with them. It can be very hard to avoid this with young children as they will often initiate hugs. In this situation it would be inappropriate to tell them not to. However we should not offer physical contact with children or be overly physical with them at any time. 2.4 – There are many ways in which we can adapt communication to meet different communication needs of adults. It is important that we are sensitive to the needs of other adults, particularly if they have communication difficulties.
It is important that we adapt the way we communicate. Sometimes we will do this without even realizing. For example, if I am speaking to a parent or carer who has a hearing impairment, I will make sure that I am facing them and I am making eye contact so that they can lip read. It is important that when working with adults that have communication needs we observe, reflect and adapt our means of communication. If a parent speaks English as an additional language (E.A.L) we may need to have a translator and meet together if the information we are communicating is complex or difficult to convey. 2.5 – When managing disagreements, it is important that we do so carefully so that bad feelings do not persist afterwards.
In many cases, disagreements are down to lack of communication or miscommunication with others. Poor communication can cause conflict within in certain areas, between carers and children and young people and between carers and adults. The best way to resolve areas of poor communication is to discuss them to establish a cause and then find a way forward together. The important thing to do is not to ignore the problem or talk to everyone else about it except the individual concerned. Sometimes adults may not have the same ideas about the purpose of an activity or meeting, or come with a different idea in mind. It is important to always clarify the aims of what we are there to do and why.
Different values and ideas can cause disagreements between parents and settings. It is important that we work alongside parents and explain or clarify why things need to happen in a different way at nursery. Sometimes adults can act in an aggressive way if they are not sure about what they are doing or lack in confidence. It is very important that we are sensitive to this and offer encouragement and support. 3.1 – In settings we ask parents and carers for a variety of information so that we are able to care for children as effectively as we can while they are with us. These records include Record of information, Health and medical records and records for children who have special educational needs. These records are confidential and are only used for the purpose for which it was gathered. If theinformation needs to be passed on to others for any reason, parental consent will need to be given. This is asked for when a child starts nursery and their parent or carer will fill out a consent form.
This information is confidential and can only be shared with people with a right to access it. For example, the child’s key worker, line manager or an external agency. The Data Protection Act 1998 is a legislation that all child care settings must adhere to along with Every Child Matters. Within Peter Pan Nursery we ask all parents to sign a consent form which allows practitioners to take photographs for the evidence of the child’s development and for displays. It is very important that all practitioners are aware that you should not pass on any information about the child or their family to other parents, other professionals unless their parents have been consulted or visitors. 3.2 –When all parents / carers hand over the child’s record of information, health and medical records and any records of special educational needs we ensure that they are aware that all this information is kept in a file which is in a locked cabinet in the office and is confidential.
We make all parents aware that the only time any information is passed on without the parents’ consent is when we feel that the child may be in need, if the child is at risk or is being abused. Also if the child has any medical conditions then certain information may be passed on to other carers.
For example, if a child has asthma or epilepsy. At Peter Pan Nursery we have information boards in each of the units displaying photographs of children with their medical conditions or allergies in an area of which only carers can access. 3.3 – At Peter Pan Nursery we have a policy in place called ‘Whistle blowing’. This means that if you think there is a suspected case of child abuse or if you think a child or young person is at risk or a practitioner is behaving in an unusual way then it is important to blow the whistle and tell the line manager. If another practitioner confides in you, it is important to remember that there are situations in which you may need to tell others. It is very important that if a child, young person or adult confides in you, you must at all times tell the individual that you will not be able to keep confidentiality if they disclose something to you in which you cannot keep to yourself for these reasons.
Courtney from Study Moose
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