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Graded unit development stage Essay


The purpose of this project was to create a house corner, so the child-minder and her assistants are able to assess the children in their care more easily. As well as having somewhere for the children to be able to go and role/pretend play. The aim of the project was too:

To lead the development of creating the house corner, within the child-minding setting

• To resource a house corner facility in my childminding setting The methods were completed by interviewing child-minder’s and giving parents questionnaires to get their opinions on role play and the house corner. It was found that there are mixed views regarding role play, role play areas and role play to assist assessments.

My assistants participated in the creation of the house corner, my parents participated in the questionnaires given out to them and four local childminders participated in my interviews. Throughout this piece of research it has become apparent that everyone has different ideas regarding role play and how children should be doing this. My recommendation is that there should be a framework for childminders stating what equipment they should have and what they need to do for a basic education for the children.


The purpose of this project was to create a house corner, so the childminder and her assistance’s are able to assess the chidren in their care more easily. As well as having somewhere for the children to be able to go and role/pretend play. Within graded unit a house corner will be created within the child-minding setting because one of the parents had said “it would be nice to have a house corner area’. This is because the child within this family has no brother’s and sister’s and the family would like to see how
their child role plays and interacts with others. Also working with the Community Child-minders a house corner is a good place to be able to assess a child through role play. The Community Child-minder Area Manager also recommends having a house corner in place in the setting. This is for assessment and observational reasons as a community child-minder can have a lot of Child Protection referrals.

While developing this unit various mandatory units of the HND Childhood Practice relates to this topic they are Sociology and Psychology. The Sociological theory Symbolic interactionism, Feminism and Psychological theories of Piaget, Vygotsky and Bruce will be looked at. I will also be looking at leadership though this unit and looking the democratic leadership style. I will also be looking at various legislations though out this unit as this relates to getting it right for every child (GIRFEC)2012, because when working together with other authorities to make everything better for the child/children involved in the service.

You can see what is going on in ‘their world’ from the role play the children do. It will enable assessments to be carried out while the child is at play. I will be looking at the Data protection act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010, this is relevant so at every interview everyone is treated the same and all the information is kept confidential. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The Convention gives children and young people over 40 substantive rights, including the right to: •special protection measures and assistance

•access to services such as education and healthcare
•develop their personalities, abilities and talents to the fullest potential •grow up in an environment of happiness, love and understanding •be informed about and participate in achieving their rights in an accessible and active manner.

Bench mark Standards
3.9 Managers/lead practitioners have the knowledge and understanding needed to support evidence informed practice. They:
know how to access, and apply relevant research and enquiry-based findings know how to reflect on and engage in the systematic investigation of practice can make informed choices among particular research methods and
methods of evaluation

draw on a range of sources of evidence to analyse and evaluate practice draw on relevant principles, theories and approaches to inform their practice demonstrate the ability to share and discuss with others the principles and perspectives that underpin their own professional practice.

Within the graded unit I have two aims to achieve, these are: •To lead the development of creating the house corner, within the child-minding setting •To resource a house corner facility in my childminding setting

For all the research methods, questionnaires and interviews, the responses will be kept confidential and all the aspects of confidentiality will be respected.

Interview four child-minders to see how they set up their house corners, For this method I contacted four local Fife childminders that also work with the community childminding, I discussed with them over the telephone what I was required to do and how I would visit their setting to see their play area and to do an interview to gain qualitative information. (Appendix 1)

Visit child-minding settings to see the home corners and how they work. I visited the childminders setting so I could see their play area and the home corners and how the childminders used the area to assess the children.

All parents’ views on role play will be gained by a questionnaire which will mainly have closed questions to gain quantitate information on role play, this will be piloted in class with my peers. I created a questionnaire which will mainly have closed questions to gain quantitate information. I piloted the questionnaire with my class peers using email. I then handed the questionnaire out to the 8 parents that use my service. They all completed the questionnaire by the return date of the 25th April 2013. (Appendix 2)

Fund raise to gain funds to resource the house corner.
For the funds to resource the house corner, I had £20 available through petty cash. I then did a sponsored toddle with my pre-school children on the 23rd April 2013 and created sponsor forms for the children to take home and get family and friends to sponsor them. (Appendix 3)

The code of ethics written by Morrow (1996) will be looked at while researching this unit. Ethical considerations in research with children and young people occur at all stages of the research process. They should be considered as an on-going and reflexive part of the research process throughout the life of a research project and not just as the first hurdle to be overcome.


I have interviewed four childminders for research purposes and to gain qualitative information regarding the house corner and role play. I had asked if the childminders believed if having a house corner was an effective way to aid role play 25% said yes while the other 75% said no and their reasoning for this was that despite having a house corner children would role play no matter where they were. “Children will role play whether there is a house corner present or not”. I asked if the adults get involved in the children’s role play 75% said they sit back and observe/none and 25% said they get involved if the children ask but with draw as soon as possible. During the interview I asked the four childminders what sort of assessments do they already do in their setting 100% answered Observations and Photographic only. (Appendix 4)

I have visited four childminding settings to see what role play facilities childminders have in their setting. Each childminder had little role play equipment out for the children to use and the children were sat playing board games, reading books or playing outside on apparatus. I ask two of the childminders about their role play equipment-one responded “Children don’t need equipment to role play, they turn things into equipment and
pretend play”.

I gave all my parents that attend my setting questionnaires, to gain quantitate information which is eight in total. I had a 100% return on my questionnaires. I had asked if my parents thought a house corner was an effect way to aid role play? 62.5% said yes it is an effective way while 37.5% said it wasn’t effective. (Appendix 5) I had asked if role play promotes or condemns a child’s development? 87.5% said it promotes a childs development while 12.5% said it condemns the development. This parent stated “My child doesn’t role play and their development is fine”. I asked the parents what role play toys do the children have at home?

The fundraising for the house corner we did a sponsoredtoddle. At the fundraiser there was 2 adults and 8 children involved and we raised £159.26. (Appendix 6) With this money I intend to buy the following for the house corner. Kitchen pots and pans

Plastic kitchen food
Play plates cups and cutlery
Paint and decoration for the home corner
Table and chairs

According to the feminist belief, women are being exploited by the sources like books, media, and the society by means of children’s toys. Feminists are of the view that the society aims to put conditions on children from their birth about their anticipated roles in society. In the statement, ‘pink is for girls and blue is for boys’, radical feminists would strongly argue that through parental expectations things like toys, books, and television begins the exploitation of women. For instance, girls are given dolls to play with, kitchens, prams, and tea sets.

Feminists would claim due to imposition of such conditions, girls into their expected roles of playing the housewife and caring for children. On the other hand, boys are given footballs, computer games, cars, trucks, and are encouraged by their fathers for dummy fight. This encourages men to be masculine, violent and physically powerful according to the feminists.

Symbolic Interactionism
This theory focuses on the way that people interact through symbols: words, gestures, rules, and roles. In order for interaction to work, each person must interpret the meanings and intentions of others; this is made possible by common symbols this is what Mead called ‘role taking.’ This involves one person taking on a role of another person, by imagining that they are the other person, which they are interacting with. For example, if a person observes another smiling, crying, waving a hand or shaking a fist, they will put themselves in that persons position so they can interpret the intention and meaning. This will create their response to the action of the other person. Human interaction is a continuous process, with people taking it in turn of playing the role of the other.

Mead argued that the process of role taking helps individuals develop a concept called ‘self’. There are two aspects of self these are ‘Me and I’. Me is a definition of yourself in a particular role for example a ‘good parent’ or a good colleague’. The I is an opinion of yourself, which is otherwise known as your-self-concept, which is built up from the reactions of others and the way you interpret those reactions. Self is not something we are born with but it is learnt during childhood. There are two main stages in the development of this. The first is known as the play stage which involves children playing roles that are not their own for example a child may play Mums and Dads, Drs and Nurses. In doing this the child learns there is a difference between themselves and the role they are playing.

Jean Piaget, a philosopher and psychologist, was one of the first researchers to take children’s play seriously. He came to recognize that children learn step-by-step through experience and interaction with the world around them. In fact, Piaget’s research discovered that the young mind is not capable of formal logic and abstract thinking until 11 or 12 years old. Up until then, children learn inductively through experimentation and testing – through
hands-on play.

Piaget identified these stages of children’s development:

Sensorimotor Stage: Birth to 2 years
The child at this stage uses senses and motor abilities to figure out the world. Squeeze the rubber ducky and it quacks. Drop the ball in the hole and it rolls down the chute all the way to the bottom. Through repetitive play, the young child learns how to keep in mind what’s out of sight and how to cause a reaction.

Preoperational Stage: 2 to 6 years
During this stage the child acquires the ability to use symbols but still requires physical props and concrete situations to solve problems. A preschooler will line up 4 blocks and 4 more and then count up to 8.

Concrete Operations: 6-11 years
From physical experience, the school-age child learns to conceptualize. Now 4+4 can be solved with numbers, not just with objects. Still the young student relies on experiment and discovery to hotwire the brain.

Vygotsky’s research on play, or children’s games. Vygotsky gives the famous example of a child who wants to ride a horse but cannot. If the child were under three, he would perhaps cry and be angry, but around the age of three the child’s relationship with the world changes: “Hence play is such that the explanation for it must always be that it is the imaginary, illusory realization of unrealizable desires. Imagination is a new formation that is not present in the consciousness of the very raw young child, is totally absent in animals, and represents a specifically human form of conscious activity. Like all functions of consciousness, it originally arises from action.” The child wishes to ride a horse but cannot, so he picks up a stick and stands astride of it, thus pretending he is riding a horse. The stick is a pivot. “Action according to rules begins to be determined by ideas, not by objects…. It is terribly difficult for a child to sever thought (the meaning of a word) from object. Play is a transitional stage in this direction.

At that critical moment when a stick – i.e., an object – becomes a pivot for severing the meaning of horse from a real horse, one of the basic psychological structures determining the child’s relationship to reality is radically altered”. As children get older, their reliance on pivots such as sticks, dolls and other toys diminishes. They have internalized these pivots as imagination and abstract concepts through which they can understand the world. “The old adage that ‘children’s play is imagination in action’ can be reversed: we can say that imagination in adolescents and schoolchildren is play without action”. Vygotsky also referred to the development of social rules that form, for example, when children play house and adopt the roles of different family members. Vygotsky cites an example of two sisters playing being sisters. The rules of behavior between them that go unnoticed in daily life are consciously acquired through play.

Tina Bruce’s theory is a theory on play, which includes 12 features that assist in cultivating, recognising and monitoring free flowing play. The features that make up the theory include, making up playing rules, having fist hand experience, playing together, pretending, having personal agenda, making props and deep involvement, among others. The theory emphasized on the importance of outdoor pay in the lives of children. (Appendix

Democrative Leadership Style
The leaders invite and encourage the team members to play an important role in decision-making process, though the ultimate decision-making power rests with the leader. The leader guides the employees on what to perform and how to perform, while the employees communicate to the leader their experience and the suggestions if any. The advantages of this leadership style are that it leads to satisfied, motivated and more skilled employees. It leads to an optimistic work environment and also encourages creativity. This leadership style has the only drawback that it is time-consuming.

These findings show that children role play as a part of learning and they
develop all their developmental skills through doing this. Despite whether you have a role play area/equipment children will find other ways to role play using equipment and pretending it is something else. There has been theorists studying role play and although they all make good points I feel Tina Bruces 12 features of play is the closest to being true.


Throughout this piece of research it has become apparent that everyone has different ideas regarding role play and how children should be doing this. Each childminder does things differently and I feel there should be an overall standard that each childminder should have when setting up a childcare setting.

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