Effective and consistent communication within a setting, as indeed, within most realms of everyday life, is not merely desirable, yet vital. It ensures that the needs of all parties within the organisation may be catered for, according to their unique and individual sets of requirements. For instance, if we were to adopt a ‘catch-all’ philosophy within the setting, it is inevitable that many children would be sidelined and their particular set of needs not fully addressed. It is only through regular and thorough assessment and the effective communication of such, that we may arrive at a suitable evaluation and from there, put into motion the best possible course of action to meet the needs of children, their parents/ carers and staff most efficiently.
Communication is key at every level within the setting. At it’s most basic, it is quite simply a tool to ‘ get the job done’ in the most efficient and timely manner. Recognising that communication is a varied and far reaching tool which can be done verbally but equally so, non verbally is key. Gestures, facial expressions, body language and tone of voice all convey a story to an other person. Remaining vigilant to the effect your actions may have on another is vitally important when considering the impact your ‘bad day’ could have on another. Simply acknowledging those around you in a positive manner, being affable and approachable, will all make for more pleasant and effective working environment for all involved.
The conveyance of information between staff members, parents and children alike within a setting, is central to the successful running of an establishment where the emotional, educational and physical needs of all involved are of paramount importance. Regular feedback to staff members ensures that any concerns can be addressed and the team can work together more effectively. From the very first beginnings when a child walks through the doors for the first time, a message is being communicated.
It is vital then that a setting ensures that it is communicating the correct messages by establishing good first impressions with those who come into contact with the setting. A smile of acknowledgement is often all that is required to put new comers, both young and old, at ease. An open, friendly and professional demeanor will aid in the building of trust between the setting and parents/ carers and children as indeed, with any exterior organisations with which the setting may well need to work alongside, such as social services or perhaps occupational therapists.
Regular contact with parents/ carers ensures that school is not a ‘closed book’ area of their child’s life with which they have no involvement. It is indeed crucial to a child’s scholastic career to have the support and input from their family members and settings benefit enormously from open and trusting relationships with parents/ carers where information can be shared and used to better suit the child’s needs. Regular and well delivered praise and reassurance can only serve to bolster and maintain a child’s sense of well being and esteem and establish boundaries without creating negative self image. Really getting to know each child and being able to pick up on what isn’t being said is also essential. A child’s need to express their emotions is critical to their development and they must be provided with a safe environment from which to do so.