Effective communication is central to working with children, young people and their families. It involves listening, Questioning, understanding and responding to children, young people and those caring for them. – (Children’s workforce development council, common core of skills and knowledge) Communication is a skill we are born with and one which grows and develops with us, we communicate differently depending on the situation we are in, as an early years provider and teaching assistant I need to communicate with a variety of people from young children, parents, teachers, and external agencies and here are some of the reasons why.
* To Build and maintain relationships
From the initial telephone call or meeting with a parent you are building a relationship. A positive relationship with parents will always be beneficial to the child; this can be a simple hello or a smile in a morning or may be a more in depth communication about how the child is learning and developing and the next steps you are planning. Being able to communicate with a child or young person allows you to treat them as an individual and gain a better understanding of them and how they learn enabling you to plan for their needs and requirements.
* To gain and share information
Sharing information with parents or teachers is vital and should be done on a regular basis. This can help a child initially to settle more effectively as information is shared about likes and dislikes medical or dietary needs and about what the child is capable of doing. Sharing ‘wow’ moments with parents can give them a clearer picture of what their child is doing or is interested in and sharing information about behaviour strategies can help both parties to be consistent. As a provider I must enable a regular two way flow of information with parents and/or carers, and between providers, if a child is attending more than one setting.
To express needs and feelings A child needs to be able to communicate if something is wrong or making them unhappy, they may not be able to do this verbally, this could make the child frustrated, isolated and have a negative effect on their development.
* To gain reassurance and acknowledgment Parents need to feel reassured that you are going to be capable of caring for their child and a good relationship with good communication will build trust, With children and young people simply by taking an interest and getting involved in what they are doing reassures them and opens up communication channels. * To share ideas and thoughts Sharing thoughts and ideas with children and parents gives them the opportunity to get involved in what you are planning; this can enhance the whole experience.
Courtney from Study Moose
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