The early year’s sector was not developed by government policy with specific aims but was created in response to the requirements of families to change economical and social factors. Therefore public expenditure focused on families with social needs and difficulties. Local authority day nurseries catered mainly for children who were at risk from harm mainly in deprived areas. The Private sector held childminders, nannies and private nurseries available. The playgroup movement developed during the 1960s where parents set up and ran provision for their own children to learn through play in village halls and other community facilities.
Families requirements for their children vary some parents want care for their children so that they can return to work, some parents want to stay with their children while they socialise, some parents want their children in settings which offer services aimed at learning. Others may want their children to be in a home based environment but unfortunately not every family can afford to pay provision fees, therefore the early year’s sector has various forms of provision to meet the needs of all families. The childcare provision includes:
Mother and toddler groups A place were the toddler can socialise with other children their age, whilst the mother or father can stay and learn more ways to look after and help with the child’s development Pre-school A private nursery, one that is paid for by the parent do not hold compulsory hours, the child doesn’t have a primary school place already. This is for a younger child to gain confidence at an early age. Day care A day care is for children from the age of 3 months to 5 years, they have different classes for children of different ages and the parents can drop off the child and pick them up when they wish.
Some parents only take the child in for one or two hours a day so that they have some interaction with other children and have new experiences. Creche A creche is a drop in centre childcare provision, the parents do not pay a monthly fee they only pay when they need such childcare, creche’s are in many different places such as gyms, shopping centres and churches, in these areas the children are looked after whilst the parents can work out, shop or pray. The childcare sector has changed vastly in the last 50 years along with society.
Mothers have stopped staying at home and also passed on primary care to nannies or child minders. More childcare settings have been needed as a result of this. The government offer all 3-4 year old children free day care in nurseries such as my setting for up to 15 hours a week, this means mothers can go to work etc. leaving their child there in the care of nursery teachers, practitioners and nursery nurses. Identify current policies, frameworks and influences on the early years sector [pic] [pic] [pic] United nations convention on the rights of the child.
Founded in 1989 by world leaders who decided that children needed a special convention for those under 18s because they often need special care and that the government has a responsibility to take measures to make sure children’s rights are protected, respected and fulfilled. All children have a right to adequate food, shelter, clean water, education, health care, leisure and recreation. The act also protects children’s rights by setting the standards in health care, education and legal, civil and social services. The four core principles are: Non-discrimination.
Devotion to the best interests of the child The right to life Survival and development Respect the views of a child All children up to the age of 18 are protected regardless of race, religion, gender, culture, whether they are rich or poor have a disability, what they do and don’t say and what language they speak, no child should be treated unfairly. The best interests of the child must always come first when making decisions that can affect them. The EYFS works at setting the standards for learning ensuring that children make progress and no child gets left behind.
The education Act Free childcare provisions were introduced for under five year old children as stated briefly previously. Since September 1st 2010 this rose from 12 and a half hours a week to 15 hours a week. The free entitlement provides access to education and care and the hours can be flexible over the week, all childcare provisions must use the EYFS and help young children achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes. Describe what is meant by evidence-based practice and give examples of how this has influenced work with children in their early years.
Evidence based practice is a framework of decisions made from effective information researched that influences practice and allows practitioners to apply their knowledge to a situation which allows them to make a well informed decisions on future actions. Professional practice requires these findings and research to be kept up-to-date and a consideration as to how these can be applied to settings. Sometimes, we need to be sure of what we find out before taking action as it might not be real or true.
This is why it is so important for me to communicate and concerns or queries to my team. My everyday practice is influenced by what I have found out or learnt previously as a mother but also professionally through watching my nursery teacher and practitioners and learning as I go. It has been interesting to see that I am heading in the right track as a parent but excited to learn things I hadn’t even thought of previously for my own children that I can not only use in the setting but also bring home for my children to benefit from.
An example of how research has influenced working with children is The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) which is the first main study in the UK that focuses on the effectiveness of early years education and studies young children’s intellectual, social and behavioural development at age 3 to 7, collecting a wide range of information on more than 3000 children, their parents, their home environment and the pre-school they attended.
Its findings found that children who had attended early years provision were more likely to have better cognitive, social and behaviour skills when they started formal education than those who had no early years provision, also confirming the value of early learning through ‘play’ especially from low-income families. Key Elements of effective practice (KEEP) is another example. It stressed that effective learning in children is dependent on secure relationships.
Learning through play and forming secure relationships are both key elements to the EYFS. With formal and non formal observation schedules and reflective practice, there is quality of care, learning and development and accountability as staff may require training and review of procedures and policies in order to keep up to date with new evidence in the provision of health and education. Explain what is meant by Diversity Diversity is the differences between individuals and groups of people in societies.
These differences could be gender, ethnic origins, social cultural or religious background, family structure, disabilities, sexuality or appearance. Equality Equality means that individuals in society experience opportunities to achieve which are as good as the opportunities experienced by other people. Inclusion Inclusion is a process of identifying, understanding and breaking down barriers to participation and belonging. Explain the importance of anti-discriminatory/anti bias practice, giving examples of how it is applied in practice with children and carers
The curriculum within settings should represent the different cultures of the children within it to promote anti-discriminatory and anti bias practice, as does my setting. We include positive images within the play areas for example in books and on posters which allows our children to view pictures of different races, disabilities, sex and age which promotes an anti-bias view of the world we live in. We also have children within the setting who have special educational needs which also brings it to life for all the children to encourage this acceptance into their lives.
The setting creates an environment which is acceptable to all children regardless of their background, along with being able to make them feel welcomed. We ensure they are all valued and have access in every aspect of the provision. We also have had the pleasure of meeting practitioners who are from different countries which also helps the children relate to equality within their lives. Explain how the active participation of the children in decisions affecting their lives promotes the achievement of positive outcomes.
Children need to actively participate in decisions that will affect their life. Children that are young need to make simple choices that enable them to find out their likes and dislikes not only for themselves but for us to then plan activities that meet their needs and challenge their abilities, it can be as simple as having a choice between an apple and a pear. This will enable them to express their needs and wishes. Letting the children make choices builds a child’s confidence, self esteem and their social skills.
In our setting the children make choices all the time, this will be when a child makes a choice on what they want to do or who they want to do it with, these are simple choices that a child of pre-school and nursery age can make for themselves. This will enable the child to develop more and make choices later on in life that are more important such as, relationships, what course to take at college, whether to gain a qualification, what job they may undertake or even when to get married etc.
These choices will all be big decisions that could affect the rest of their life. We as practitioners need to actively listen to the child’s choices and other ways that they may be able to communicate their wishes such as pointing, pictures, signing and any other non verbal means of communication to find out what the child or family actually want or need. We need to understand that children have voices and that they should be heard. Providing that they or others are not in any significant harm, their wishes should be listened to and followed.
Examples of how children in our setting actively participate in their own choices include area of play, choice of activities during free flow time, choice of healthy food and drink available to them, choice of actions (good or bad, with intervention when necessary). Again, by giving them these choices it will help them to make small decisions in life and will enable them later in life to extend this to bigger decisions that affect their lives and will help future experiences. It also enables our children to learn to build up confidence, self-esteem and social skills by themselves and sometimes, with our guidance.
Explain the importance of reviewing own practice as part of being an effective practitioner The quality of provision in any early years settings is dependent on the skills, attitudes, knowledge and experience of everyone who works there. Reflective practice is the key to quality improvement as it helps to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different aspects of a setting’s provision. Reflective practice is the term used to describe the way in which professionals evaluate their own work and consider ways of improving their work.
It is important to do this, as each year a different set of children and parents join the setting. They may have different needs, expectations or interests. Activities, routines and polices may have to be changed or updated to accommodate the new families. Reflecting on practice will help to see where changes need to be made. Staff are developing all the time too. Their knowledge and skills may change due to extra training or new staff having new ideas. National standards and frameworks may also change so this may have an impact on how the setting is run.
To reflect on my own practice I tend to critically question what I do and see whether it works or whether there is room for improvement by asking my team for feedback and advise. I am also new to childcare as a profession rather then parent so I am constantly taking things in and using support from my team as motivation to improve my own strengths and target my weaknesses. I tend to observe the reactions of children, parents and the team to help think about my effectiveness, but at the end of the day voicing any concerns is the best policy and my team will always come to me when needed.
Especially in areas I may think are working well, I like to think about what skills and knowledge are helping me achieve this or whether I can become more efficient. In areas of weaknesses I always think of ways to improve and pick up hints and tips from my brilliant colleagues who are more then happy to advise. I may need more training in the future when I fell more experience is needed such as first aid etc. I find reflecting on my practise helpful as it gives me a clearer picture of what I actually do within my work role for my setting, and how I can make myself a valuable asset to my team.
This itself gives me more confidence of my ability as practitioner and confidence to know that everybody can improve to provide the best care for all our children as I reach higher standards as I progress. Undertake a reflective analysis of own practice Being a reflective practitioner involves thinking about how you currently work and evaluating what you do in order to improve your practice. The reflective practitioner stands back, takes a balanced view and recognises what works well, but is also able to acknowledge what could be changed.
To be a reflective practitioner you need to be self aware and able to look as objectively and honestly as possible at how you work with children, colleagues and parents. This is not easy, but taking a proactive role, reflecting on and analysing your own practice is far more rewarding than relying on someone in a more senior position to do this for you. Evaluating your own practice helps to put you in control of the changes that should be made, enables you to identify your professional development needs and will increase your confidence and feelings of job satisfaction.
Reflective practice and self evaluation are fundamental to the Ofsted inspection process. By completing the Self Evaluation Form (SEF) managers and setting leaders are able to provide a snapshot of what happens in a setting. Through the SEF they can clearly identify the setting’s strengths and highlight what it does well. At the same time they can acknowledge any weaknesses in provision and plan the changes and improvements to be made. However, managers cannot achieve this alone.
They are reliant on all practitioners in the setting taking responsibility for the quality of their individual practice and aiming for continuous improvement. As practitioner I want to be a good role model for the children in my setting by being enthusiastic to their efforts, positive and optimistic towards their abilities and good choices but also as I understand children are active learners I wish for them to be as enthusiastic as I am with their learning and development. I always aim to show a relaxed expression and warm tones in my voice that I can pitch higher as I express enthusiasm.
I try to get the children eager to get involved especially in planned activities that are designed to assess the children individually as it is important for me to know each child’s specific needs etc. I am aware that my relationships with the children, parents and colleagues are not only important for the setting environment but also for our children to understand how to treat others and how peers and teamwork is important in life. I treat others how I wish to be treated and respect all my team as individuals professionally as well as getting to know them and enjoying their company during work hours.
It is a pleasure to work with a great group of people who are passionate about giving our children a great start in life which, in turn also gives me the motivation to thrive and provide the best care I can for my colleagues and children. I actively listen and am taking in lots of information and advise given verbally or through watching others. This is active learning and it is a cycle within the work setting. When I talk to my colleagues it is in a professional manner with interest and respect. I am also willing to help in any way I can to maintain an efficient smooth running setting.
When I talk to the children in the setting I try to relate to them, coming down to their level with interest and listening to anything they have to say. They will always ask questions that I will answer as honestly as I can. I am always intrigued to know their likes and dislikes and by getting to know each individual child helps in this area. It is always nice to following up on their ideas by discussing every thing with the nursery teacher who will then advise. I try my hardest to make every parent feel welcome and at value what they tell me especially when it is about the importance of their individual child.
It is important to maintain relationships with everyone as not only does it help me provide the best care I can but it also makes the place a very strong place to be as we are helping these children thrive and flourish to take these abilities with them through life. I try to help the setting by being proactive in solving problems as they arise but I will come to my team in times of need. I definitely need to continue to actively learn through my team but also establish a personal style and accept we are all different and all give a different benefit to the team.
I started off with little confidence as a parent you never quiet know what boundaries you can cross with other children such as how stern to be when they make bad choices etc. Now I am much more confident and relaxed in my approach but I am always learning, every day I learn something new. I need to communicate and not be afraid to ask my nursery teacher if I misunderstand a task given to me. I made the mistake of setting out an extra activity that didn’t help what the nursery teacher had planned as I assumed bowels were left out for it when in fact they were forgotten about and not put away.
The nursery teacher was busy and so I tried to use my initiative but it was not a good decision. I should have waited to speak to my tutor and seek advice. This is what I shall do in the future. I tend to learn from my mistakes! Develop strategies to deal with areas of difficulty and challenges encountered in professional practice in early years settings Examples of areas of difficulty and challenges that may arise in the work setting between myself and parents of children include: Parents not collecting their child on time – getting later and later Parents with outstanding fees Parents with a complaint e.
g. they claim a child has hit their child Speaking to a parent about a concern you have about their child (you feel that the child has specific needs, and you are worried how they may accept/not accept it). Parent has been discriminating against another parent (possibly verbally to the other parents). These issues are not only very sensitive to each individual family but they all require handling with professionalism and respect as a parent myself you need to feel valued and listened to and made aware that the dilema will be dealt with promptly and effectively and in confidence.
This is why having full and comprehensive policies and procedures within my setting is important and relevant at these times to follow. When speaking to parents, if they came to me with a concern or complaint I would listen, really listen, even if they start to shout, often they just want to say their piece. Then if they have cause to complain or bring something up I may be able to deal with it there and then by speaking in a professional manner, without making it personal.
If I am able to resolve it, I will try, if not I would this to the nursery teacher as she is a very good active listener and always wants the best for our children, parents and team. It is very important to maintain relationships as we would hate to tarnish the settings name we really do enjoy our involvement and helping our children the best way we can. To me it doesn’t matter how small the concern is – it’s important for that child and their parents, and I want to assure those parents I take things very seriously in order to resolve issues.
When a parent needs addressing for issues such as a concern about their child or fees are owed then the nursery teacher will deal with this matter by forms of letters or arranging a meeting to speak in confidence regarding the above. If a parent has come to me or the nursery teacher with a complaint about another parent I would have to have a quiet word or arrange a meeting to say ‘It has been brought to my attention that you have been speaking about another parent unkindly/discriminatingly. ‘ They may interject here and say ‘who said, they are lying?
But I would just have to remember to say something such as ‘… I am not at liberty to say, but whether it is true or not I must remind you we are an equal opportunity setting who celebrates diversity and cultural beliefs. Remember to explain sensitively and nicely that you are duty bound to make sure all the children and families are treated equally, and you would do the same for their child, if you felt they needed your support. But currently it is the responsibility of the nursery teacher and so I would talk to her about any such issues.
Courtney from Study Moose
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