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Principles underpinning the role of the practitioner working with children Essay

in this unit I will be explain the principles and values and why reflective practice is needed for a practitioner and what ways they can improve on their practice. I am also learning `what the responsibilities of the practitioner when maintaining professional relationships.

The principles and values in a child care setting are in place to give the practitioners a guideline to help keep up hood standard of child care practice. The EYFS framework promotes the four overarching principles.

The child’s welfare and safety is one of the main principles because; “the welfare of the child is paramount.” (Jago, 2011) When a child is under the care of the setting the practitioner will work closely with them; which means that they will get to know the child’s background including any medical information that they need to know about. Also the setting should use correct behaviour management. Never use physical punishment is a main principle as it is used to keep children safe; this means the setting is trying to keep them away from harm and abuse. While in the setting practitioners should follow the emergency procedures so that no one including themselves will get hurt during an evacuation; emergency evacuations should also be carried out so that when there is a fire drill or an actual fire in the setting then the children will know what to do in that type of situation. The author carried out a risk assessment in the setting which involved moving cleaning substances so that no child could get to them and so that it didn’t cause any harm to the child.

Another principle is respect the parent as the primary carer and educator of the child which means the practitioner should work closely with parents to understand their views and wishes and they should be respected where possible. “Practitioners work with parents and families who are in the care, learning and development of their children and are the child’s first and most enduring educators”. (Ruthierhyme, 2011) Practitioners work with parents if their child is getting a special mention in an assembly then they could invite the parents in to watch. The parent and child come for visits
before they actually start at the setting so they know what the setting is like and who their practitioner is; this may help the child to settle in to the setting quicker when they actually start.

One of the main principles is upholding the child’s rights and dignity; practitioners have to make sure that they are not stereotyping or discriminating anyone in the setting. This means that if there are a wide variety of cultures in the setting; the practitioner could do arts and crafts from their cultures. If in the setting children want to read or play then the practitioner could let them use multi-cultural dolls and books about other cultures. “Workers should not discriminate and should encourage children to avoid prejudice” (Park, unknown) The author has done this in the setting by having a boy who is Chinese; so then in the setting the author did a wide range of activities on Chinese New Year so that other children knew about the festival.

A point in the CACHE statement of values and principles is “confidentiality and agreements about confidential information are respected as appropriate unless a child’s protection and well-being are at stake.” (CACHE, 2010) This means that if you are taking notes on a child’s behaviour or reading a child’s file to see special requirements, never leave it lying around for anyone else to see and when you have finished with the file place it in a locked filing cabinet. When practitioners do observe children they should not mention names or the place where the observation has been done. The author had done this in the setting to evaluate a child’s physical development and to see what could be done to improve on these skills.

There are many ways that a practitioner can find out about children’s interests; some of these are, by doing observations on the children to see what they like to play with; talk to the children to see what they enjoy doing and what their hobbies may be and also discuss with parents to see what the child likes to do while they aren’t at the setting.

There are benefits for the practitioner which include that they can plan a suitable environment for the children; the practitioner can engage with the
children to suit their individual needs. This way the practitioner will be able to build positive relationships with both the children and their families as it extends their learning experiences.

There are also many benefits for the children as well which include; the children will make a contribution to planning which will raise the child’s self-esteem which will also improve their self-confidence; this will help them to develop their skills and knowledge, it also increases chance for communication by the children communicating with the practitioner, friends and their family this will also help the children develop a positive relationship with their practitioner and peers in the setting.

The author has used the wide range of ways to find out about children’s interests in the setting as there is children from various age ranges in the setting so the author used observation techniques and talking to parents to find out what type of activities children like to do so that the author can develop adult led activities around the children’s interests which will make them more engaged in the setting and want to experience a wide range of activities put into place.

Reflective practice is ‘a process by which you: stop and think about your practice, consciously analyse your decision making and draw on theory and relate it to what you do in practice.’ (Physiotherapy, unknown)As a practitioner it is important to reflect on your practice as it can create a higher quality of practice.

Reflective practice is an ongoing dynamic process if thinking honestly, deeply and critically about all aspects of professional practice with children and families; it occurs spontaneously as well as in planned reflection. Practitioners use reflective practice to recognise and continue good practice as well as to challenge practices that are taken for granted; to change and improve what is not working well in the setting; to monitor all aspects of practice on an on-going basis and to know how to find out more information and support from others.

When a practitioner is reflecting on their practice they should usually follow the reflection cycle “formally known as the Gibbs cycle” (P, K, K, & H, 2007, p. 228) to show what they need to do “processing in order to deal with a problem. This type of reflection may take place when we have had time to stand back” (QMU, unknown)from their practice.

Practitioners need to reflect on their practice because then they will bring a higher quality practice and better outcomes for children and families; the practitioner will also be aware of and values and beliefs in the setting; they are more likely to challenge other practices; they can make an inclusive environment “means accommodating, recognizing and meeting the learning needs of all students.” (Jeeves, Unknown). Practitioners also reflect on their practice as it leads to seeking out research, resources and advice and it also promotes collaboration between professionals.

When practitioners reflect on their practice there is many ways they can do this. Some of the ways are: keeping reflective journals, go to meetings, talk to a mentor or critical friend, have reflective practice notice boards in the setting, professional learning experiences and action research are just a few ways in which practitioners use to reflect their practice.

The author uses reflective journals as a record of thinking of all aspects of their practice. The author uses stories about the practice that she does; she uses meaningful words and drawings she also uses pictures to use as a memory to whether the activity worked well or not and whether to use the activity in the future and a reflective account on what the children involved thought of the activity. When the author does a reflective journal she can also keep an online copy for future reference if she loses the hand written one.

When doing reflective practice the author also uses a mentor or critical friend to talk to, as they will be able to challenge the authors practice from another point of view. The mentor or critical friend can be there for advise, a guide, for the author to ask them questions, provide resources and shared rights; also they offer a perspective from a 3rd person angle. This can be a colleague or someone outside of the workplace and be face-to-face, online or over the phone.

Practitioners have the responsibility to maintain a professional relationship with children, families, colleagues and other professionals in a range of settings. When working in an early years setting you will be expected to work with other professionals that may be on the same site as yourself or from the community where they will be required to come into the setting. A practitioner’s main responsibility in a professional relationship varies between children, adults and other professionals.

The practitioner must carry out a professional relationship whilst working with the children; to ensure that all the children are treated equally and fairly; although children should be treated equally it is also important to value diversity and understand that children do not have the same individual needs. Keeping consistent boundaries and rules are important in order for the children to become familiar with the rules and for them to develop an understanding of what they are not allowed to do while in the setting. This can be done by ensuring that there is no favouritism shown to a particular child or children. It is also essential that no child is discriminated against while they are under the practitioners care.

Practitioners also need to keep a professional relationship with families. “there are many reasons for doing so, but in terms of building relationships with children this makes a significant difference” (P, K, K, & H, 2007, p. 137) So if there is a problem or worry that a parent may have about their child while in the setting then the family can talk privately with the practitioner and can discuss what they think would be a suitable way to help the child with their worry so that they can resolve the issue as this will also build a trusting relationship. Also this way the practitioner can explain to the child’s family what activities they are doing in the setting and if there are any parent and child sessions being held for them to join in with.

Practitioners need to also keep a positive relationship with colleagues and other professionals in the setting; as they will need to discuss with each other about children’s holistic development and what help the child may need to get them to their expected milestone for their age and stage of development. All practitioners in the setting can learn from each other, if you don’t fully understand how to deal with a situation in the setting , or if you need help with an activity you can watch and learn from other team members and adults; sharing responsibilities, this is a great benefit while working within a team and with other adults as there are a lot of responsibilities working in childcare; sharing the work load, by sharing the work load with adult or team members the day to day running of the setting can go quit smoothly.

Practitioners need a positive relationship with multi-agency teams as then practitioners will be able to learn new skills i.e. learn techniques to do if a child has to have massages on their legs due to illness or injury as then they will have been taught from the physiotherapist what to do with the child and how many times during the day in the setting; as this will help the child be more comfortable. By practitioners building positive relationships with multi-agency teams they will be able to build a relationship with them so that they can discuss information on what they think the next steps for the child may be; this can be through social services, physiotherapist or even a speech therapist.

Keeping information about children and their families confidential is essential in maintaining professional relationships because; if a child has told you information that may need to be passed on then it may need to be looked into to get to the bottom of what has happened so then the practitioner will only need to pass the information on to the correct member of staff and not tell others that don’t need to know as if this happens then they are breaking the confidentiality policy. “The nature of our work in school brings us into contact with confidential Information. All those involved with handling information working in, or with school must be able to do so sensibly and with confidence.” (School M. P., 2011) This is because if the practitioner breaks the confidentiality policy it could become a risk for the child and also the child may feel like they cannot trust the practitioner anymore which then they will not build a positive relationship with the practitioner and may become withdrawn for the setting.

For the practitioner to have positive relationships, they will need to demonstrate and model effective Communication skills, this means that practitioners should consider both how they approach other people and how you respond to them. We are more likely to communicate information to each other if we have positive relationships. Parents and other adults either colleagues or multi agency team workers who come into the school are more likely to give beneficial support if communication is strong and effective. It is also important for pupils that we model effective communication skills. If we ask pupils to behave in a particular way when communicating and then forget to do so ourselves, they will find it harder to understand the boundaries of what is acceptable.

Multi professional approach is “working together to meet the needs of a child /children by Education; Health & Social care.” (M B. , 2011) This is where professional teams from all over come to work with children that need a specific teams help and support for their learning and development. In the Every Child matter 2007 it states that there are two types of multi professional approach which are;


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