The whole ethos of a Child Centred Approach is built around the needs of the individual child; the setting should fit to meet to needs of the child, not the other way around. Practitioners should look at the child as a whole- their strengths, weaknesses, abilities, preferred learning styles as well as any Special Educational Needs or disabilities they may have. The Child Centred Approach allows children to choose, make connections and communicate, providing them with the freedom to think for themselves, to explore and search for answers. In early years settings, rather than directing play, practitioners ‘take a back seat’ and see how play develops, providing children the opportunity to become more creative, improve social skills with one another and take control of their learning.
Most settings will work in cohesion with outside agencies in order to create an environment accessible for all children, one that allows for every child to participate fully in all aspects of school life. Children with SEN or learning difficulties may require extra/different resources such as larger keyboards and lower desks, and/or 1:1 support in order for them to flourish and reach their own individual goals. Settings should be aware that their building needs to be adapted to allow for wheelchair users, ramps, wider doors, hygiene suites etc. By involving children in the decision and choice making regarding their education, you will provide them with a sense of ownership over their learning, which greatly improves their self-esteem and confidence, as well as enabling them to become more proactive in their learning, in turn furthering their motivation to succeed.
Children can access what they are really interested in and therefore excel in this area whilst being supported in less developed areas. This approach and individual target setting creates a closer match between the child and the curriculum; allowing children to learn and develop at their own level/speed, building on their previous knowledge. When a child sees that their opinions have an effect on the care and education provided for them, they begin to value themselves more and their self-esteem and confidence improves greatly.