Practitioners and parents
Practitioners in the setting need to have a good rapport with parents as everyone needs to feel respected and valued. Good communication will help to establish any needs, allergies and abilities a child may have, from using different words to describe things to being able to read simple words. Using a clear voice and appropriate language when talking to the parents is essential so that everything can be heard and there is no room for confusion. Having a meeting with the parents before the child starts will enable a setting to cater to the child’s needs effectively.
It is important that all parents are made to feel welcome and valued within the setting, this can be done by having resources on show that show the settings positive attitude towards disabilities and different cultures (EYFS card Parents as partners 2.2). For example if a family’s first language is not English the setting may use pictures, hand gestures, movements and other resources to communicate on a day to day basis, but if more important issues needed to be discussed a translator could be used, and written documentation could be translated . Another example of when good communication is needed is if there is a parent who does not come into the setting often, the practitioners need to find a way to let them know what is happening within the setting and how their child is getting on. They could do this by having a notice board, half termly letters or a home to school book which the parents and practitioners can write in so that any information can be received easily.
Practitioners and children
Children and practitioners need to be able to communicate with each other well and practitioners need to know how they vary the way they do this. It is important that every child understands what is expected of them and the rules within the setting, this can be done by using ‘golden rules’ and reinforcing it daily. Without this children may have accidents and may not be able to develop to the best of their ability. It is very important that the practitioners use different methods of communication for the different age groups; for example if you are trying to get a 3 year old to do something, physically demonstrating to them or showing them pictures might help them understand better, where as a 4 year old may also need to be shown but may find it easier to listen to what is being said and understand verbal instructions.
Another communication barrier you may come across is a child having a hearing impairment. Practitioners would have to cater to their needs differently depending on their level of hearing. For example if a child has very limited or no hearing they will need to use sign language to communicate so the practitioners learning this or having someone in the setting who can communicate between you will benefit everyone; if the child has partial hearing then a quiet place to talk may be all they need.
Practitioners and other professionals Practitioners need to have the right communication skills to use within the setting and with professionals from other organisations. They need to be able to communicate with each other, in a clear concise manner and have a good knowledge and understanding of the different terms that may be used. Speaking clearly with the right tone of voice, making good eye contact and listening well are all very important things, so they all know they are striving to achieve the same outcome.
When all practitioners implement these, it benefits children as they are given clear rules and instructions that everyone sticks to, meaning the children don’t get confused. “It is also important not to save important communications with employees until the end of the day or shift or until the end of the week” (Simon Osborne) “It is also important not to save important communications with employees until the end of the day or shift or until the end of the week” (Simon Osborne) This is because things which they have seen or information they have received may be important to that days/hours running of the setting.
A way which they can overcome this is by making sure that they discuss things as soon as they happen and write them down, have regular meetings in which everyone employed at the setting attends, so that they can discuss their roles, rules and upcoming events, so that they all have a common understanding and feel they can discuss these freely. An example of when practitioners and other professionals need to communicate well is when someone is called into the setting to discuss a child. When this happens the practitioner needs to give all the correct information.
For instance, if it’s a social worker that is called in as there is fears a child is being mistreated at home, the practitioner needs to make sure they give the care worker all the correct information, in the correct tone of voice but keeping clear and calm as the social worker needs to make sure they every detail clearly; also need to make sure that any records they have are accurate and make sure they have all the evidence for what they have said to make sure the correct action is taken.
To conclude, everyone involved within a setting needs to make sure they are using the right methods of communication depending on who they are dealing with, and make sure when both giving and receiving information they are using the correct form. Communication is essential in any workplace and without it the business will not succeed.