The principles of the early years frameworks in the U.K is the early years foundation stage EYFS is essentially for all the early years providers who look after children who are ages 0-5years of age from the first of September this replaced the early years framework that was in force since the year 2008. The EYFS aims to help each and every child to achieve the main five outcomes of the every child matters. This is to ensure that every child has the right to be healthy, to stay safe and to enjoy and achieve also to ensure that each and every child has the right to make positive contributions and achieve economic well being. The relevant framework of the EYFS also requires any adult that works with young children this could include practitioners, after school clubs, crèches, also childminders it is their responsibility to ensure that all children are learning the six areas which are highly important for their learning and development skills.
The six learning areas of the EYFS frameworks includes, personal social and emotional, the communication, language and numeracy, knowledge and understanding of the world, physical development and creative development. These six areas are all highly important and it is the duty of the adults who work with young children to ensure they are all successfully excelling and achieve in these different areas. National and local guidance materials are used in settings through providing the equality of opportunity and also anti- discrimination within the work setting and amongst the children to ensure that each and every child is included in each way possible and not in any way shape or form disadvantaged due to their family background, religion or culture, gender, abilities or by any learning difficulties they might have.
It is highly important the right standards is set for the learning and development of the young children, this is highly important because all young children should be allowed to explore and experience things in the setting and it should be enforced by the practitioners to ensure each and every child makes progress in every way and doesn’t in no way at all get left behind. National and local guidance materials are also in settings through enforcing that the quality and existence within the early year’s sector is met accordingly to the correct standards and this applies to all settings which work with the care of young children. Practitioners must ensure they are learning the existing frameworks and are providing the basis for the inspections which would take place and the regulation regime that happens in the practice.
The ways which the different approaches to work with children in the early years have influenced current provision in the U.K, is through the four different approaches which are taken when working with young children that are known as, Reggio Emilia, High/scope, Montessori, and Steiner. The Reggio Emilia is known to focus on the working partnerships between the children and the parents. This approach is all about getting the children involved in their own learning allowing the children to be involved in their play and learning opportunities, this approach has a very positive good influence on young children because it helps to encourage independent learning and independent thinking skills, through this the children will learn to make decisions for themselves regarding what activities they would like to play, or what there preferences are, the types of games they prefer and which games isn’t their preferable choice, this approach also allows children to explore and allows room for creative development which is good because they are able to use their own imaginative minds to think what they want to play, it focuses a lot on child led play opportunities which is an advantage as they have to express their different sensory and outdoor play, they can learn to play with other children through exploring with different play for example a child can play one activity with a group of their peers, through this they are learning and developing their social as well as emotional skills.
Other influences on the EYFS curriculum include there are emphasis on the children’s learning through play with the other children, also practitioners ensuring they provide opportunities for the encouragement of child-initiated play and another influence is the emphasis on sensory and outdoor play with the children. The high/scope approach focuses on recognising and providing support to the differences in children within their setting, also it is to help the building up of self confidence and self esteem in young children, also their own self independence. This approach focuses on helping children to understand how to be responsible for making their own decisions. The high/ scope approach started in the united states and was put into place to help improve the better outcomes of disadvantaged children who require a lot more support.
Also in the settings that use this approach they would have the expectation of children to learn the skills of planning their own play and learning, being able to review it and knowing how to report back to other children. With this approach having a routine the children are used to and can conduct themselves by, it is highly important because it enforces stability upon the children. This approach has a positive impact because it helps children from an early stage learn about decision makings, being self confident in their choices as well as their learning and these are all important life long skills they would need to carry throughout their lives as they grow older. They would know how to take control of their own learning and need to learn how to think for themselves not just leaning on the dependency of the practitioners to think for them all the time. Influences on the EYFS curriculum is so practitioners are encouraged and acknowledge the importance of talking to the children about their learning, also as practitioners they’re meant to provide open opportunities for child-initiated play in the workplace.
The Montessori approach main aim was to focus on making improvements for children who suffer from disabilities, this approach focuses on the importance of the practitioner as an observer of children who can support their learning sensitively by making appropriate interventions, the Montessori requires a equipment and resources which have specific learning objectives and can provide children with graduated challenges. The influences on the EYFS curriculum is that the EYFS guidance gives suggestions to what children might need accordingly to their stage of development. Also practitioners enforcing that children are sufficiently challenged in order to progress in their level of learning. Another influence this has is that practitioners are supposed to observe children individually in order to provide for their play and the children’s learning.
The Rudolf Steiner approach focuses on the personal social and emotional development of children as well as it is quite similar to the Montessori approach however it also focuses on the pace of learning set by the child which is a good way of practitioners being able to observe and analyse how each child is learning, whether some could be behind or more advanced for their age, this approach also emphasises the importance of fostering children’s imaginative skills and creativity, also their level of understanding and the importance of practitioners in the settings as role models to the children. There is an emphasises on working accordingly to children’s different personalities and practitioners must follow the requirements of this approach which is that formal reading and writing shouldn’t begin for children until they are at the age of 7 years old.
The reasons why early years frameworks emphasises a personal and individual approach to learning and development is because it is put into place to help focus on the important needs of each individual children. Each child have different needs and different interests, every child also develops at different rates they are all unique and learn differently from each other so it is important practitioners remain aware of this so they are able to provide support and also a range of different opportunities set in order to make sure each child excels and achieves In every way possible. The early years framework also emphasises, a personal and individual approach to learning and development because they want to ensure the importance of personalisation of learning within each child in a practice and development experiences. Also to ensure all children’s social and emotional well being needs are being supported with care and to ensure all their needs are being well met accordingly.
The ways in which the environment meets the needs of individual children is through practitioners in the settings ensuring that they prepare environments for the children that will enable them to learn and play in all the correct ways which should link to the early years framework, this would include practitioners thinking and planning carefully about the ages of children and their levels of development, also practitioners must ensure that they are able to experience various learning and play opportunities within the work setting which would cover their all areas of development, their personal social and emotional development, their communication, language and literacy, problem solving reasoning and numeracy, knowledge and understanding of the world, their physical development and also their creative development skills, all these six areas must be met by the children and they should be developing in these specific areas, also preparing the correct environments for the children which will help them to meet these important areas of development.
The different ways prepared environments links to the EYFS and could meet the needs of individual children is through babies having the opportunity to have a change of environments sometimes. For example sometimes they could be indoors but should also be allowed outdoors too, as this will help meet their individual needs as they will be able to experience a variety of textures outdoors, noises, different smells and a variety of colours and these are highly important for their sensory and development skills. Also allowing babies and young children to have different creative areas in the setting enables them to express themselves in creative ways and some areas which would be more spacious for them is an advantage for them as they could explore the ways they need to through creative play. The environment also meets the needs of individual children through practitioners having out a choice of resources for the children so different selections of toys, activities presented out.
For example on the table there could be some puzzles set out, and on another table maybe some colouring pots and coloured paper, then in a different area some reading story books. Having various selections allows the children to make their own choices of what they want to explore, and it doesn’t limit their creative thoughts, they are able to explore freely with different things presented out for them. Treasure basket play is also important because it helps children use their imaginative skills as well as their creative ideas and this actively also covers the many areas of development within the EYFS. Environments in a setting should be set up by practitioners through observing the children’s different interests so they can know which things are beneficial to the children, which types of activities they tend to be most creative with.
And can experience a lot of different things through it. Different environments also meets the children’s needs depending on the type of space or whether they are indoors or in a outdoor space. For example children not only have more space outdoors which is beneficial for them when they are playing, but outdoors environments allows them to get some exercise as they are constantly running around with the other children, playing with toys such as the bikes, the skipping ropes where they are jumping and moving around and this is important as it meets their physical development needs as well as their social development as they are playing and socialising in different ways with all the children. Where as much as indoors environments can provide a lot of different play areas in the room for children to explore and experiment they are a bit more limited as to how freely they can move around indoors compared to an outdoor environment.
Different environments must also be considered carefully to meet each individual child’s needs because there could be a disabled child in a setting and they may not adapt as well as the other children to the outdoor environments and may adapt better to being indoors where they can explore on their own, outdoors they may be limited to certain resources they could play with. For example the bikes, this type of equipment wouldn’t be appropriate for a disabled child to freely play with, so it is highly important practitioners consider how the different environments they set up is going to meet the needs of every child in the correct ways so each child is getting the same equal opportunities of play and experiences. According to Penny Tassoni (page 221) “It is also essential that we consider whether children with additional needs or disabilities are able to benefit from what we are providing.”
The partnership model of working with carers is through learning to overcome the barriers to effective communication with them, so practitioners should ensure they are getting together with parents/carers of the children and sharing information and different thoughts with them about finding the best ways to help their children achieve their learning and development. Also through practitioners conducting observations and assessments, keeping children’s records of their levels of improvement and stages up to date this way they can show the parents/carers how well their child is doing or what areas within their learning and development could require additional support whether it’s more support from home, the parents needing to become more involved, or extra support from other professionals which may need to get involved to help ensure the child is achieving well to their full potential.
Through showing the observations and assessments of a child to carers they are also able to learn more about their child’s different interests and be more aware of how their child behaves in different environments outside of home. The partnership model of working with carers also includes planning and decision making. Practitioners in the setting should be sharing their planning with the parents and also encourage parents/carers to make contributions, different suggestions regarding their child’s learning or the management of the nursery setting and learning environments, as their input and thoughts should be considered too. Also having an open door policy which means that parents/carers shouldn’t have to make specific appointments to visit the nursery setting which their child attends, they should be able to simply go to the setting.
This open door policy is important because it allows the parents and carers to feel that they are welcomed at any time. Also the parents and carers working alongside practitioners this is apart of the partnership model of working with carers, as practitioners could invite carers into the practice to work with them, for example during the morning at carpet time sessions the parents/carers could come in and sit with the children on the carpet help to monitor them and their behaviour, or also drop in sessions where the carers could come in and help out. This gives the parents and carers of the children the chance to see how practitioners conduct certain activities in the setting and they could take this on at home with their children, so they get to learn and understand a few things from the members of staff just from being in the work setting and from getting involved.
The barriers to participation for carers and the ways in which they can be overcome is through conducting parents sessions at ranges of times this is when the parents or carers can come in and also receive information regarding their child’s progress in their learning, behaviour, development everything, but these sessions would be arranged and organised during the times when parents and carers are available, this again is a very effective to overcoming the barriers of participation for carers because it keeps the carers up to date with what is happening with their child and they are able to see all their child’s strengths and their weakness and see the improvements throughout the time of them first starting the nursery. Also phone calls, email, home link books these are all important ways of ensuring practitioners are in effective contact with the parents and carers and can effectively exchange sufficient information to parents and carers about their child.
These ways of contact and communication is also a key way to practitioners developing a strong working partnership and relationship with the parents and carers. Language and literacy needs this could be a barrier to participation for carers because if carers are unable to speak clear, fluent English or cannot even understand it they will struggle as they won’t understand anything the practitioners are explaining to them. The ways in which to overcome this would be for practitioners to have some patience, a lot of understanding and being sensitive towards the carers language and literacy needs, they should also encourage the idea of them potentially being able to bring along another person who could interpret for them. This way they can still find out important information regarding their child, practitioners can also help overcome this barrier through having other alternatives and not putting the carers in the position to read or write anything if they know this is a natural difficulty for them. Lack of confidence could be another barrier in regards to participation for carers because some carers may find it difficult to be active and get involved maybe due to their own lack of experiences educational wise.
Or some carers could simply feel as though their views and opinions will not matter as much and they do not have anything valid to bring fourth. The ways in which practitioners can help overcome this barrier is through making it their duty to sometimes do home visits as the parent/carers can get used to seeing the practitioners in a familiar environment and could start to get more open and comfortable amongst them, so this will slowly build their confidence and eventually going to the setting and speaking with them will become easier, they will start to open up more and maybe feel more comfortable to contribute their own ideas about their child’s learning, development at the setting. Culture can also be another barrier for carers wanting to participate because some carers of the children could lack the experience of the culture and therefore fail to understand what is expected of them which could cause them to not want to participate with the practitioners in the setting.
Also disabilities this is a very big barrier which could prevent carers from wanting to participate amongst other practitioners in the setting their child attends, because their learning disabilities could make it hard for them to understand things. The ways in which this barrier could be overcome is through practitioners adjusting things to help meet the carers needs for example, if a carer is blind and have problems reading written information, practitioners could instead find other alternatives such as sending voice messages for the carer or if they are deaf and suffer from hearing impairments, practitioners could ensure they have information typed out in a bold clear font size which will be clear enough for the carer to understand. This all helps overcome the barriers to participation for the carers. According to Penny Tassoni (page 223) “It is essential for settings to individualise their approach as a one size fits all approach will not work.”
The strategies to support carers who may react positively or negatively to partnership opportunities is by ensuring that as a practitioner you understand that carers have the right not to participate if they wish so, and practitioners should understand this and not put them under any pressure to do so. Practitioners must accept and understand that as much as they may enforce supporting carers in partnership opportunities some carers of children may simply react negative not all will react positively. The strategies to support this would include practitioner’s finding out the reasoning as to why carers feel how they feel and to try showing an understanding to their feelings and if it is negative trying to encourage positive actions in front of them to help the carers see for themselves the good in partnership opportunities.
Other strategies would include the practitioners in the setting conducting questionnaires for the carers as well as suggestion boxes, this way it enables the parents and carers to be more involved and can include their own thoughts and different ideas, also through doing these strategies the practitioners can learn more about their own quality of work, what the carers and parents think of their performance of work as a practitioner in the setting and whether it is up to standards and which areas the parents/carers feel they could maybe improve.
The ways in which effective multi-agency working operates within early years provision and benefits children and carers is because through effective multi-agency working children who could require additional support and could suffer from any learning difficulties or speech delays, they would be able to get the extra support they need to help them improve. Also effective multi-agency working is beneficial to the carers, not only the child because the carers are able to gather information from other professionals regarding their child and what types of support their child could need and it is important parents and carers know this so they too can work along side the practitioners at the setting, they can also work alongside other professionals too from different multi working agencies and they can use the information to support their child better at home.
Other ways in which effective multi-agency working operates within the early years provision benefits children and carers is through the multi- agency working to bring together different professionals to provide a well integrated way of working to support the children as well as the families. So the families also get support on how to help their child improve and achieve in the best ways possible. Also multi-agency working is beneficial to children and the parents/carers because the families get to receive appropriate sufficient support in the most professional way. Other benefits includes better quality of service from practitioners, improved achievement in education with the children, as it is important they are getting the best support from all sectors so they will definitely excel and achieve to their full potential.
Also the benefits are earlier identification of the children’s needs which the earlier a child’s needs is identified the quicker it can be dealt with and early interventions is also beneficial to the child. Better support for parents, also children and families needs can be addressed more appropriately and effectively. These are all ways in which effective multi-agency working operates within the early years provision and how it benefits both the parents/carers and benefits the children.