Educational environment- Settings that do not meet the statutory requirements required within the EYFS can affect a child’s development and potential. Within our setting we are available at all times to speak with parents about their child or any concerns they have. We hope parents will see our setting as a safe and secure place that they can leave their children. We have a key person system that enables us to have a positive attachment with parents and child. Parents and children are made to feel welcome and comfortable with members of staff. We are inspected by Ofsted and we maintain the standards and guidance that is set by them and we regularly reflect and continue to develop our practice.
Family expectations and encouragement- If we do not help and support children and young people, this can lead to low confidence and low self-esteem and sometimes into challenging behaviour. When too much pressure is put on a child to do well this can result in the child getting stressed and afraid of failure such as when a parents puts pressure on a child to attend ballet lessons when the child doesn’t want to, the child will not do well in this because they don’t want to do it.
Health status- Children or young people that have ill health may spend a vast amount of time in hospital or attending hospital appointments, this will impact on the child’s development. This can affect education on all aspects of development such as emotional and social aspects, making friendships. Due to time being taken off for appointments this can affect their social skills and it can also slow down development and learning skills. There are some older children that look after parents that are ill; this is a huge impact on the young person social life and a lot of responsibility at such a young age.
Poverty is one of the 5 on the agenda of the Every child matters framework stating every child should ‘achieve wealth and economic well-being’. Poverty can result from low income, unemployment, parental separation, illness or disability, addictions, or criminal activities. Children may suffer malnutrition or a poor diet as a result of their parents being unable to afford quality food. This could result in lack of concentration or poor performance at school. They could also suffer other health related issues. They may be the subject of bullying as a result of their clothing or because they do not have the latest ‘must have’ accessories. They will probably miss out on further education due to the costs involved, or as a result of the need to find employment to help support the family.
One of the side effects of poverty is poor housing. People on low income are often dependent on local authority housing. This may result in overcrowding, for example being housed in a bedsit or home with insufficient bedrooms. This means the child has no privacy, or personal space. They may struggle with homework and course work because of the lack of a quiet space in which to complete it. The housing provided may be of a poor quality – suffering damp or be in disrepair. This could have a detrimental effect on the child’s health – causing asthma or frequent colds and coughs. It will probably be in a less desirable area or could be in an area with social disorder problems. This may result in the children becoming isolated, as their parents may be fearful of letting them out to play or they may themselves become involved in anti-social behaviour and criminal activities.
In accordance with Article 13 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child: ‘The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; the right shall include the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of a child’s choice.’ Even from an early age, children’s choices, even simple ones, can have an impact on their life chances and outcomes such as choosing which toys to play with or which friends to play with. A child may develop a friendship with a child that is a bit louder and has an unwanted behaviour, this choice of friend may have a negative impact on the child’s behaviour at home or in other settings they move onto. Whilst the child has the right to choose their friends, it is the practitioner responsibility to help them to make a positive contribution, which is one of the outcomes of the Every Child Matters framework.
Children and young people throughout their lives will make choices such as whether to eat healthy or unhealthy or start smoking or drinking. When they choose an unhealthily life style this will have a negative impact on their wellbeing. An early years setting should encourage healthy snacks and encourage parents to supply healthy balanced lunchboxes. The setting should involve the children in activities and discussions about the importance of healthy living. As children will get older they will start to make their own choices and become more independent. It is very important for children to be taught right from wrong from an early stage so that will help them to make good/bad decisions later on in life. A positive role model in their lives will help them not to develop an anti-social behaviour.
As a practitioner working with children, you will be aware that the support we give children to achieve is based upon best practice outline in the framework Every Child Matters (ECM). The 5 outcomes of the framework are:
Enjoy and achieve
Make a positive contribution
Achieve economical well-being
Be Healthy: Means that as practitioners we help and encourage the children to be healthy and make healthy choices by providing them with healthy meals and snacks at appropriate times. In my setting we provide the children with drink and water. We help the children to build up their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Stay Safe: We ensure all the children that attend our setting are kept safe by having all staff CRB checked and that all staff are at level 3 or above or that are taking the necessary training to become level 3. If any safeguarding issues arise within the nursery then we go straight to manager or the senior practitioners. We keep the children safe by making sure that no visitors are allowed into the nursery without their identity being checked first; that children are going home with the right parent/carer. We keep the children safe by carrying out risk assessment’s checking that all the equipment and play areas are safe for the children.
Enjoy and achieve: We provide the children with both child initiated and adult led activities. We do observation’s on the children so that we can plan activities accurately for the children’s individual needs and learning abilities, also to make sure the children are progressing in the right direction and to make sure that if they are behind on their development we make the necessary adaptations to suit the level they are at. We make sure that we provide the children with a happy and safe environment that they are happy to come to and if the children are happy at nursery then this means that they can enjoy themselves and also it helps them to achieve and learn more while at nursery.
Make a positive contribution: We encourage the children to make their own choices and for them to know that we as practitioners are there to support them if they so need it. In our setting we have 3 rooms: baby room are from 0 months – 2years, the toddler room which ranges from 2 years -3 years and preschool room from 3 years -4 years. We plan activities that promote their physical, language and communication and their personal, social and emotional development.
Achieve economical well being: We ensure that all the children’s activities and play areas encourages them to develop their own independent skills. We ensure that we have a curriculum that gives the children learning opportunities that helps them to develop their further learning. Also by following the EYFS guideline’s and making sure that the children are safe and happy we are ensuring that they get the best possible start in life.