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Childcare Essay

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E2/B1 – There are lots of varied issues, ideas and initiatives that have shaped our understanding on the importance of the way children play. The media plays a big part on influences children’s play today as they are surrounded by entertainment and technology which portrays violence and inappropriate images. As children watch television they may see their ‘idols’ doing inappropriate things so therefore children may copy that kind of behaviour as they will see them as their role model. Television programmes can be very violent and they can consequently increase aggressive behaviour from children.

Over the past 5 years, there has been a huge increase in media use from nearly 6 ? hours to over 7 ? hours today. ” (http://www. commonsensemedia. org/advice-for-parents/side-effects-media). It is essential that parents realise that spending so much time on the internet and watching television can impact on a child’s emotional, social, intellectual and physical development as children would rather watch television instead of communicating effectively with other people.

Also they would want to sit in on the computer or watching television instead doing exercise or doing out of school activities.

Our involvement can have a very positive effect if we set rules and limit media access for all ages, as children can learn cognitive skills over the internet such as learning new languages or sign language. Also it can help children with disabilities so communicate with other people more efficiently and they will feel more included. Health and safety also has a major impact on the influence of play for children as parents often worry about if their children are safe in what they are doing. if we never took a risk our children would not learn to walk, climb stairs, ride a bicycle or swim” (www. hti. org. uk/pdfs/pu/issuespaper7. pdf). Taking risks expands our level of experience or understanding consequences of our actions which helps us become more knowledgeable of the world around us which helps us in later life. Children also benefit from challenging play, to stimulate their minds and broaden their development so that they test themselves on how far they can take their own learning.

But if parents do not let children have this opportunity it will greatly affect them in many different ways; the children will not know the value of their own safety as they will constantly think their parents will be there to protect them. E3 – the current legislation such as The Education Act 1988, standardised learning provision, The National Curriculum, Childcare Act 2006 and the Early Years Foundation Stage influences planning and provision of learning opportunities as it gives us as practitioner’s guidelines to follow as we must stand by the law.

They also give settings a standardised level of learning which we must abide by to keep consistency throughout all Early Years settings. Ofsted also plays a big part in influencing planning and the provision of learning opportunities as they inspect settings by looking at a range of issues including the settings long, medium and short planning. They look at how us as practitioners make assessments on children, how we make opportunities for independent learning through play, stretch and challenge and also how we engage with the children so encourage the child’s development.

When we take assessments for learning we find out what children know, we can to this by exams, tests or observations; this helps us plan to help children progress effectively within the setting. Ofsted puts certain standards in place for us to follow so it helps us to meet these standards so we know we are doing everything we can to support the children in your care. Initiatives such as The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education, they found that the quality of childcare has a significant impact on the children’s development as the more effective us as practitioners are the more likely children will improve with their learning.

They also found that parental involvement also has a significant effect on their children’s progress so we should therefore plan to involve parents more often in a child’s learning; we could plan stay and plays, trips in which parents come along, parents evening and also homework which they can help children with at home on one to one. E4/B1 – Some theories in which my placement has taken on board is the Reggio Emilia Approach and Forest Schools. The main aim of this approach is that the environment is the key.

Loris Malaguzzi (Founder) thought an enabling environment is provided when it is light filled, the use of reflection through mirrors, windows, spotlights, projectors and to have an open plan classroom. The presumed that the setting then allowed the children to explore more freely and experiment, develop their skills and knowledge in many different ways. he used great emphasis with the use of creative media and developing children’s creativity and imagination. All of his ideas had to be supported by the teachers, support staff and where possible parents.

Practitioners today are still very influenced by this approach as they are impressed with the outcome for the children, the quality of provision and the beauty of the environment. This has been kept in some of the ideas presented within the Early Years Foundation Stage that we see today, in particular the environment and the facilitation of children’s continuous play provision both indoors and outdoors. The EYFS focuses on providing an ‘Enabling Environment’ that supports and reflects all learning within the early years. “The Reggio Emilia Approach considers children to be strong and capable learners.

The infant-toddler centres and schools treat children’s ideas and thinking with great respect” (childcare and education CACHE Level 3, M. beaver et. al 2008, page251) The Forest Schools Initiative is when a traditionally a form of schooling for Early Years that would take place entirely outdoors in a wooded area, all day every day, regardless of the weather – they would be suitably dressed. The children would develop opportunities to explore their surroundings, learning about nature and building up valuable skills that would benefit them when they began more formal schooling – about 6-7years of age.

With a sense of freedom the children could make dens, climb trees, make useful tools, use their imaginations and engage in story-telling. They would learn basic life skills and have endless opportunities for risk and challenge which would develop their confidence and boost self-esteem; all this would be under the professional guidance of qualified, trained teachers. many settings have now began to use some of the principles to offer challenging outdoor opportunities, through woodland learning or just developing their own outdoor provision as encouraged by the LOtC (1996).

Howard Gardner theoretical perspective was that he believes that people possess a set of intelligences not one type or level of intelligence hence his theory ‘Multiple Intelligences’. The theories advantages and how it contributes to the empowerment of the children is that it allows individuals to develop their strengths and weaknesses, it gives the child opportunity to achieve their full potential, allows individuals to learn from each other; also it lets individuals to be recognised for who they are rather than what they are. It empowers the child because its seeing the level of intelligence the hild has and what they could work on so therefore it allows the child to develop and progress with their learning. some of the disadvantages of this theory is that there if a danger that practitioners may “trivialise” the “intelligences”. Roots of intelligences are not always clear; they do not lend themselves to assessment of children or open to testing.

“Gardner’s work on multiple intelligences arose from his dissatisfaction with the notion of intelligence as something thatt could be seen or measured and represented as an IQ score. He has set out to explore ‘how people are intelligent rather than how much intelligence they have’”. Paul Chapman Publishing in association with The Open University 2001, page49). E5 – It is important for us to use observations to inform us when planning to meet children’s learning needs. “All adults working with children and young people should think about observations and assessments of children as an integral part of their practice” (Childcare and Education, Tassoni, 2007, p293). We observe children in their setting by closely watching and listening to them, if we find any information from about the child we record out evidence by making notes.

Practitioners observe the children to get to know them individually ant to evaluate their health and well-being. Also it helps us find the child’s strengths, weaknesses and we can gather information to share with the parents. When we do out observations on the children we are able to find out the child’s routines, likes or dislikes, their experiences and how they interact with others and the quality of the learning environment. In our observations it is important that we use confidentiality as it is our job to safeguard the children and protect them; every child has a right to privacy; “anyone who keeps records should comply with this act.

A convenient time to be able to discuss the information can be arranged. Information should not be kept longer than necessary, records must be stored securely” (Data Protection Act 1998). We can achieve confidentiality by using locked filing cabinets or storage and PC’s with passwords on them. If we wasn’t confidential we wouldn’t be safeguarding the child and all “children have a right to privacy” (UN Convention 1991). For the setting to be confidential “the provider must take necessary steps to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child.

Parents must be given free access to developmental records about their child. However, a written request must be made for personal files. Practitioners must take into account data protection rules” (EYFS welfare requirement). Also we should be objective in our observations as we need them to be valid and reliable so we can help the child progress further with their development or if they are in need of any help we are able to see it, that is why we should be objective in out observations and out personal views should not get in the way of the child’s learning.

If we wasn’t objective in our observations then the information would not be correct, so therefore if we plan any activities that will try to help their development progress is will not be suitable for them; so it’s very important. “The welfare of the child is paramount” (The Childcare Act 1989) which is the legislation which makes sure all practitioners always take the welfare of the child into consideration. “Observation, assessment and planning all support children’s development and learning. lanning starts with observing children in order to understand and consider their current interests, development and learning” (Wilcock, 2009, page27) E6 – It is essential that a setting works closely with other professionals and services to ensure that a child has the best possible care and opportunities in their learning. Information from other agencies can make an important contribution to the assessment of individual children’s learning needs.

Also the key person working with the child will collaborate in partnership with outside agencies and the parent/carer bringing all the information together to have a holistic view of the child which with therefore help them in the future in planning to develop their learning. With this information we can then make an Individual learning plan for the child which is a document that records two or three targets and strategies that relate directly to the child’s abilities. Its put in place to help and support children with individual learning needs.

It’s set by the child’s key worker in conjunction with the parent/carer and the SENCO or agencies providing the support. E8 – Establishing and maintaining relationships with parents, children and adults is essential in all childcare settings because to share information about the child to help them progress in their learning, we need to maintain a professional approach so it helps us support that, it benefits the setting, contributes to good team work, creates a happy environment for all, reassures parents that their child is well looked after, contributes to a trusting relationships.

Two methods in which a practitioner may use to maintain professional relationships is communication and confidentiality. communication is different ways in which you can communicate with people such as sending newsletters home to parents to let them know of any events happening in the setting involving their children; or communicating with other professionals to help with a certain child’s development such as a speech therapist to help a child with their pronunciation and having parent meetings to share information on the child.

Confidentiality is to keep records of the children kept locked safely in a filing cabinet or on a password protected computer, not using child’s names on observations or discussing them outside of the setting, keep information about any children on a need-to-know basis and also its abiding by the law stated by the Data Protection Act 1998. neffective confidentiality can lead to loss of your job, can come across to families that the setting has a lack of respect, trust is lost as the child’s and families information has been shown to people, could cause danger to the child or family and also could break the bond between yourself parent and child.

Ineffective communication can result in not maintaining relationships with groups of adults and children because they may not feel valued with our uncooperative attitude, we may make them feel inferior by us not being friendly and communicating effectively with them, the families may feel resentful towards us for making them feel unimportant. It could also result in a misunderstanding leading to mistakes being made by yourself within your setting and can also damage professional relationships with all other professionals, families and children.

By using these methods we can make sure we are having a holistic view of the children by becoming knowledgeable on every aspect of the child so we can become consistent with our practice. Also it will help parents be more honest with us as practitioners if they have any issues with our plans for their children. D2 – There are a number of issues to consider when recording assessments of children’s play, learning and development. These include factors that can ffect the child being observed and those which impact on the practitioner’s ability to record information which is objective, reliable and valid.

The most common key issues in recording assessments is that practitioners may be attached to the child that they are observing so they may be subjective by stating they can do more than the child can actually do when recording it; also practitioners may not have the time to do an observation on individual children. This means that you write your observations in a detached and impartial manner being sure that you are not influenced by prior knowledge of the child, family, your personal feelings, expectations, behaviour, or development” (Hobart, Frankle, 2004, p8). We must abide by legislation in doing observations as; “In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), observations, assessments and planning make up one of the commitments under the heading ‘Enabling Environments” (Bruce et al, 2010, p24).

It’s also important to use the correct technique when observing a child, because you want accurate results. Not open to subjectivity and so you can plan appropriate activities to meet the child’s individual learning needs. “Our challenge as educators is to use all available cues and clues to try to identify what is interesting or intriguing young child so that we can offer them appropriate support. It is when adults do not tune in successfully to children that there is a danger of interaction becoming interference” (Fisher, 2012, p19). A1 – at my placement a football coach came in for P.

E lesson with the children to help them with their balance and co-ordination with the ball to help their physical learning development as the children had to take instructions off the coach we could see which children found it easier than others. Working alongside parents to have good relationships with them to ensure we can develop the child’s holistic development properly by giving parents daily record sheets or learning journeys so that they can see clearly the child’s learning development within the setting. This helps parents/carers support our practice at hone as home study as well as in the setting.

The setting should have display boards up of their work to encourage their creative development and to let the parents and family know what their child is capable of in clear view. It’s very important with children to have a good bond as if you don’t then there is no trust between you so the child will not feel comfortable around you or in the setting and may become distressed whenever they access the setting. We have to conform to legislation that children must have a key worker to make sure the child is reaching the developmental ‘norms’.

Us as practitioners must praise and encourage the children at everything they do for example; a child in my placement drew their family and coloured it in and came to show me as I praised the child they wanted to draw me another picture so by encouragement the child will develop more effectively as they are happy to do so. It is also very important to take observations of the children to highlight any issues and to see their likes and dislikes in learning, so that we can then incorporate it into our planning efficiently to support the child’s development further with their learning.

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