Communication Unit

Categories: Communication

To build relationships – by smiling, waving or simply saying hello when building a relationship with a new child, new member of staff or new parents settling into our setting. •Maintaining relationships – by simply saying hello or goodbye to people and children in our setting is maintaining a relationship which involves a lot of our language and communication use. To gain and share information – which helps us in the way we work. Information we gain and share not only comes from the children but from the parents, families, colleagues and other professionals.

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•To gain reassurance and acknowledgement – by giving children praise, physical reassurance, making eye contact or showing interest in what activity they are doing as well as providing colleagues with reassurance and acknowledgment in sharing new ideas and information. To express needs and feelings – this includes colleagues, parents and children as we need to be able to express our needs and feelings in order for needs to be met and for the effective running of the setting.

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•To share ideas and thoughts – this includes colleagues, parents and children such as creative ideas and thoughts. (A. C 2) It is important to establish good relationships with children, parent, colleagues and other professionals to ensure the effective running of our setting which allows for us to plan and meet their individual needs.

Those with good communication skills such as body language, facial expressions and ways in which others listen and talk to you, will have strong relationships with parents, colleagues, children and other professionals. Some ways that communication affects relationships are: •Sharing and gaining information – as we need to be able to share and gain information to help the effective running of the setting which may include information on how the child is feeling, what interests them, any information to do with their health and welfare such as any allergies, or conditions i. . asthma, learning needs i. e. referrals to speech and language therapist.

•Settling in – as children would feel uncomfortable settling in until they are comfortable with us which means that finding ways to communicate with the child is important to start building a relationship with them which will help settle them. It is not only the child who may find it hard but their parents also so it is important to find ways to communicate with the parents to build a relationship where they have total confidence and trust in us to care for their child. Supporting children’s play and learning – this depends on the quality of the relationship between adult and child as children play and learn more effectively when they are relaxed and comfortable with those around them. They will also benefit from playing and learning activities with adults through good communication which can allow adults to help them learn new vocabulary, develop different concepts and express ideas. •As children get older they will move between different setting s such as from day nursery to nursery school which means they will be around different carers during a day.

This can be made easier if all adults involved share a good relationship which allows them to communicate easily. •Effective teams – as we often work with other professionals it is important for us to work well together and build strong professional relationships as the quality of relationships with other professionals can be enhanced or threatened depending on how we speak to them, react to their ideas or suggestions and the tone in which we speak to them. It is important to have a good relationship as if the relationship has broken down then the quality of service for children and their families is likely to be less effective.

Outcome 2: Be able to meet the communication and language needs, wishes and preferences of individuals (A. C 1) This will be seen in observation. (A. C 2) There are a number of factors that early years workers need to consider in promoting effective communication with others as it is essential to consider different communication methods which are the right communication style, although most of our communication is based on face to face interactions there are certain factors we need to consider when using this communication style such as:

Environment which is important to think about the location as in a busy and loud environment it is hard to communicate and have a conversation such as for parents and young people we may choose a quiet place whereas with toddlers and young children we need to provide a welcoming and friendly place. Proximity, orientation and posture which helps us to be sensitive towards other peoples needs such as children who we may have a strong positive relationship with may feel better having us close to them but with children who we do not know this might scare or push them away which also requires us o be observe when communicating. Also how to position your body when communicating as to not be so direct when standing right in front of a child or adult as this makes it uneasy to break eye contact which could make the encounter uncomfortable where standing at a slight angle allows it to be less direct and at ease to break off eye contact, although it is not only how you position your body but on posture also whether standing or sitting as you do not want to seem bored by maybe being slouched down. It is important to think about what signals we give out.

Listening skills which is also known as active listening which requires not only listening but observing body language, gestures, facial expressions and other signals that are being sent out by the child or adult. By giving your full attention to the other person is not just listening to what they are saying but on how they say it which is important when encouraging young children’s speech and dealing with parents. Time it is important to not rush communication as children and adults need time to think of how to respond and what they would like to communicate in conversation. A. C 3) This will be seen in observation. (A. C 4) This will be seen in observation. Outcome 3: Be able to overcome barriers to communication (A. C 1) Communication is based on sharing and is important to remember when promoting effective communication is that not everyone shares the same views and experiences such as childhoods, culture, family background or linguistic knowledge. Therefore we can not be sure that our own personal styles of communication will be effective. A number of factors that can affect people’s communication are:

Culture and family background affects the way in which people communicate as in some cultures eye contact is interpreted differently and is not essential in the way they communicate as well as family background as each family is different and share their own ways of communicating together such as children who hear bad language at home and repeat it not realising or a child who hears more than one language at home. Some children may come from a loud and confident family whereas another may come from a shy and timid family which affects the way they communicate in childhood and in adulthood.

Personality can affect the way in which children and adults communicate as early on we can see children who are more daring and outgoing yet they may not have developed language. Identifying and observing a person’s personality is important to communication as a child or adult may seem not interested or bored where it is actually they do not like to speak in groups or to people they do not know. Literacy which involves reading and writing as some may have developed these to a higher level whereas others may find them difficult for different reasons such as learning difficulties or language barriers.

ICT knowledge which involves sending and receiving emails, having internet phone conversations or accessing and uploading photos or video clips. Although some people may share them same difficulties they may have with literacy and may or may not prefer this type. Confidence and self-esteem are the main factors in the kinds and styles in which people communicate which could lead on from previous experiences they have encountered such as a child was made fun of because they said or spelt a word wrong so in later life they avoid spelling and writing, where a child who listens may become a confident adult who will share their opinions and views. A. C 2) Some potential barriers to effective communication are: Information the sender may want to send but have language difficulties and is unable to express themselves in spoken or written forms. They may also not understand others needs. ( Encoding as the sender may send out an inappropriate method of communication such as a written formal letter rather than a verbal conversation. The sender could also may have difficulty in choosing appropriate words or use an inappropriate tone of voice.

The sender may write illegibly or have language difficulties and are unable to express themselves. ( Transfer such as emails may not be received, post may go missing, background noise may interfere, verbal or written messages sent through children may not come across fully, voice mail may not be listened to by recipient or verbal messages sent by an adult may not come across fully. ( Reception as people suffer from hearing difficulties they may not realise that the communication was meant for them or a person with a visual impairment may not be able to see facial expressions.

Gestures or written messages clearly. ( Decoding the recipient may not understand or hear the message correctly because of language difficulties, may not have the time or experience to fully understand the intended message, their past experiences influence how they receive and interpret messages, the relationship between sender and recipient may influence communication whether the sender is someone the recipient does not know or the recipient may be distracted and not listen fully to the message. (

Feedback may not be seen which means the sender may not realise that there are difficulties in their method of communication, they may not show any facial expressions or may interpret the recipient reaction wrong. ( Response may not be sent back and the message has not been received or fully understood or the sender may respond negatively as method of communication is misunderstood or unclear. (A. C 3) This will be seen in observation. (A. C 4) This will be seen in observation. (A. C 5) There will be a time when extra support may be needed to share effective communication with a child or adult and to meet their needs which include:

Speech and Language Services which we may need the support of such as speech and language therapists who help us find was of communicating with children and young people. They would also provide us with support, guidance and suggestions of resources we can use to help aid us in communicating with children and young people such as the picture exchange communication system (PECS) or provide training in visual systems like makaton. Speech and language therapists work closely with infants, children and adults who have various levels of speech, language and communication problems.

They would also work with people who have swallowing difficulties. They would assess the clients needs before developing individual treatment programmes which would enable the client to improve as much as possible involving families, carers and teachers. Speech and language therapists usually work as part of a multidisciplinary team with other health professionals such as doctors, occupational therapists, psychologists and physiotherapists and may also liaise with professionals in education and social services.

Speech and language therapists job responsibilities include: • identifying children’s development • Identifying their speech and communication difficulties/disorders • Assess and treat swallowing and communication difficulties caused by congenital problems like cleft palate or acquired disorders from a stroke or injury • Devise, implement and revise treatment programmes • Monitor and evaluating clients progress Advocacy Services as part of the united nations convention on the rights of the child we are obliged to share information with children and young people on matters that are important to them.

The child would then be assigned an advocate who’s job role is to put forward the child’s best interests and to relay to others the feelings and needs of the child or young person. Advocates are particularly essential for children and young people who are in local authority care or for children and young people with communication difficulties. One type of children’s advocate represents or gives voice to an individual or group whose concerns and interests are not being heard.

A child advocate will try to prevent children from being harmed and may try to obtain justice for those who have already been injured in some way. A child advocate may also seek to ensure that children have access to positive influences or services which will benefit their lives such as education, child care and proper parenting. Another form of child advocacy happens at the policy level and aims at changing the policies of governments or even trans national policies.

These advocates do lobbying, policy research, file lawsuits and engage in other types of policy change techniques. Outcome 4: Be able to apply principles and practices relating to confidentiality (A. C 1) Confidentiality is data protection and is about respecting people‘s right to privacy and keeping information safe which they have provided and not share with other people or pass on personal information about the families and children you are working with, except when it is in a child’s best interest to do so e. g. here are concerns about a child’s welfare as they are showing signs of abuse so I would approach my boss or manager about it but not discuss it with anyone else unless it concerns them or if a parent has asked for the contact details of another child’s family where I could not give that information as I do not have consent to give it out nor do I have access to such information. Otherwise as a main rule it is essential to consider all gained information as confidential. Most settings have a confidentiality policy to help ensure that this applied which all employees MUST read and apply to their work.

Congeniality is very important when working with children and young people that there is a legislation that covers all the stored information. That legislation is Data Protection Act 1998. The Data Protection Act 1998 covers both electronic records and paper based records. It strictly regulates the keeping of records, passing of information and the storing of data. The act was created to protect people’s confidential and personal information from being shared without consent.

Any work settings that collect and store information about children, young people and their families must register with the Data Protection Commission and anyone who has access to any of the information must follow the acts principles. All information stored must also be up to date and access secured. (A. C 2) This will be seen in observation. (A. C 3) When working in early years settings parent and children have a right to confidentiality although there may be some times when the need to maintain confidentiality will be breached if disclosing concerns such as if there are concerns about a child’s welfare e. g. abuse.

Where abuse of a child or young person is suspected all settings should have a designated person/s to deal with child protection issues. If you have concerns that a child is being abused it is our job to disclose this information to the designated person of the setting unless you think by disclosing the information will put the child/young person in further danger which can be very hard to work out so having colleagues to discuss this will help you come to a quick and more accurate conclusion. This can become very difficult if you feel that there is a child or young person abuse issue and the designated person thinks that there isn’t.

I think if you have a doubt then it is better to be safe than sorry and maybe monitor the child gathering more information but if the child is in significant danger then report it to the safeguarding board immediately. Parents will have had a copy of the child protection policy which states that information regarding every child will be disclosed if it is deemed that any child is in significant harm or danger which gives us the right to report any kind of abuse to the safeguarding board without the parents, carers or guardians permission.

However it is important to follow the right steps whilst reporting a case of abuse or a suspected case, we need to gather the correct information such as if a child or young person discloses information to you do not promise to keep a secret because we will have to disclose the information given and this will make the child think that they cannot trust that person anymore as they trusted you in the first place to disclose the information.

Also a main feature of sexual abuse is that the abuser asks the child to keep this a secret between them. Breaching confidentiality is very serious and most settings have a procedure in which you should follow in the case that breaching confidentiality arises. Information should be passed quickly and directly to the person in charge of dealing with such concerns although confidentiality is still upheld so that other staff, parents, etc do not know anything about the concerns UNLESS they do need to know.

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Communication Unit. (2018, Oct 07). Retrieved from

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