Explain what constitutes the physical and psychological needs of a three year old child. Explain how these needs can ideally be met in a childcare setting. Explain what constitutes the physical and psychological needs of a three year old child. Explain how these needs can ideally be met in a childcare setting. A three year old child starts to become more independent, often wanting to do things without intervention from adults. It is the age that most children are toilet trained and children of this age can,generally make themselves understood verbally.
In order to create an environment which allows children to grow, develop and flourish it is vital that close attention is paid. http://www. edpsycinteractive. org/topics/conation/maslow. html If we take Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as our framework in looking at the actual needs which need to be met on the road to self-development, and we think of them in relation to a 3 year old we can see that there are certain pre-requisites that need to be met in order to give the child the mental freedom to develop.
This translates in a childcare setting to meeting the physiological needs such as sleep, warmth, air, exercise, food and nutrition. If there is a deficit in any of these areas the child will become either lethargic, overly-tired,anxious, irritable, or malnourished and in such circumstances the child would be unable to develop fully. A childcare provider needs to provide opportunities for all three year olds to have a short nap, if required, to exercise and play outdoors and to eat a nutritious, balanced diet which provides the vitamin and nutrients required for physical development.
Additionally the facility needs to be warm enough with good ventilation. In terms of physical needs, children need to have the opportunity to develop gross motor skills, which are strongly linked to broader cognitive development, through running, skipping, jumping, hopping, playing with a ball. There should also be provision for development of fine motor skills through activities such as drawing, threading, clay modelling, puzzles and eating together as a group with an adult to develop motor skills in eating with cutlery whilst observing social mores.
Once these primary biological/ physiological requirements are met, Maslow talks about the need for Safety, Order, Protection, Limits. Within a childcare environment for a three-year old, this will include consistent application of relevant Health and Safety Practices, as well as children having a clear understanding about what they can and can’t do regarding safety and health ( sharp objects, washing hands, covering mouth when coughing, not hitting others, not standing in front of a swing etc).
This should give them not only an appreciation about what constitutes safety for themselves but also an appreciation and respect for the safety of others. Safety also includes suitable clothing for different weather conditions and children should begin to develop an understanding of what is suitable for hot sunny weather and why we protect ourselves from the sun as well as wearing warm clothes in winter.
At this age, children should begin to be involved in their own personal hygiene, including washing hands after the toilet and before eating,toothbrushing and not sharing toothbrushes for example. The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (2012), pays particular attention to Safety Issues such as written Health and Safety policies and procedures, staff training, staff to child ratios, recruitment of suitable people,access to first aid, non use of or threat of corporal punishment and the safety of the premises for children.
This includes indoor and outdoor space and also having a hygienic area for the preparation and/ or safe storage of food. Around three years of age, children begin to explore their world and their limits and this state of curiosity can be encouraged only if their physical, safety needs are met and also if there is a level of order, structure and predictability in their lives. Within a nursery childcare setting, a key worker, can give the child the emotional security of a person that they are familiar with, someone who they know and who knows them.
Additionally, consistency and predictability may be met by routines ( e. g. mealtimes and snack times at set hours, returning toys after playing with them, toothbrushing, nap time, a tidy-up song) which add to the child’s sense of security, predictability and their sense of belonging and connectedness. Children often experience childcare for the first time from the age of three and whilst many adapt with little difficulty, it can be a heart-wrenching experience for others.
It is essential that the child is made to feel that he/ she belongs, is wanted, and is appreciated in their new environment and children need to be supported and encouraged to develop social bonds and positive relationships with peers and with adults. The transition between home and childcare should be done in stages and in partnership with the child’s family. A key-worker should be assigned to each child. This engenders belongingness and also allows the childcare professional to understand and know the child through close observation.
This helps to foster a spirit of partnership between home and care settings where the parents feel involved in their child’s daily life and development and the parents and child carers can liaise and work in partnership to jointly support the child’s development. Language development and expression are vitally important for three-year olds allowing them to understand and then verbalise emotions. This can be done through story-time, news time, puppets, real play all of which create rich, challenging and enjoyable exchanges and opportunities to discuss emotions and feelings.
For children whose native language is not English, special consideration should given. The UK Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework recommends that “providers must take reasonable steps to provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning” ( Department for Education, p 6). Children will generally look towards adults to help resolve conflicts. Conflicts should be handled in a respectful and sensitive way with the parties concerned each having an opportunity to discuss their feelings and each party having the opportunity to learn and grow from the experience.
Maslow talked about the importance of belonging and social and physiological needs as pre-requisites to development and learning. In childcare practice, this may manifest itself as groups, responsibility and tasks given (e. g. in a garden, feeding an animal, tidying) all of which place the child within a social, inter dependent context of connectedness. On a wider level, opportunities for sharing and celebrating achievement should be welcomed to foster an appreciative, respectful environment. This should encourage children to have a positive self-perception and a respect for others.
Before settling a child into a childcare environment, time should be spent in preparation with the child and their main carer. This helps the child to link the home setting with the childcare setting and helps to avoid any feeling of rejection and/ or separation anxiety. ” There is less anxiety if the child is left with familiar people and it is reduced if siblings or favourite toys are present. “, ( Macleod-Brudenell, I. & Kay, J, p 105) This also allows the child to know where things are and to meet other children so that the first full day or session is something that the child can envisage and anticipate in a positive way.
The key worker should seek to understand from the parent or main care giver, any routines which have already been established with regards to toilet training and sleeping well as understanding any specific dietary needs, behaviour, favourite toys, the family setting, siblings. Some practical examples of how to make a three year old comfortable and at ease and ready to actively participate in a child care setting, could include having their own coat rack, being part of a group, being paired with another child, being allowed to choose the story, being given a esponsibility that they will be comfortably be able to do (perhaps with someone else ( e. g. set the table)) and celebrating their achievement with their peers. Activities such as sharing photos of themselves as babies allows children to talk about themselves in a positive way with their peers and it creates a bridge between home and the childcare environment. Within a Montessori setting, child -sized equipment can help children to have a greater sense of belonging. It’s their environment rather than an adult environment that they have to adapt to.
In general, carers for 3 year-olds should support and encourage independence and avoid the natural tendency to do things for the child. Play should, where possible, be child-led. As Margaret McMillan observed, ” the failures in education were mainly the result not of bad teaching but of insufficient preparation for learning in the early years”, (Montessori Centre International, Module 4, p 19) therefore it is essential that the environment is conducive to providing children with the optimum condition to develop curiosity and become actively interested in learning.
These optimum conditions must do more than provide basic requirements of feeding, sleeping and safety and should also encompass the child’s social , emotional and psychological well-being and connectedness. Bibliography Department for Education, Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2012, (cited 12/4/13) from https://www. education. gov. uk/publications/standard/AllPublications/Page1/DFE-00023-2012 Huitt, W. (2007). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Cited [15/4/13] from, http://www. dpsycinteractive. org/topics/regsys/maslow. html Macleod-Brudenell, I. ; Kay, J. (2008, 2nd Ed. ) Advanced Early Years, Harlow: Heinemann Montessori Centre International (undated) Module 4 Contemporary Issues,London: MCI Montessori Centre International (undated) Module 5 Childcare and Health, London : MCI Montessori, M. (1966), The Secret of Childhood New York: Random House Montessori,M. (2007) The Absorbent Mind Amsterdam: Montessori-Pierson Publishing Company Montessori,M. (2007) The Discovery of the Child, Amsterdam: Montessori- Pierson Publishing Company