Informal carers are people who look after others without the framework of an organisation, professional work and aren’t being paid. There are many people who need social care and support, but cannot afford to buy services from the private sectors, so these people would seek informal care and support from relatives, friends and neighbours. The common services provided are housing, financial assistance and emotional support. The elderly, children and those that have long-term care needs receive informal care. For vulnerable children between 3-5 year old have informal carers that are more likely to be their siblings and grandparents because these people are not trained, employed or paid to provide care, they are known as informal carers.
Grandmothers and sometimes grandfathers are regularly involved in caring for their grandchildren, which would enable younger women to return to work after maternity leave because children cost a fortune to bring up, especially for low income families. Grandparents can care for their grandchildren by having them stay overnight or for a visit every now and then, giving parents the chance for a much-needed break and a chance to concentrate on their relationship with one another.
This would help children emotional and mental state because babysitting can be linked to decreasing the rate of depression. A hug from a grandparent, for example, can effect a child’s emotional development.
If grandparents are openly loving, and in harmony they will have a development effect on the child, which has a positive effect on his or her continuing development.
That child will tend to be firmly attached, pleasant-sounding in his/her relationships, and tolerant of familiarity as an adult. In contrast, contact with an emotionally voracious grandparent leaves a child underprivileged, anxiously attached, and hurting. The child might feel anxious about starting school and will probably settle with some reassurance. Grandparents are a vital in children emotional development because children begin to learn how to cope with their feeling by observing people surrounding them during early childhood. Grandparents play a part in a child’s emotional development by offering love, acceptance and respect. This is because a child who feels encouraged and supported by their grandparents, who may be their role model, will develop confidents and a sense of independence.
A child’s physical needs must be satisfied for them to be physically healthy. Grandparents as an informal career would look after a child’s physical needs when they are babysitting or the child is staying over. They’ll set a bedtime arrangement for their grandchild in order for the grandchild to sleep the right amount of time which is 11-15. A grandparent would also feed the child regularly so that the child is getting a balance diet. They’ll be supplying the child with breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon, dinner on the evening and snacks whenever needed so the child would grow up healthy and won’t be starved. Since children are active in this life stage they may a visit a park with their grandparents and social with other children, helping their social development.
The child intellectual needs are important because it’s the start of the learning and mind processing to a new environment. Grandparents can be vital to a child’s intellectual development if their parents don’t have enough time to educate them. Grandparents meet the intellectual needs by often tutoring the child to increase the learning and add knowledge to the child brain because grandparents can educate children by teaching them their alphabet and numbers.
This would help the child’s intellectual development because they’ll be learning something necessary for the future because learning the alphabet and numbers is vital for succeeding in further education. Another way is that grandparents would give toys such as an easy puzzle so the child could learn easier and expand the knowledge. All these would have an important part in a child’s language abilities and in their communication skills. Something simple as playing a board game with a child can educate them and make an impact in the child’s life. Grandparents could tell stories about their experiences when they were young, which may expand the child’s vocabulary.
Grandparents would help the child’s social needs by interacting with them and introducing them to new people that may be family or a friend. The grandchild can have a close bond with their grandparent so the child may play with the grandparent. Grandchildren can learn acceptable behaviour, a moral development. They’ll adapt a conscience based on what they learn to be wrong or right from their grandparents. This is because a grandparent may praise a good behaviour by referring to the child as ‘good girl’ or ‘good boy.’ This tends to have a big influence on the child’s social development because they’ll have to learn to co-operate and communicate with others. Grandparents may take the child to the park to interact with other children, helping the child’s social development.
Another informal career for children that are 3-5 would be their siblings, especially the older siblings. Primary socialisation happens at home so older siblings are seen more like a role model than grandparents and parents because they are closer to the child’s age so an emotional bond would be there. Siblings interact with each other and grow with each other. The younger sibling would see the older sibling as a role model. They would often play with each other. This helping the child’s social and emotional development because they would have someone to play with and won’t feel left alone.
The older sibling would become their role model because they would have understood that their sister or brother has gone through the same thing as they are going through. When I was three I considered my older sister my role model because she would often play games with me and evoke emotions like joy. When I was starting my first day of nursery in a primary school I wasn’t worried because I knew my sister would be attending the same school so I could run to her if I was scared. Siblings can make younger children feel protected and loved like a parent can do because they have grown up with each other.
Siblings can help with a child’s intellectual needs by playing games with them. This would educate a child into knowing how to play a certain game, like tag or stuck in the mud. In the early childhood you’re more likely to learn from your surroundings since siblings are more frequently home, children can learn from them. Siblings can teach their younger sibling their alphabet and numeracy, advancing their knowledge. This would benefit the child since it is necessary for every child to know their alphabet and numbers for further education. I taught my younger sister her alphabet since she was struggling to grasp it in school and I knew the importance of alphabet, I took it myself to educate her.
Children being cared by their older siblings often have a strong bond with them. They start to be dependent on the sibling and have an attachment. This is because they would often see their siblings home or in school. If a parent was going out than the babysitter would be more likely the older sibling, depending on the age. The sibling would feed the child the regularly eating habits of the household (pasta, meatballs, salad, sandwich) for dinner or lunch because it important for the child to eat regularly in order to grow health.
Another thing a sibling could contribute to a child’s physical needs is tucking the child in their bed for them to sleep at peace. Sleep essential to children because they would need sleep to be active the very next day and are able to focus on their surrounding and there more likely to be in danger when crossing the road because of lack of sleep. This may result on the child to walk slowly and unaware of their surrounding and if the sibling with them is distracted, the child can be at risk.
A child can be emotionally sensitive so would often cry about the small things. My little sister shrieked when I tried to brush the knots out of her hair, had a meltdown whenever I told her no, and burst into tears when the younger children at the park teased her. Older siblings like myself would have to show some empathy to the children that are emotionally sensitive. This is because children that are emotionally sensitive would cry often so showing frustration and anger would make the situation worsen. They need comfort not consist yelling. Siblings would reassure their younger sibling that it’s completely fine and would joke around to make the child comfortable. I had to often reassure my little sister that there wasn’t any mark or bruising on her arm in a slow calm voice because frustration and anger would make the child feel uncomfortable and sadness, which equals more crying.
A child social needs would be met by the siblings if the sibling brings his or her friends over to their house. The child would be meeting someone new and maybe the friend even have younger sibling for the child to play games would. This would help the child’s social development because the child would be meeting someone and interacting with others. This would enable the child to relate to others effectively and to contribute in positive ways to family, school and the community. This could be taught by the siblings when they bring their friends over to introduce to the child or when they take the child to the park, shopping centre or fun fairs.
Another way siblings can meet the child’s intellectual needs is by reading a story to them in bedtime. This would increase a child’s vocabulary because they would be listening or repeating new words for them to use when explaining something. When someone is reading the child a book, the child can make their own understanding of the plot. For a sibling reading their younger sibling a story can help with the social and emotional development because the child would be dependent to the siblings and have emotions like love or picture them as their role model.
In conclusion, informal carers such as grandparents and siblings can care for a child’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual just like a formal carer would be doing. They can play an important role in a child’s life where the child can be dependent on them or they can be the child’s role model. I have listed out what a sibling and grandparents can do for a child aged 3-5 to show the importance of informal carers can have on that life stage.