There are three different provisions that provide care and education to children. Upton Infant School is a statutory provision; they are funded by the government. Upton Infant School educates and cares for children from 4 years to 7 years of age. They follow the National Curriculum, and the EYFS. They support and work with the children and family by observing the children, and producing written or verbal feedback to the parents; this can be done by holding parent evenings. They are also supporting the children and parents by having fully trained SEN staff in the setting; so they help the children who require additional support. (Upton Infants’ School, 2012)
The DEBRA charity is an organisation which supports and helps to find a cure to heal or help the children and families that are suffering from a generic skin blistering condition. This condition is called Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). This is a voluntary organisation; this is funded by the public. They support and help children of all ages from birth. They provide emotional and physical support for families coping with EB. (DEBRA, 2008-2012)
Private provisions are organisations that make profits from their services. Buckholme Towers in Parkstone; is an independent day school and nursery, which cares for both boys and girls from 3 to 12 years of age. They provide classes for individual learning. The staff quickly gets to know pupils so that their strengths and talents and be enhanced, and their weaknesses are developed upon. They provide a supportive environment this makes the children feel secure and ready for challenges of school life. They support families that have children with; Emotional Needs, ADHD, Dyslexia, Asthma and Serious Allergy’s. (Poole Family Information Service, 2012) There are various legislations in the UK that supports working with children, these are:- Health And Safety At Work Act 1974
Children’s Act 1989
Children’s Act 2004
Children’s Act 2006
Equality Act 2010
United Convention On The Rights Of The Child 1989
Data Protection Act 1998
The Children’s Act 1989 came into force in October 1990. It aims to help children in every situation; at home, at day-care, or in full time care. Some of the principles are that the welfare of the child is paramount and every child has the right to be free from neglect and abuse, every child should be brought up by their parents, if the child is in need, help and guidance should be provided. Both parents and professionals should consult the child when decision making. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
Children’s Act 2004 promotes the five outcomes for the Every Child Matters (2003) legislation for every child; this was created because some of the points in 1989 were not being done. These five points are;
1. Be healthy
2. Stay safe
3. Enjoy and achieve
4. Make a positive contribution
5. Achieve economic well-being
(Beaver, et al, 2008)
The needs of the child and family are central in the Children’s Act 2006. Local authorities must improve the outcomes for children less than 5 years of age. This was created to focus on the children in question and their families. This is where the EYFS came into practice. This was introduced to support the delivery of quality of education and care in the early years. This Act also entitles parents to get the information they need. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
The United Convention On the Rights Of The Child came into force in 1989. This Act contains 54 articles. All the articles were put into place to ensure every child enjoys health and education; every child should be within a caring family and have the right of survival. Every child should be protected from exploitation and abuse at all times and should have the freedom to have their voice and opinions taken into account on significant issues. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
The Data Protection Act was put into place in 1998, to protect Information of individuals as this is confidential. Other than the care worker, the information can only be shared between the guardian or parent and the child in question. It is very important that you maintain confidentiality when working with children. This is important because it protect the child in question and the family. (Legislation, 2012)
Principles and values are very important when working with children. Principles are a professional rule of action of conduct. Values are beliefs and ideas that are shared between groups of people that are from the same culture. This is important because it will give you an understanding of what is good or desirable and what is not. (Tassoni, et al, 2007)
Through positive relations the children learn to be strong and to be independent. According in the EYFS (2012) every child is a unique child; they can have a strong character, confident and are self-assured. Enabling environments are essential in helping the children develop and learn. Every child learns and develops in a different way, every child should be treated equally, and their needs to be taken into account. The education and care of all the children in early year’s provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities, are covered by this framework. Without a unique child, positive relationships and enabling environment’s there would not be any learning and development.
The CWDC principles are to reinforce that the welfare of the child and young person is paramount. The safeguarding, learning and development is reflected in practice and service provision. Practitioners work closely with parents as they are very important in their child’s upbringing, recognising they are the children’s most important careers and educators.
The values of CWDC are that every child’s individuality is valued and respected and celebrated. Also the children’s personal and physical safety is safeguarded, whilst allowing for risk and challenge as appropriate to the capabilities of the child. Self-esteem is very important to every child’s development. Also confidentiality and agreements about confidential information are respected as appropriate unless a child’s protection and well-being are at stake. Best practice requires a continuous search improvement and self-awareness of how workers are perceived by others. (Children’s Workforce Development Council, 2012).
Inclusion and diversity is very important in respecting and valuing each child at a place setting. If this is done correctly it should build the child’s confidence and improve their concentration. This will also remove learning barriers; whether this is emotional or learning where a child may need extra support. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
Everyone is different and entitled to their own opinions this means everyone should get treated equally, as they are a unique child, this complies with the EYFS curriculum (Moylett.et al. 2012) According to article.10 UNCRC states that every child has the rights to be able to be heard, valued and listened to.
‘The United Nations Convention On The Rights Of The Child, article 12, says that we must listen to the child’s view and take those views into account in any planning that effects the child’ (Fajerman,2001:12). Both `the children and the staff are benefitting by taking into account the views and the opinions of the child. This builds upon the child’s self-esteem, the children become independent, creative learners, this also makes them aware they have rights and that they do matter. This benefits the staff because they gain an increased awareness of children’s needs, rights and abilities. Also the parents will benefit from this by them feeling involved with their children’s development and their contribution to the setting. (Fajerman, 2001)
An example of the place settings giving the children the freedom to express themselves and have their own opinions is at tea time or snack time; this enables them to be able to decide what they want to eat from a plate of food. This way the children will eat what they like and feel valued.
According to an early years consultant Margret Collins (2006) children with low self-esteem are timid and are easily bullied. They struggle to take up challenges, and rarely reach their full potential, on some cases people with low self-esteem look at themselves as a failure! On the other hand children with high self-esteem embrace new challenges and see themselves as a success. Children with high self-esteem do usually have an excellent relationship with their teachers as they receive praise.
From September 2008, The EYFS emphasis that every person who cares for the children, e.g. child minders and the EYFS practitioners under the age of five have to show the evidence of ‘Look, Listen, and Note’. This shows what development stage the children are at and what the children like doing, also this gives the practitioner a clear understanding of what the child can do or not and if the child needs extra support or not. By doing this you are treating the children like individuals. (Renouf, 2008).
People have different opinions this gives them a sense of themselves and others around them. They can also see how individual everyone is. (Graham, 2002). The children will learn that other people have different opinions and feelings; this enables them to be sensitive to others. They will learn that every child believes and their personal views on things can vary, every child has the right to, and need to be treated with respect. Encouraging children to talk about their opinions and their feelings is important because this will build greater relationships with the child and you will be able to understand and help that child more. It is also important for the child to express what they like or dislike doing, and why. (Graham, 2002)
There are many professional skills that will support you when working with children. Some of the professional skills are being an effective practitioner: this covers everything from being empathetic and sensitive to having effective communication skills, Being professional: this includes skills such as being reliable and an anti-bias approach, and ensuring you know your roles and responsibility; this involves putting the needs and rights of the child and the family first. (Beaver, et al.2008)
Professional standards are essential in working with children; this covers all the professional standards that are needed to be an affective practitioner. Time keeping; is essential because this reflects well on you. Regular attendance is an individual responsibility; you also need to make sure you have everything with you to get the best out of the day. Appropriate dress code; this is important as this will show you have self-respect and that you value the children by not wearing anything inappropriate. It is very important that everyone in each setting understand the different ways of communicating with individual children’s needs. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
It is important that everyone smells fresh, and they need to ensure they regularly wash their hands during the course of the day. Smoking is not allowed in public areas, due to a new law that has been recently created. Workers who choose to smoke should do this by going off site, and out of sight of parents and the children. (Beaver, et al, 2008) It is also a good idea to take in hoody or spare clothing so that you do not smell of smoke when you go back. You could also chew on gum, but remember to get rid of it before you go back to the children. All of this is being an effective role model.
Study skills are important to being an effective practitioner. Basic needs are the most important one of them all. Without fulfilling your personal needs you will not be able to get the most from your experience and learn properly. Even looking at things like your health and mental health is important, as if you are ill, you are unable to learn to the best of your abilities and get the most from your day. (Northedge, 2005)
Motivation is needed in childcare; this is what gets you through the days. Self-motivation comes from deep within, only you can motivate yourself, someone else can only inspire you to do something. By setting yourself little goals, you are able to achieve big goals. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
Time management is also important, and this will need to be developed, you need to be able to manage your home life with your college life-try to keep these separate. You need to make sure you are realistic with your time scales to do something, and to be able to do them to your best abilities. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
Note taking is important in studying as you will not be able to remember everything that you have learnt over the course of the day. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
Planning is essential in childcare, without planning nothing will run smoothly and the days will be hectic. It is also important to plan your assignments this will help you complete it to the deadline. There are many things that learning environments provide to help their students achieve. There things such as learner support, they will help you to improve your work to a higher standard, they provide all sorts of help with your assignments they help you to plan them, they can proof read and check for spellings, and they can help you with referencing. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
In childcare it is very important to develop and maintain appropriate relationships with the children, parents and other professionals. A practitioner’s role is to behave in a professional manner. (Tassoni, et al, 2007)
Bowlby attachment theory, helps understand relationships, he understands the relationships between; children and carers, and parents and EYP. EYP’s now understand that there will be some children that need a little extra time to feel secure in the setting. This benefits the child because they become more independent and confident. EYP work in partnership with parents, and they should never undermine the relationship between the parent and child. By having a good relationship between the parent and EYP, will benefit the child, this will meet the child’s needs more effectively as the parent has the most knowledge of their child. (Tassoni, et al, 2007)
By keeping the family informed about their child performance and any injury or discomfort will build trust. Building and maintaining relationships between colleagues, is essential. This can be done by sharing responsibility and duties equally. (Tassoni, et al, 2007)
It is also important to share the information about the child you are about to work with, with the appropriate people. This also needs to be kept updated, by all the members that are working with that child. If there are any frictions between colleagues, the line manager will need to be contacted to help sort out such issues. (Tassoni, et al, 2007)
Consistency is the key point in working with children, as you are a role model for children. The information the child receives from adults should be the same, this can have a negative effect on the children, as they pick up things like consistency and tension between parents, EYP, Colleagues and the children. (Tassoni, et al, 2007)
Some children may need more than one organisation to help and support them and their families for any additional support. This is called multi-agency team. This consists of various professional that join their skills to help the children to the best of their abilities. It is a practical mechanism to deliver the integrated working required of public services by Every Child Matters, published in 2003, and by The Children Act 2004. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
Multi-agency teams benefit the children because they receive tailor-made support for their needs. Some of the benefits of this is easier and quicker access to services and expertise, and reduced needs for specialist services. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
Parents are also part of the multi-agency team, and their choices should also be respected and valued. E.g. parents may choose to discuss the situation to other professionals; this is their decision. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
It is very unprofessional to discuss another child’s situation with other parents. Some parents find it very daunting for professionals to have contact with them on a daily basis. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
Characterises of working with other colleagues and professionals in a multi-agency team are cooperation, this encourages the children to learn to work well with each other. Every team member needs to be consistent this is to ensure that everyone has the same approach of caring for children and working with their family. All members of the team should encourage, praise, stimulate, and support one another. Every member should share their ideas and aims and should feel respected; they should also feel a sense of belong.
Every team member needs to be efficient, so all the skills of each individual can be used to the best of their ability. The responsibilities should be shared between every member in the multi-agency team. Workers need to be willing to learn and develop new ways of learning and thinking, and to balance out their weakness and strengths between them. It is also important you remain confidential within a multi-agency team, this shows that you respect your role and the child; you will also be complying with the Data Protection Act. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a process to make sure that children needs are met in the most efficient and pro-active way. This is also a key component in the ‘Every Child Matters-change for children’ program. The CAF aim is to ensure every child receives the universal to which they are entitled and the additional services they need at the earliest opportunity. (Children’s Workforce Development Council 2008)
Child-Centred approach is where the children get the freedom to experience, think, question, and research for their own answers. Nursery practitioners get to see how play develops between the children, and not telling them what to do. This enhances the children’s communication skills. This is the complete opposite of Adult-Led; this is where the adult’s initiates play. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
The benefits of a Child-Centred approach are that the children get fully involved in activities and are proud of what they can achieve by themselves. They can actively explore the environment and enjoy playing with others. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
Although some children find this situation awkward, as they believe the teacher should be in control, whereas others believe they are fully responsible for their play. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
There can be issues with the parents too, as they believe children should not learn through playing they prefer their children to learn through literacy and numeracy skills. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
Child-Centred approach links to the EYFS because every child is given the opportunity to choose what they want, this encourages every child to be unique. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
The practitioners and teachers work in partnership to create a positive relationship and create and enabling environment for the children. The ‘Look, Listen and Note’ observation links to the adult led approach because you can have a better opportunity for observation this way. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
The Reggio Emilia approach supports the child-centred approach; an approach based on children’s ideas, thoughts and observations they have gathered through the environment. This was founded by Loris Malaguzzi. (Beaver, et al, 2008)
Reggio Emilia believed that the environment, in which the children learn, should be considered as a third teacher. (Wenex Technologies, 2006)
Some of the characteristics of the Reggio Emilia approach are that the teachers work in pairs this is called ‘co-teaching’. ‘There is no staff structure, i.e. no head teacher; and staff such as cooks and assistants are regarded as equal with teachers.’ (Beaver, et al, 2008:251)
‘Teachers do plan and make preparations, but there is not a strict curriculum or timetable. Teaching and learning is allowed to evolve and unfold at the pace of the children and follows the interests they develop along the way’ (Beaver, et al, 2008:252)
There is four main areas that are Important within your role, limits and boundaries these are; Health and Safety, managing children’s behaviour, child protection and confidentiality. (Tassoni, et al, 2007)
It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the child’s safety. It varies from a basic level by doing little things such as; shutting doors and gates behind you, to a more extreme level; what to do when there is a fire alarm. You also need to consider other aspects of physical safety; this includes things such as one of the children you are with has an accident or the child is unsafe. You will also need to follow policies on personal hygiene this could be simple things such as; wearing a uniform, tying your hair back, and using the supplied resources. (Tassoni, et al, 2007)
It is essential to follow the settings policies and procedures, and the policies on hygiene. (Tassoni, et al, 2007) By following the policies and procedures you are reducing the risk of being accused of something such as neglectful behaviour or being in an abusive situation, it also ensures that everyone’s rights and responsibilities are respected, this also shows that the setting is running smoothly and everyone is doing what is expected of them. Having written policies is a requirement of OFSTED. (Tassoni, et al, 2007)
It is very important to be aware of how different settings deal with managing children’s behaviour and where it is appropriate to intervene or when not to. (Tassoni, et al, 2007)
Also it is important to observe how other professionals deal with the situation. Child protection is very important this will give you the knowledge of how to follow the correct policies to protect children from harm, and abuse. This is to ensure the child id receiving similar messages, so they can feel secure. (Tassoni, et al, 2007)
Some children may tell practitioners things that are a cause of concern, this information should be immediately passed onto the appropriate people and no one else. Confidentiality is very important in -settings, as this protects the child and the families. (Tassoni, et al, 2007)