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In recent years the need for qualified Early Years Practitioners has risen immensely. There are now much more than nursery settings and foundation classes. Early years establishments are growing at a rapid rate, due to more and more parents needing to work. Research from various sources shows children progress socially at a faster rate when mixing with other groups of children, and it helps increase self esteem, so parents who do not need to work will use the services of an early years practice.
Workplace crï¿½ches are now commonplace as are college and shopping mall ches. Places such as playgroups, mother and toddler groups and out of school clubs all need good qualified early years practitioners to create the environment and support needed by today’s children. Unqualified staff working in early years settings are encouraged to gain some formal qualification to gain the insight into good practice in the provision of child care. This is actively encouraged throughout their career, to keep up to date with current practices. Trained staff have a positive effect on children’s social development and understand the learning needs of children and how best to provide it. There are many courses available today to enhance/ensure early years settings are providing the best possible care to young children.
Early years practitioners need to understand the educational guidelines provided by the government. They must be able to teach children each aspect of the curriculum in an enjoyable and stimulating way. Children need support physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. Young children will not learn if they are not enjoying themselves. Practitioners need to understand what children can and want to do at different stages of growth.
Practitioner with a professional attitude will give parents/carers the confidence that their child is being cared for by a professional skilled person, who will be beneficial to their child. This is also essential when working with staff to give them assurance they can learn and take instruction from the early years practitioner. A professional practitioner would understand the need for confidentiality.
There are many aspects of the job that requires confidential material about children and this must be kept secure. This will require good organisation, which is necessary in an Early years setting, paperwork needs to be filed and kept available to relevant staff. Also booklets, pamphlets and newsletters for parents need to be available and up to date when required. Displays need to be kept for parents to keep them informed of coming events or news for that week. Children’s notices need to be prepared often with pictures and text helping children understand what is required of them for example ‘ please wash your hands’ with a photograph of a child washing their hands.
The children’s toys and games need to be kept organised in such a way that the children know where to find them. They should be clearly labelled and within reach of the children. The play equipment should be organised into age group suitability. The childcare provider has to organise staff and have good team building skills. He/she would have to put a plan in place in case they were called away unexpectedly. They need to organise staff making sure staff/child ratio is correct.
Parents and children need an approachable and friendly practitioner to make them feel welcome and give them confidence to discuss any issues which may arise. Parents can give the practitioner an insight into their child’s needs, which may not be immediately apparent to practitioner, this could prove beneficial. The practitioner should take an interest in the Childs family ensuring they are happy with the care given and making sure parents feel comfortable in raising any concerns they have no matter how large or small.