One type of setting in my area that provides care and education is a day nursery. A day nursery is usually a private setting and they tend to provide care for children as young as 6 weeks old to 5 years old. Some day nurseries provide before and after school are for Primary School students and holiday clubs, but this isn’t common. The purpose of the day nursery is to provide care for children during the day while their parents may be at work or have other plans. Day nurseries also have the responsibility of educating the children in areas such as Literacy and Mathematics. An example of a day nursery in my local area is Bo-Peeps Day Nursery in Cinderford who cater for children from 6 months up until year 6 (age 10). Another setting in my area is Mitcheldean Early Learners which is an example of a pre-school. A preschool help prepare the child for school by having a more structured day, normally following the typical day of the school. Many preschools are attached to Primary Schools so that the children can be familiarised with their chosen school, this can begin from age 2. Reflecting this pre-school’s are term time only and their day is the same length as the school day – usually 9am-3pm. The setting uses play to educate the children in their care, this follows the curriculum set by the Early Years Foundation Stage. Although most pre-schools are in a separate building to the main primary school, children are usually taken into school before the September to make the transition easier. A childminder is another setting that provides care and education to children. However, a child minder is different as they care for the children in their own home and the age range varies depending on the childminder. Most childminders only care for 3-4 children at one time, this means that care and education can be easily adapted to each child and is more specific. Some parents may prefer a childminder to a nursery as it’s a more relaxed setting and the child may feel more comfortable in a home from home style setting. Childminders are also inspected by Ofsted to ensure that the are meeting the correct regulations to care for children.
Each setting supports both children and their families differently. The government have worked with nurseries to provide 15 hours of free childcare to every child from the age of 3. Sometimes this is extended to children aged 2 if the parents are claiming certain benefits. Every nursery in England is provided with this, however some can apply for 30 hours funding if parents are in work. Some day nurseries are open for longer hours and more days over the year (such as school holidays), this creates more flexible hours for parents to drop off and pick up children. This can be more beneficial for parents that are working as they may get stuck in traffic, resulting in them being later for pick up. Another way some nurseries can support both the child and parents is by providing food for the children. This can often increase the price per hour, although it can still be more beneficial. By including this it can create a less stressful life for parents as they don’t need to worry about providing the child with food each morning. It can also benefit the child as the setting can monitor the food that each child is eating, making sure that they are getting a healthy balanced diet. The setting also supports children by assigning each child to a key person, this member of staff is more responsible for the child than other staff in the room. Tailoring care to each individual child helps to create a strong positive relationship between staff, children and parents. The key worker can talk to parents to help them support the child to their best needs. This links with the staff to child ratio that is implemented in every setting to ensure that every child has the best quality of care and safety. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is also used in each setting to helps to educate children to their best potential, this supports the parents as they know their child is getting the best possible start in their education. Day nurseries use a variety of play to educate the children, which creates a more enjoyable learning environment for the children which can help increase the rate of development. Contacts can also be made with other professionals in order to help support individual child and their family, for example if a child’s speech is developing at a slower rate than the norm then the setting gets in contact with the speech and language therapist to ensure that the child is getting the support that they need in order to continue developing.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children (UNCRC) is the most known and biggest statement of children’s and young persons (age 17 or under) rights ever made. “The UK signed the convention on 19 April 1990, ratified it on 16 December 1991 and it came into force on 15 January 1992.” (GOV.UK, 2010). The convention is made up 54 articles covering all the different rights of children worldwide, with articles 43-54 explaining how the government can work closely with parents to ensure that every child’s rights are considered and respected. Every right is equal in importance and all articles are linked. There are 4 articles that are more special and as a group they are labeled as the “General Principles” these are: Non-discrimination which is under article 2, best interest of the child in article 3, right to life survival and development in article 6 and then finally rights to be heard in article 12. Article 28 outlines that every child has a right to education, with primary education being free to every child. With article 29 following on from this stating that every child should develop their personality, abilities and talents to their full through education. The Early Years Foundation Stage also known as the EYFS supports the rights of children to an education. “The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.” (Foundation Years, 2017) This ensures that every child in England gets the same common start to education. Although children are all individual and develop at different rates, each child is getting the same framework that is carefully adapted to suit the child’s needs and interests. The EYFS also outlines the steps that settings should follow to ensure that every child meets the highest standard of safeguarding and welfare requirements. Four points that every setting should remember is that: every child is unique, children develop at their best through positive relationships, the setting should provide an enabling environment, each child will learn through many different and this can affect the rate that the develop at. The EYFS uses 7 set areas of development and learning to educate the children. The child’s education is personal to them and should help them to highlight and develop their talents as well as build their own personality.
The Cache statement of values highlights the recognised principles and values that underpin working with children. By taking care of the children practioners should put the child’s best interests first by ensuring that their welfare and safety is to the highest standard. This can include following safeguarding policies and bringing any issues to the settings safeguarding officers’ attention, to ensure that the child is safe and cared for properly. Settings should also ensure they are showing compassion, sensitivity and respect to each child to ensure they feel safe inside the setting. By doing this, children will feel more comfortable to talk to a member of staff if they have a problem, which is important. Children should be encouraged and be given the opportunity to reach their personal full learning potential within the setting. The Early Years Foundation Stages (EYFS) should be used in every setting to educate children and evaluate their rate of development. However, it should still be remembered that every child is individual meaning that they will develop at different rates. Although the setting is responsible for the child while they are attending, the parents or careers should be respected as the primary educator of the child. This means that the setting should work closely with parents to ensure that they are completing their job as effectively as possible. By contacting parents, the setting can receive essential information regarding the child, which ensures that the child’s needs are dealt with correctly. The early years practitioners should respect the view, opinion, contribution and expertise of other staff in the both the early years and education field. No physical punishment should every be used in any setting under any circumstances, each member of staff is DBS checked to ensure that children are safe and cared for to the highest expectations. Other techniques should be used in order to give the children consequences for their actions, however it should be explained to the child why they are facing these consequences.
It is important that each child in the setting is valued and respected to the same level and standard. This increases the child’s self-worth, which is essential to the child’s social development as it also increases confidence later in life. Every child in the setting should respect each other, resulting in them understanding that everyone is equal and should be treated the same. Respecting other can also minimize arguments between the children in the setting and can create stronger relationships between all the children. Children should also have their view and opinions valued and respected as this builds their personality and character, therefore also increasing confidence. Children also learn to be strong and independent through these respectful relationships with both family and other people in their lives. Their opinions and questions can also develop their learning and understanding of the world around them. It also set a role for the children to listen to each other’s opinions and how to respect each other. If adults can set the correct role model for children by respecting them and valuing their views and opinions, they are influencing the children to follow their actions. It can also help the children to understand that everyone has different views and opinions, although this can be difficult when put into practice. It will also encourage children to listen to others carefully but also have the chance to be confident enough to express themselves in front of other people. By being able to do this, children are able to get on with others and create stronger more positive relationships, it also develops a more caring and responsible nature. If children don’t develop this they may end up leaving out other children, which can result in others having a negative effect on their self-esteem, wellbeing or general mental health. If the children can learn these skills it will benefit them alter in life as they will be able to contribute to group discussions and be able to give feedback on another person’s opinion. It can also help them to explain their points in order to argue their opinion.
There are many professional skills that can support your work with children. A positive attitude can be very important when working with children as it sets the correct mindset for children to follow. By entering a setting with a positive attitude, a member of staff can create a strong positive relationship with the children which can help develop children’s personal, social and emotional development under the Early Years Foundation Stages framework. Staff can use a positive attitude to encourage a child to try new activities or help them to problem solve more difficult activities. It can also teach children that things can sometimes go wrong but with the correct attitude and mindset we can learn from these problems. This skill can also influence children to be open-mined and can make the more willing to try new things. Imagination is another skill that can be beneficial when working with children. This can be used in many different areas of a child’s everyday learning, for example story reading, role play or drawing activities. Children are able to express themselves through their imagination, therefore they should be encouraged to have a wide imagination. Children can also use their imagination to explore the world around them through play, recreating past experiences. Patience is essential when working with children as sometimes they can have difficulty expressing themselves or understanding things. We should be good role models in the setting and show children that with patience you can overcome challenging situations and that they shouldn’t give up when they are struggling with something. Some children are more inquisitive than others and could ask many questions, patience should be used in order to answer the complicated questions that children can ask. Some children may also find it difficult to understand simpler situations, therefore we should do our best to stay calm and help the child to understand these things by explaining it in more detail.
Constantly developing study skills can benefit you in learning as it keeps the brain active. Reading books can help to fill in any gaps of your learning. Sometimes you may not fully understand something discussed in the class however if you read up about it in your free time you can be more specific with the area you would like to look at. You will also learn how to extract the most information in a shorter time, which can be helpful during a long assignment. By making notes on this subject you are able to process the meaning in more detail than just reading, which could benefit you in the long run. You can also develop more efficient note making when you have more practice, for example using subtitles to clearly state the topic and then expanding on it further underneath in notes. Also correct note taking can be made and then referred to later and still be understood clearly. Study skills can also direct you on how to manage your time, this will help you make the most of all the spare time you receive. Assessment planning can also be developed through study skills, creating a more structured and detailed assessment/assignment to ensure you are achieving your maximum potential. You will also look at the importance of understanding the context of your research, by writing everything in your own words it shows people that you fully understand the topic that you are talking about. This means that plagiarism isn’t accepted and if you wish to use a piece of information it should be referenced the correct format.
Practitioners should maintain appropriate relationships with both parents and other professionals to be able to support the child correctly. By developing these relationships with parents, the practitioners receive important information about each child, resulting in them being able to alter the individual needs for each child. If there are any issues while the child is at the setting a strong positive relationship with parents can be beneficial as the problems can be dealt with more effectively between everyone. If this relationship is good it can also benefit the child as it will create a positive and comfortable environment, making drop offs and pick-ups better for everyone involved. Parents will also feel more comfortable to raise an issue that they may have, which is important as they should be happy with the care their child is receiving. Practitioners should also develop an appropriate relationship with other professionals. They should be able to respect the input of other professionals in order to support the child’s development and welfare to the highest standard. Practitioners will know the children personally giving them the ability to work with other professionals to adapt things in order to support the child. These issues can be either development issues or child protection issues, which would both affect the welfare and wellbeing of the child. All professionals involved in the case will work with the parents of the child to resolve problems effectively and comfortably for everyone. Parents good relationships with practitioners will benefit them in these situations as they may need emotional support from practitioners as well as physical support. Some parents may struggle with the issues their child is facing and therefore everything should be done to support both the parents and child through challenging periods.
It is important that everyone in the setting works as a team in order to get everything completed. Disagreements and differences in opinion are common within many settings, however all members of staff should work as a team to resolve these differences as quickly as possible in order to remain a strong team to support the children. Communication skills are a vital part of working as a team because it is essential that everyone knows what is happening and what needs to be done. For example, if a child has an allergy the setting should work as a team to ensure that the child is kept safe and well. When working as a team, strengths and weaknesses can be added together to help others, creating efficiency when supporting the children. “when practitioners work efficiently together, they will complement each other’s skills.” (Early years careers, Feb 2017) Teamwork also helps to make sure that every child is safe while at the setting, by using the correct staff to child ratio every member of staff should carry out their fair amount of work. When settings are open longer hours, a shift system may be used so that staff aren’t working excessive hours. In these situations, staff should ensure that they are on time so that they are able to receive the correct information without disrupting the work that others are doing. Also, staff must be willing to be flexible and cover other people’s hours in times of illness, emergency or holidays. Team work can also bring together people with different experiences, therefore in situations someone may have more experience to be able to deal with it in the most efficient way. Knowledge can be shared with others and may help people feel more respected in the setting. The varied amount of experience in the staff can become a positive, if a challenge occurs with a child there are many options to try because things aren’t always resolved with the first strategy used.
In an early years setting practitioners should know their boundaries with the children as there are many strict rules. Practitioners must always stay professional in order to ensure that they are not taking over the parents’ role, advice can be given however practitioners need to remember that they have no legal rights. Practitioners must make sure that they do not get too emotionally involved with particular children and that they must treat every child equally. Settings must follow rules and procedures regarding safeguarding and child protection to keep both children and staff safe. Many settings have a no mobile phones rule, this is to make sure that no photos of children are being taken following child protection laws. All staff must also ensure that they are aware of government guidelines regarding infectious diseases. Some illnesses can be fatal for young children, so they must be protected as much as possible. Professionals must also keep management informed in they are taking medication that may affect their ability to work with children – if they don’t it could invalidate insurance and put children at risk. Another boundary is health and safety requirements. For example, if a piece of play equipment is unsafe for child use then it should be reported to the setting management and children stopped from playing with it. Confidentiality is very important when working with children, to make sure that all children are kept safe and so that parents know that other parents will not find out information about their child. This can be especially relevant when parents have separated. Any information about a child should be kept inside of the setting as a safeguarding procedure. All qualification should be kept up to date, as this ensures that you have updated knowledge. For example, a food hygiene certificate should be in date in order to handle any food in the setting. First aid techniques are updated regularly, therefore staff should be aware of any changes when dealing with incidents that may arise within the setting. Otherwise this could also invalidate certain insurance requirements. Practitioners should not share their personal information with parents and children, this includes rules regarding social media.
Every setting should use a child centred approach in order to support the child in reaching their maximum potential. Strengths and weakness should be considered as well as the child’s preferred way of learning. In some circumstances any additional needs that the child has should be met. It is important that the child comes first and that they are constantly developing their skills. Theorist Vygotsky believed that “the environment in which children grow up will influence how they think and what they think about.” (Simply Psychology, 2018). This reflects the importance of a child centred approach as it has been proved to affect the child’s development and improves their knowledge of the world around them. In many settings they encourage children to have some control over their own learning, by carrying out non-participative observations the practitioner can understand the child’s learning style. Having this knowledge can increase the rate of development as the child will be more willing to participate in adult lead activities. It can also promote self-esteem and confidence as the child is contributing to their own learning, this is an important part of social development as well. The setting also supports each child in ‘Every child matters five outcomes framework’ as part of the Children Act 2004. Encouraging them to be healthy, keeping them safe, helping them to enjoy learning, make positive contributions and help them to achieve economic well-being. Settings can also work closely with parents to receive the correct information needed to achieve this. Carrying on from this, settings hold responsibility for contacting other professionals when necessary and working closely with them to receive support for the child. Working as a team, they can influence actions of the parents at home to provide consistent support for the child. Practitioners should also maintain strong positive relationships with the child, reassuring the child that you are there to support and help them with difficulties. The child should feel like they can confide in a member of staff at the setting. Good communication is essential to a child centred approach, as all information given should be clear and easy to understand. Practitioners should adjust their communication techniques depending on the audience, for example when communicating with a child body language can influence how a child responds.