Essay, 8 pages (1900 words)

Government strategies to meet individual childcare needs

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Jane Cleary

Explain the benefits for children when their individual needs are met…

A child develops very quickly in their early years, they continue to acquire new skills and gain knowledge all the time. Child development coversgrowth, developmentandlearningfrom the very moment they are born to 60 months old (August after a child’s 5 th birthday). These three areas in bold text are connected and are vastly influenced via a child’s experiences, environment and genetic inheritance.

Early Years practitioners should work extremely hard to help bring along and guide a healthy, well-rounded, ‘ unique child’ by focusing on a child’s individual needs, characteristics and own interests these benefit each individual child because no two children are exactly the same! They all learn, absorb information and acquire new skills at different stages within their own development.

UNICEF(World Wide Children’s Society) Believe that … “ Every child is special and all human beings have a right to basic standards, and all races and religions are to be treated equally and with respect”.

UN(United Nations) Believe…“ All children have a right to have their own views and opinions listened to and have their best interests at heart”.

So therefore if these guidelines and beliefs above are followed by all Early Years providers every child will benefit as a good practitioner will help to develop, nurture, support and promote their own key children’s personalities, talents and abilities regardless of ethnicity, culture or religion.

Each child will benefit because they will…

  • Feel supported and protectedwith the care they are given
  • Feel valuedbecause their individual needs are understood and met
  • Learn more successfullybecause they are in a safe and happy environment
  • Be a more confident childwith the variety of experiences they are exposed to

In the Early Years – Development Matters booklet it talks about… every Early Years practitioner works very closely with each individual key child they should be able to pick up any development issues they find earlier; and by identifying these issues early it will help and support the child’s learning and development without causing too much disruption, which in turn benefits the child even further with the extra support and guidance they receive.

Every child has different circumstances and abilities, if each individual child is nurtured and their needs are met then they will benefit immensely because they will feel empowered, valued and supported which will therefore extend their own knowledge and promote their own personal learning journey.

Describe how the principles of anti-discriminatory practice can be applied to practice…

Discrimination is when an individual or a typical group of people are excluded and treated unfairly. The ‘ Human Rights Act’ and the ‘ Equality Act 2010’ promotes ‘ anti-discriminatory practice’. Typical discriminative behaviour is negativity regarding… gender, disability, social class, physical appearance, race and culture, family background and traditions.

There are several different ways of promoting anti-discriminatory behaviour within an Early Years setting…

  • Promoting a positive environmentwhere everyone is welcome and greeted with a friendly attitude verbally as well as visually (i. e. Place welcome signs in different languages on the entrance walls of the nursery setting)
  • Providing and promoting equalityof opportunity and values for all children, building on an understanding, commitment and attitudes about themselves and others who are from different cultures
  • Building strong positive relationshipswith both child and their families – even if they have another first language (learning some common words of their own mother’s tongue would help build a stronger relationship)
  • Celebrating multicultural festivals and eventsthroughout the whole year – which allows all the children to participate and gain knowledge
  • Promoting non-stereotypical behaviourduring play times allowing all children to choose their own preferred toys and not having typical gender type resources available (i. e. Prams/Dolls for girls and Train sets/Cars for boys)
  • Ensure equal selection of toys, resources and activitieswhich reflect different cultures and religions, and allow them to be an accurate representation and used in the correct way (i. e. Role play, books, crafts etc..)
  • Use parental expertise and advicewhere needed to ensure there isn’t any element of ignorance within the environment when different types of activities are planned and set out. ( Invite parents in to the setting to give a small talk about their own festivals or by sharing their own knowledge and skills with all the children from every background, this is involving the parents and helps them to feel valued within the nursery environment too!)

If all Early Years providers and practitioners behave in a non-prejudice way and abide to the above rules any unnecessary conflict within a nursery setting could be avoided and everyone who visits the setting will feel valued, welcome, supported and a positive outcome will prevail, therefore everyone will gain positive emotional well-being.

Finally, on a positive note if all the children within the nursery are included, valued and helped to understand differences from themselves they will grow and develop an understanding to accept others who are different from themselves, this in turn will encourage and help children to empathise with others no matter what their differences in background, providing a healthier society in the future!

Describe why it is important to plan activities that meet the individual needs of children…

Children develop at different rates and there are several factors which may impact how a child grows and develops. When an Early Years practitioner is planning activities they should take in to consideration the following… Pregnancy or birth difficulties, Disability, Illness, Environment and Stress , because these factors can make a big difference how an individual child learns and develops.

Early Years Statutory Framework(EYSF) State that …“ Practitioners must consider the individual needs, interests, and stage development of each child in their care, and must use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development”.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child(UNCRC) State that …“ Practitioners should help develop their key child’s personalities, abilities and talents to the fullest potential, and be given the opportunity to grow up in an environment of happiness, love and understanding”.

If practitioners within the nursery setting follow the above guidelines the child’s key worker will have excellent knowledge of their key children within their care. It is their responsibility to offer each key child an individual way to grow and develop at a steady pace. It is advised by (EYSF) that an Early Years practitioner follow this typical cycle of… (planning, observation and assessment) for each “ unique child”. A good time to observe is during free play sessions. By being a good listener and observer practitioners can get a better understanding and gain good knowledge of the child’s preferred interests which they find stimulating and what they can/can’t do well independently!

An example of this… a child loves independently playing with cars and their key worker has observed they need to develop numeracy and creative skills – by providing a fun activity with several types of cars you should immediately capture their curiosity… you could begin the activity by counting the cars together, then if the child is still focused and amused you could use the tyres of the cars to make different marks with coloured paints, this in turn will help develop their numeracy knowledge and creativity!

By using the typical triangle cycle to plan and access you avoid choosing an activity which is either non-engaging or uninteresting for the child and which may be possibly too easy for the child to gain any suitable knowledge or stimulating enough for their individual learning outcome. Alternatively if a child finds the activity too hard it could provide a negative impact on them and in turn it could affect their self-esteem hindering their own learning journey in the future. If the key worker provides sufficient praise during the planned activity the key child will be supported and this attitude will help their self-esteem and they will continue to progress well.

The advantage of using this type of planning cycle for your key child’s learning journey are it can be tracked appropriately and effectively for each individual child within your care and will therefore boost their own development, physical and social growth.

Explain how the practitioner can promote children’s physical and emotional well-being within an early years setting…

Parents have to have immense confidence and trust by leaving their child in the care of practitioners within an Early Years setting – therefore it is absolute paramount that their precious child is valued, supported, safe, loved and well cared for during those hours that the parents cannot be around.

Every Child Matters:(ECM) is a UK government initiative for England and Wales it states that … “ There are five important factors to improve children’s lives as a whole… 1. Being healthy, 2. Staying safe; 3. Enjoy achieving; 4. Making a positive contribution; 5. Economic well being”.

These five factors may not all apply to Early Years children but by securing and helping them develop the first three skills as the child grows in to an older child factors four and five should be a natural progression/development as long as they continue to be nurtured, supported and valued individuals within society. If Early Years practitioners adhere especially to these first three factors these will provide them with an excellent base and grounding, practitioners can promote a child’s physical and emotional well-being within an Early Years setting in several different ways…

  • Safeguarding infantsby keeping children safe and secure in a positive environment helps them to achieve the best they can achieve because they will feel secure and well supported
  • Securing strong early relationshipshaving a strong bond with key worker/child is very important for a good quality learning experience
  • Teach childrento become aware and to empathise with other people, this gives them a sense of belonging and shows them how to be a helpful and kind individual
  • Being a positive role modelby being a healthy key worker, keeping safe and helping them to enjoy achieving with like minded people
  • Focus on positive attitudes and behaviourthis type of focus helps the child to realise that good behaviour is rewarding which will give them a sense of achievement
  • Allowing them to have a choicehelping them to discover self worth and adapt to their own actions this promotes self-esteem and will build their confidence and will help them to feel empowered as an independent, confident learner
  • Structured daily routinehelps the child to feel safe, secure and well cared for which promotes positive behaviour

A good practitioner should be able to promote a child’s physical and emotional well being by teaching and being an excellent role model. Children enjoy and like to copy others around them – that is how they learn and develop so it is very important to be a positive role model with a good, positive attitude because it helps them in their early years about the difference between good and negative behaviour. It is equally important to have in place a structured daily routine where the child feels safe, secure and well cared for. A child benefits in many ways when a routine is followed because children quickly adapt themselves and have a great sense of stability, comfort and organisation which in turn promotes positive behaviour and they also gain knowledge of self control. Practitioners should be able to encourage and guide a child during their early years helping them to realise that they have a choice, this will build the child’s own self confidence and they will become more aware of their own actions this in turn will promote independence, self confidence and assertiveness which should help them to develop a positive and healthy bright future.

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