law

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Collate Evidence

Collate evidence which describes the role of the practitioner in caring for children

Introduction

Unit 8 - Caring for children looks at the range of settings and providers that care for children across the private, voluntary and independent sectors. The following report outlines the care needs for children.

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E1 - Collate evidence which describes the role of the practitioner in caring for children

The role and responsibilities of an early years practitioner follow a number of codes of practice and state how you conduct yourself. When working with children a number of codes of practices exist. Such as Special needs, Safeguarding children, Children's learning, Behaviour, Working with parents, Data protection etc.

The early years practitioner has clear responsibilities, like

  • Work to the principals of the sector and codes of confidentiality
  • Meet learning needs of a child
  • Provide an environment that is warm, welcoming and stimulating
  • Work with parents and partners
  • Work as part of a team that provides a quality service for both children and parents

The early years practitioner has to:

Put needs of children first - because this will help keeping children out of harm, keep them safe and encourage them to meet the standards for there abilities. Respect others choices -If you do not this could cause friction between staff members and can reflect on the setting and onto the children. Respect confidentially - It is important to respect confidentiality as it can help a child stay out of trouble, keep them safe and help them.

Plan, record and review - This is important as it can help you improve. It can help you notice your strengths and weaknesses. This also helps when doing activities where you can see what event went well and what did not, how you could do things differently and may allow you to handle a situation differently

It is important to demonstrate responsibility as it helps the children learn right and wrong and it is partly your responsibility to teach them this and they may treat you as a role model. Also partnerships with parents. This is also important as then you can learn about a child, their likes and dislikes, etc. It will also help build relationships with parents so they know they can trust you.

Continuing Professional Development is important as it shows you want to be the best that you can be. It also shows you are very interested in making the children be the best they can be and that you are dedicated in doing that. Observing children helps you recognise stages of the Childs development. This can help recognise where a child's needs are, where they need extra help, etc

Lastly working as a team as this helps create a positive environment for everyone to work in and also help people feel included and this will help with self-confidence.

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E3- Include evidence which compares the differing roles of statutory, private, voluntary and independent settings.

Many parents adapt to changes in their lives and usually have the support of family and friends to provide assistance. Many families however can face issues that affect the family life and often need support to help them. Such factors like:

  • Financial Difficulties
    • Low income families
    • Cannot afford food or clothes
    • Poverty, poor health and depression
    • Poor housing, etc
  • Unemployment
    • Loss of jobs, no income
    • Depression
    • Changing jobs / Mother working
    • Loss of child care
    • Separation of child from mother
  • Divorce and separation
    • Lower income
    • Smaller housing / cramped conditions
  • Caring for other family members / long term illnesses
    • Elderly relatives
    • Hospital
  • Bereavement
    • Emotional strain
    • Dealing with grief
  • Social isolation
    • No communication
    • No transport
    • Living in a new area - no friends, etc.

Children and families need support at certain times and there are many organisations and self help groups that can provide this support. Such as

National Childbirth Trust, National Association of Toy and Leisure Libraries, Child Poverty Action group, Home Start, Parentline plus, Gingerbread, contact a family, etc.

There are many different settings where children can be cared for such as Respite Care, Holiday play schemes, Parent and toddler groups, Schools, Workplace nurseries, Childminders, Pre-schools, After school clubs, Residential care, Day nurseries and Crèches

Usually the main support group is within the family network such as grandparents and Aunties and Uncles.

There are four different types of Sectors that provide care and education for children. They are;

  1. Statutory Sector
  2. Voluntary Sector
  3. Private Sector.
  4. Independent

A Statutory Sector is a Sector that has to be there by law, so dentist, local schools and hospitals are part of this. Local schools have to be there by law and get some funding by the government. The age range that schools cover is from five years to eleven years olds; they follow a set routine where reception covers the EYFS and then year one to year six covers the national curriculum. Schools are open from nine o'clock in the morning to half three in the afternoon, from Monday to Fridays, term times only. This means that schools are closed at Christmas, Easter, summer and half terms. Schools are in easy access areas, where there is enough space for an outside play area for example the playground and indoor space, for example somewhere to do P.E. A local school can be adapted, for example ramps for people with disabilities and for people to find it easy to access the school. A local school should also include snacks; they should be healthy snacks like fruit and vegetables. They should also include toileting times for the children. Statutory Schools are usually free except payment for school dinners, school trips and some snacks.

The aim of a Statutory Sector School is to provide opportunities of education for every child and to support their learning also making a safe and secure environment for children to keep them from harm. Another aim is to provide social opportunities for the child this will include learning to make friends, learning to socialise with people, learning the difference between adults and children and learning to respect others. It may also provide opportunities for the family by meeting new parents so they are making new friends and it may also prove as support for families as they might find people to rely on and also some services though school to help support them.

A Voluntary Sector is a sector, which people volunteer to organise and run, so mother and toddler, brownies and Pre school groups are apart of this.

Mother and toddler groups are usually for children age two to four years. The mother and toddler groups are usually opened from nine to eleven thirty in the mornings or half one till three in the afternoon. These kinds of organisations are usually placed in a church or community hall, which aren't necessarily built for the use of children. The staffs are usually parents themselves but the person in charge of the organisation must have a level three childcare qualification. The organisation may ask for a small donation each week, approximately £3:50 a week to cover the basic cost of the booking of the hall and also for lighting and water bills. The area in which the organisation is situated may not have an outdoor area for the children to play out in, the organisation should also follow the EYFS curriculum where children will learn through play and the space may also be Ofsted inspected.

The main aim of a mother and toddler group is to provides short term care of young children to give a parent or carer a little time to themselves and also to give young children stimulation and also play and social opportunities. Another main aim is to get children ready for school or nursery. Another way is to create social opportunities for the parent or carer of meeting new people while helping out with the organisation or just dropping off their child at the group.

A Private Sector is a sector, where people pay extra to try and get the best of their child's education or health and also their own. When you use a private day nursery you are charged for using them, you are approximately charged £150 a week to use the services. These nurseries are open from 8 am - 6 pm all year except bank holidays, the age range for these nurseries are usually from six weeks old up until five years. They also provide all meals, breakfast, dinner and tea and also snacks; they also have sleep facilities, indoor and outdoor play areas for children to play in. The building may not be purposely be built for the children but will be adapted for the children to provide their size facilities. All the members of staff will fully qualified, managers and rooms leaders must be at least level three or level two trained. Ofsted will also inspect the building and the staff to check if it's safe and also to check if they are following EYSF curriculum.

The aim of a private day nursery is to provide safe and secure environment for children to keep them from harm for children in absence of parents or carer and also to provide opportunities of education for every child and to support their learning. Another aim of the private day nursery is to provide stimulating environment with bonding with other children and also to provide learning through play and also opportunities. Another aim may be to allow employment opportunities for parents or carers and knowing a child is in a secure place and is cared for.

An independent sector are companies with more freedom to organise their provision. Their services may not rely on government funding and does not have to follow the EYFS or the National Curriculum. However the service may be OFSTED inspected to make sure children's welfare needs are being met.

Services of independent provision include independent schools and nurseries.

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Collate evidence which describes the role of the practitioner in caring for children Cont'd....

E4 - Include a summary of the main regulations that govern the care of children in different types of settings.

The following is legislation that relates to working with children in a children's centre:-

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

Race Relations Act (1976)

Human Rights Act (1998)

Data Protection Act (1998)

Disability and Discrimination Act (2004)

The legislation can influence working practices in the children's centre by:-

At all times complying with the Data Protection Act 1998.

No discrimination by it against any person with respect to opportunity for employment, conditions of employment or delivery of the Services because of sex, marital status, race or disability.

The Children's centre shall in all matters arising comply with the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Human Rights Act 1998, and the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, etc. The centre must comply with the provisions of the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and make sure that they perform their responsibilities, to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination, and to promote equality of opportunity and good relationships between different racial groups.

The centre should be responsible for and take all such precautions as are necessary to protect the health and safety of all persons employed by it and should comply with the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and any other Acts or Regulations relating to the health and safety of employed persons. Human Rights Act 1998. It gives further effect in the UK to rights contained in the European Convention of Human Rights.

The Care Standards Act 2000 and the Regulations and National Minimum Standards set out the responsibilities of agencies and carers in promoting the health of children who are looked after.

The Education Act 2002 - Local authorities and schools where requires to protect and safeguard and promote the welfare of children. This included health and safety, child protection and the overall well being of children.

The Every Child Matters and Children Act 2004 - The Children Act 2004 introduced a new duty (section 10) to co-operate at a strategic level on local authorities, Primary Care Trusts and other relevant children's services partners.

The act is to protect children and promote welfare and well being of children.Being healthy: enjoying good physical and mental health and living a healthy life style. Staying Safe - being protected from harm and neglect. Enjoying and Achieving - getting the most out of learning and life, and developing skills for adulthood. Making a positive contribution - being involved in community and society and not engaging in anti-social or offending behaviour. Economic well being - not being prevented by economic disadvantage from achieving their potential

Other legislation that helps the health and well being of children is shown below. Meggitt. C. (pg 249-251)

The Children Act 1989 provides care and protection of all children and young people in need, including those living away from home. Local authorities have a specific duty under section 22 of the Act to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of each child they look after.

The Children and Young Persons Act 2008 - amends the Children Act 1989; support the care system and putting in place the structures to enable children and young people to receive high quality care and support.

The Mental Health Act 2007 amended the Mental Health Act 1983. It requires hospital managers to ensure that patients aged fewer than 18 admitted to hospital for mental disorder are accommodated in an environment that is suitable for their age (subject to their needs). This is due to be fully implemented in 2010.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 generally only affects people aged 16 or over and provides a framework to empower and protect people who may lack capacity to make some decisions for themselves, for example, people with dementia, learning disabilities, mental health problems, stroke or head injuries who may lack capacity to make certain decisions.

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E5 - include 2 activities which will each support and maintain a different aspect of the daily care of children

There are many different routines for children that can help them maintain a different aspect of daily care for children such as Hygiene - Toilet time, washing hands, bed time and teeth cleaning, Mealtimes - Sitting at the table and Sleep Routines:

Daily routines vary depending where the child is being cared for. But promoting and supporting a childs independence and self care is also important and a childs self image and self esteem are vital to their overall wellbeing.

However I have chosen the following as my chosen activities -

  • Shoe laces
  • and Dressing - weather appropriate.

Activity One - Shoe laces

What is the activity?Teaching children to tie their laces by making a personalized shoe. (the children decorate it themselves) with laces for them to practice.

What do you have to do?

Adults role - help the children learn to tie their laces

Child's role - learn to tie their laces and keep practicing

How does this promote independence? It helps them learn to tie their laces so adults don't have to do them

How does it promote daily living? It helps children tie their laces so they can do it daily and at their convinence

What areas of learning does it promote? Intellectual, Physical and Emotional

Is it fun? Yes especially the decorating

Is it important? Yes

Why? Because it is a basic skill for every day living

What age? 4- 5 years of age

Can you break it down to make it easier? N0 not really

Can the activity be extended? No Activity two - Dressing weather appropriately

What is the activity? Dressing up a doll in appropriate clothes to go outside and play in, which will keep them warm and dry depending on the weather

What do you have to do?

Adults role - help the children learn how to dress appropriately

Child's role - to be able to dress the doll properly and wear weather appropriate clothes themselves.

How does this promote independence? It helps them dress properly thrmselves without being told what to wear and they choose what they want.

How does it promote daily living? It helps children dress appropriately and to keep warm so that they don't become ill and that we do it everyday

What areas of learning does it promote? Intellectual, Physical, Emotional and Health

Is it fun? Can be

Is it important? It can be

Why? It stops the child from becoming ill and keeps them comfortable with what they wear and do

What age? 4- 5 years of age (pre-school)

Can you break it down to make it easier? N0 not really

Can the activity be extended? Yes - broken down into holiday (warm weather clothing), wet weather clothing, winter (cold weather clothing)

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Collate evidence which describes the role of the practitioner in caring for children Cont'd...

Key issues which enable multi-professional teams to work together.

A Multi-professional team approach allows professionals to share knowledge about a family's needs so that the parents don't have to ask the same questions over and over again.

The professionals are aware of each others roles in supporting the family so that conflicting advice can be minimise. It is essential that each agency communicates well and understands not only there role and responsibilities but the others agencies as well.

Parents/guardians are the most important people in a child's life, and recognise the importance of this. We have a responsible role that involves sharing care of the child with parents/guardians; listen to parents/guardians, as they are the ‘expert' on their child.

Respect will be shown for family traditions and childcare practice, and will work in harmony with the values and wishes of the parents. Partnerships with other agencies benefit children, for example

Speech and language therapists for children with hearing and language difficulties. This could include sign-language or English as a second language. Bereavement management - play therapist, Educational psychologist to assess behavioral needs and bring about positive behavior in a child. Sensory impairment such as Limited vision, Hearing disorder or Speech problems. Also Dietary, Religious or Learning needs

This is to ensure that all the needs of the individuals / children are met and they develop to their full potential. These partnerships do have an important role to play in ensuring that children's experiences and learning are maximized.

Tassoni pg 237

A multi professional approach when working with children and parents is important as it helps children not 'to slip through the net'.

Communication is the biggest part of the multi - professional team, as everyone needs to know what is going on.

The multi professional approach team is made up of a lot of different agencies, they are agencies including Schools and teachers, Hospitals and doctors, Social workers, Police and many more. They all work together to help parents and children to stop tragic cases such as death, child abuse, etc.

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E8Show an understanding of diversity and inclusive practices

Recognising diversity is about recognising that children can come from lots of different backgrounds and family structures and this could be from the language they speak, culture and beliefs.

Diversity means responding in a positive manner to differences, valuing all people.

  • All children are citizens and have rights and entitlements.
  • Children should be treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities. This applies no matter:
  • what they think or say
  • what type of family they come from
  • what language(s) they speak
  • what their parents do
  • whether they are girls or boys
  • whether they have a disability or whether they are rich or poor.
  • All children have an equal right to be listened to and valued in the setting.

Improving the physical environment - physical aids to access education such as ICT equipment and portable aids for children with motor co-ordination and poor hand/eye skills. New buildings should be physically accessible to disabled pupils and will involve improving access to existing buildings including ramps, wider doors, low sinks, etc

Improving the delivery of information to disabled children at nurserys or schools - The information should take account of pupils' disabilities and parents' preferred formats and be made available

Children should be treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities. This applies no matter what they think or say, what type of family they come from, what language(s) they speak, what their parents do, whether they are girls or boys or whether they have a disability or whether they are rich or poor.

All children have an equal right to be listened to and valued in the setting and all children have a need to develop, which is helped by exploring and discovering the people and things around them.

Some children's development may be at risk, for example children who are disabled and those with special educational needs , those from socially excluded families, such as the homeless or those who live with a parent who is disabled or has a mental illness, children from traveller communities, refugees or asylum seekers and those from diverse linguistic backgrounds.

All children are entitled to enjoy a full life in conditions which will help them take part in society and develop as an individual, with their own cultural and spiritual beliefs. Practitioners ensure that their own knowledge about different cultural groups is up-to-date and consider their own attitudes to people who are different from themselves.

Children in the UK are being raised in a society with many sources of cultural diversity. Good early years practice needs to support this from the earliest months of babyhood. Practitioners need to work to create a positive learning environment. Play materials, books and other resources can be offered in a helpful way by reflecting on how young children learn about culture and cultural identity.

Diversity and inclusion is also linked to legislation such the Childrens Act 1989, SEN act 2001, Rights of Children 1989 and the Race Relations Act 1976. Also included is the Disability Act 2004.

Children like experiencing food, music or dance forms that reflect their own family and neighbourhood experiences. Early childhood is a good time to offer opportunities that enable children to stretch beyond the familiar. Children can learn to appreciate cultural diversity in styles of art, craft, music and dance. All opportunities need to be well grounded in positive pride for the styles common in every child's own background.
D1 - Provide evidence to show how knowledge of child development can contribute to the recognition of childrens care needs

It is important to identify the care and learning needs of all children so that the practitioner can help a child achieve their full ability and be healthy.

Meeting children's diverse learning needs means identifying needs, developing individual goals and objectives for a child, selecting or designing appropriate supports and services, and then choosing the best learning setting.

The role and responsibilities of an early year's practitioner should cater to the child's needs to teach them what they need to know and find the right way to teach them in a way they will understand.

It is important to understand different planning stages when planning activities for children and to understand a child's age and stage of development or stage appropriate for them to increase knowledge. It helps meet the individual needs of children and how to adapt an activity for a child if they are struggling or conversely finding it too easy.

This can be done through learning opportunities but child care providers and parents must recognise that each child is different and individuals and those children of the same age vary in their development.

There are three types of planning: Long Term, Medium Term and Short Term

There are also many development theories that support children and their care needs.

The development of a child from birth to teenager is not automatic and there are many factors which affect development such as Growth, Love and affection, Sleep, Environment

Stimulation, Medical issues and diet. A lot of different areas of development and theories are interlinked such as physical skills, cognitive skills, communication skills, etc

A number of ‘popular theorists' had different approaches to a child's learning and development which is linked to intellectual and social development. Bowlby popularized the ideas that a baby must have an emotional bond with its mother during the first two years of its life. He said that if this bond was not developed during that time there would be a negative impact for the child and would lead to a lack of ‘social, emotional and intellectual' development. Bowlby was the first theory to focus on the formation of parent-child relationships.


Bandura took a very different approach to developmental psychology and demonstrated that children learn development from role models. Bandura's approach is an extension of behavioral theories which emphasize the way we learn behaviour from others, our environment, experiences and so on and imitating role models. They learn from sibling, brothers, sisters, and friends.

Bandura's Social Learning Theory modified traditional learning theory which was based on stimulus-response relationships. It considered learning to be no different among infants, children, adults, or even animals. Bandura's approach is influential in the treatment of problem behaviors and disorders.

Mary Ashworth developed the attachment theory from Bowlby but she called it ‘Strange Situation'. To study theory researchers observed children for 12-18 months and they watched to see how they reacted when they where left alone and then re-united with their mothers. The attachment theory tells us that a young child needs at least one relationship with a primary carer. This will help the child's emotional and social development to increase and this happens over time.

In my placement all children have keyworkers and they stay with the child until they transfer to another room, etc. This key worker writes and keeps a file on the child. The keyworker is the one the child connects with and helps them develop relationships. The keyworker is also the key communicator with the parents of the child.

It is important for the children for children to be in an established environment which meets their care and learning needs as it helps them prepare for the future.

The environment should meet care needs for children as it helps them have positive experiences and want to return. But they must also meet clear legislation guidelines. Under the health and safety at work act, it states that it must be a safe place for employment and a safe working environment. Risk assessments must be carried out to recognise potential dangers and hazards and ascertain what can be done to prevent accidents.

The setting will need to consider children's individual needs -

  • whether you are meeting these when providing a challenging environment,
  • the provision of risk and challenge,
  • plan an environment that will suit all abilities of children -to not discriminate against a child who has any disability or special educational need.
  • Is there an age specification?

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D2 Discuss 2 strategies for improving your own learning and performance

There are many ways in which a person can improve their own learning and performance.

Observe - The first way is being observed. A member of staff could observe you and give you feedback on where you were going right, doing well but also which areas you need to improve on. This oerson can help you by telling tell how to improve and give you ideas. This is a good way of improving your learning as people will help you, give you ideas on how to improve, and also tell you what you were doing wrong. You can then talk through areas and ideas on how to improve.

This is the converse of shadowing or mentoring another worker and to see what they do and how they do it. You are learning from observation.

The main professional skills required communication, observation and reflection. If these are not met then a child's need will not be met. Communication is an important skill for the practitioner as it helps them with planning for the children. They can talk to other practitioners about a child, about how they can learn, which skills and methods to use and what past experiences.

Reflection - also helps you improve your performance by reflecting on the activity you did.The reflective cycle as developed by Kolbs allows you to think about what you have done, how well it went, get feedback from others and consider alternatives.

By using Kolbs planning cycle includes ideas of reflection

1.What happened?

How did the task progress?

How did you feel? (e.g. initial gut reaction, changes in feeling as task progressed etc)

How did you react?

What choices did you have?

2.Analysis

Identify the positives

What was important to you? What skills/qualities/abilities did you use?

Identify the things that could have gone better

What were the barriers to success? What needs improvement?

3.Making generalisations

What conclusions can you draw from the experience?

What have you learnt for the future?

How does this relate to the real world?

4.Planning future action

What might you do differently?

What risks might you take?

What/who might help?

What additional input might you need?

I can then evaluate my own learning and performance.

This can be done through ‘Professional development' and discussions with the line manager and other practitioners.

Trial and error is also an important reflection and to review how things happen. But in all cases, the safety of children is paramount.

Experience is the most important issue and to understand that as a new ‘trainee' or new ‘nursery nurse', you don't know everything. That you learn by experiencing and learning from the experiences of others.

I would also have to keep in touch with new initiatives that are promoted and keep on top of new legislation.

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C1 - Analyse how the main regulations can influence the provision of care

Legislation plays a major role on working practices within an early years setting but the primary aim is to safe guard and protect children and their families.

Legislation, policies and procedures involve Medicines, Staffing and employment laws, Child protection policies, Health and safety, Equal opportunities, Behaviour management, Special educational needs and Working with parents

Children and young people should feel happy, safe, respected and included in the school or early years setting environment and all staff should be proactive in promoting positive behaviour in the classroom, playground and the wider community. Policies and practice which make sure the safety and wellbeing of children should already be in place and it is this legislation, develop through many years and experiences, and mistakes, that underpin the working practices that are used today.

There are many pieces of legislation which influence a healthy and secure environment in an early years setting. For example:-

Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 The Act imposes general duties on employers to Secure the health, safety and welfare of people at work and Protect others against risks arising from the work activity

The owner of the workplace as a practitioner is to Make sure they have knowledge of work place setting's policies and procedures and Make sure that they put these into practice at all time, when they work with children.

This is done by checking, maintaining and using safety equipment appropriately and keeping to safe working practices.

They also have a responsibility to make sure that staff have the necessary training to put policies into practice including, first aid training, basic food hygiene the use of safety equipment. They must consider and maintain the welfare of employees by ensuring that the workplace is healthy and safe environment to be in. They should also undertake regular risk assessments of the environment, equipment and activities also keep documentation for all aspects of risk assessment, accidents, incidents and illnesses and implementation of emergency drills and procedures (RIDDOR 1995).

Each workplace or early years setting must have a safe and secure environment and must have an Illness and Emergency Care Policy. The policy for a workplace / nursery should deal with a number of things such as Exclusion, Illness, Immunisation status, Infectious diseases, Injury, Medication, Minor accidents and Serious medical emergency situations or accidents:

They are to protect the safety and wellbeing of children in the early year setting by Providing a safe and healthy environment for children while at the setting, React to the needs of the child if the child is injured, becomes ill, or is traumatised while attending the setting, Providing information regarding immunisation and the protection of all children from infectious diseases, and Providing and maintaining a suitably equipped First Aid Kit.

Making sure that at least one staff member on duty with the children has a first aid qualification.

The health and safety of the children in any early years setting is vital, and that all parents/guardians leave several contact telephone numbers so that if a child is seriously unwell or injured, they can be contacted immediately and their child can be picked up immediately.

The Every Child Matters and Children Act 2004 - The Children Act 2004 introduced a new duty (section 10) to co-operate at a strategic level on local authorities, Primary Care Trusts and other relevant children's services partners.

The act is to protect children and promote welfare and well being of children.

  • Being healthy: enjoying good physical and mental health and living a healthy life style
  • Staying Safe: being protected from harm and neglect
  • Enjoying and Achieving: getting the most out of learning and life, and developing skills for adulthood
  • Making a positive contribution: being involved in community and society and not engaging in anti-social or offending behaviour
  • Economic well being: not being prevented by economic disadvantage from achieving their potential

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B1 - Evaluate ways to work effectively in multi-professional teams to support the care of children

As previously stated in E6 above, Multi professional approach allows professionals share knowledge about a family needs so that the parents don't have to ask the same questions over and over again.

The professionals are aware of each others roles in supporting the family so that conflicting advice can be minimise. It is essential that each agency communicates well and understands not only there role and responsibilities but the others agencies as well.

A multi professional or multi disciplinary teams cover many aspects of team work and include:

  • Empathy - seeing something from another persons point of view
  • Interpersonal skills - how to communicate and respond to others, interaction with parents, children and colleagues
  • Reflectiveness - how refective has it been, planning activities, improvements, etc
  • Interest - attending training, reading articles, etc. maintain interest in the job
  • Flexibility and openness - new ideas and initiatives, new government legislation, the ways children learn.
  • Reliability - being counted on at all times.
  • Emotional stability - Not becoming to involved and emotions clouding judgement.

Communication is very important tool for practitioners and multi agency teams and it is important that they communicate well. These include

  • Notice boards - quick references, bullet points
  • Diary boards - dates of meetings, report deadlines
  • Letters
  • Emails
  • Phone calls
  • Team meetings - progress meetings, committee meetings

Written communication and a concise record of reports or meetings is also required.

The multi agency approach also holds regular meeting and the following outlines how to hold clear meetings.

  • Don't Meet - Avoid a meeting if the same information could be covered in a memo, e-mail or brief report.
  • Set Objectives for the Meeting -Before planning the agenda, determine the objective of the meeting. The more concrete your objectives, the more focused your agenda will be.
  • Provide an Agenda Beforehand - Your agenda needs to include a one-sentence description of the meeting objectives, a list of the topics to be covered and a list stating who will address each topic for how long. Follow the agenda closely during the meeting.
  • Assign Meeting Preparation - Give all participants something to prepare for the meeting, and that meeting will take on a new significance to each group member.
  • Assign Action Items - Don't finish any discussion in the meeting without deciding how to act on it.
  • Examine Your Meeting Process -
    Don't leave the meeting without assessing what took place and making a plan to improve the next meeting.
  • Use visual aids for interest (e.g., posters, diagrams, etc.). Post a large agenda up front to which members can refer.
  • Vary meeting places if possible to accommodate different members. Be sure everyone knows where and when the next meeting will be held.
  • During The Meeting
  • Start on time. End on time.
  • Review the agenda and set priorities for the meeting.
  • Stick to the agenda.
  • Encourage group discussion to get all points of view and ideas. You will have better quality decisions as well as highly motivated members; they will feel that attending meetings is worth their while.
  • Encourage feedback. Ideas, activities and commitment to the organization improve when members see their impact on the decision making process.
  • Keep conversation focused on the topic. Feel free to ask for only constructive and non- repetitive comments. Tactfully end discussions when they are getting nowhere or becoming destructive or unproductive.
  • Keep minutes of the meeting for future reference in case a question or problem arises.
  • Summarize agreements reached and end the meeting on a unifying or positive note. For example, have members volunteer thoughts of things they feel have been good or successful or reiterate the organization's mission.
  • Set a date, time and place for the next meeting.

After The Meeting

  • Write up and distribute minutes within 3 or 4 days. Quick action reinforces importance of meeting and reduces errors of memory.
  • Discuss any problems during the meeting with other officers; come up with ways improvements can be made.
  • Follow-up on delegation decisions. See that all members understand and carry-out their responsibilities.
  • Give recognition and appreciation to excellent and timely progress.
  • Put unfinished business on the agenda for the next meeting.
  • Conduct a periodic evaluation of the meetings. Note any areas that can be analyzed and improved for more productive meetings. See a sample meeting evaluation.
  • And remember, effective meetings will keep them coming back!

However, when dealing with children, confidentiality must be maintained at all times.

Lyssejko. J. (Tameside MBC - 2009)

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A1 - Include a reflective account of the role of the practitioner in caring for children

My role as an Early Years Practitioner would be to assist with the development and care of children and I may be responsible for organising a room and making sure that policies and procedures are being followed and recorded. I would have to cater for their needs as young children; developmentally, physically and socially. This would be ensure that I am promoting and maintaining a healthy environment for all children. It is also important that you learn by experiencing and learning from the experiences of others.

In my role I would have to plan and provide a caring and stimulating environment that is appropriate for individual children and enables children to reach their full potential and to work within the Children Act and local guidelines, legislation and standards and ensure that Child Protection policies and procedures are adhered to at all times. I would have to plan and prepare exciting play opportunities that meet the children's developmental needs and stimulates their learning.

I would also have to establish and maintain positive relationships with the children and their families in a way that values parental involvement, and to provide a service that respects children's life experiences and celebrates diversity in terms of language, culture, ability, race and religion.

I would also participate in supervision and staff development processes in support of personal development and to undertake training as appropriate to meet any changes in standards or appropriate legal requirements as required. In reviewing and reflection of any issues is an important aspect of a practitioner and to review where, why, how, when, etc.

The reflective cycle as developed by Gibbs allows you to think about what you have done, how well it went, get feedback from others and consider alternatives.

The reflective cycle is broken down into 6 units

  1. Description -what happened
  2. Feelings
  3. Evaluation
  4. Analysis
  5. conclusion
  6. and finally ‘Action plan' - what will you do next time.

The practitioner should also evaluate their own learning and performance.

This can be done through ‘Professional development' and discussions with the line manager and other practitioners.

For example:

  • Share examples of your practice - discuss
  • Get ideas of other practices
  • Visit other practices and observe, discuss.
  • Make sure you keep up to date with current practices
  • Articles in magazines, books, training, etc
  • In house or external training
  • Additional qualifications, etc
  • Observe children / observe other practitioners
  • Planning Childs next steps
  • Try new things

Trial and error is also an important reflection and to review how things happen. But in all cases, the safety of children is paramount.

Experience is the most important issue and to understand that as an new ‘trainee' or new ‘nursery nurse', you don't know everything. That you learn by experiencing and learning from the experiences of others.

I would also have to keep in touch with new initiatives that are promoted and keep on top of new legislation.

In conclusion:

Reflective practice is a vital aspect of working with young children which provides practitioners with the evidence to form judgements about their role and input into the learning cycle.


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