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Effect of the Setting to Meet Children's Needs

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Childcare
Wordcount: 2170 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Provide a detailed picture of your placement/workplace. Write a description of the setting mentioning the layout of the rooms used and their purposes. Consider how the setting meets the children’s needs and the needs of the area. Write a brief description of what you perceive the aims and functions of the establishment to be and discuss any aspects of practice which the staff perceive to be exemplary. Explain how the theories and historical perspectives you have covered in this module have had an influence on your setting and on current early year’s provision and practices.

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I am completing my work experience as a practitioner in a country, community ran playgroup, based in a small village. This area provides many other services including a primary school, shop, park, church and a restaurant. Within my setting there is one main room and a large outdoor area. This playgroup allows children from 2 years 10 months to 4 years to attend. A breakfast club is also available for the playgroup children. This service works alongside the parents supporting their needs.

My setting works to ensure that each child’s needs are being meet constantly, working in connection which each child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. Best start highlights

Early brain development establishes a child’s social competence, cognitive skills, emotional well-being, language, literacy skills, physical abilities and is a marker for well-being in school and life resiliency.

When entering the playgroup you will realise that all furniture (eg. Tables, chairs, worktops) are child sized. Both Montessori and Isaac’s thought all resources should be at the child’s level to increase children’s independence as everything can be accessed without adult supervision. Long (2018) highlights

Child-sized furniture allows children to engage in their environment by accessing materials without the assistance of an adult. In order for materials to be considered “accessible” the children need to be able see, reach, and use the materials independent of an adult.

 Montessori also believed children should be given freedom and free choice. Each morning the staff in my setting prepare activities for the children and place them around each area in the room, however they let the children use their imagination in carrying the activities out. The children therefore can access them independently and participate in child initiated play. Daystar Montessori (2018) explained

In creating the "prepared environment," Dr. Montessori wanted to optimize the conditions under which children teach themselves and learn independently. The goal is for children to become self-reliant, active learners.

In relation to Piaget he believed children learn better when they carry the activity out themselves in a way they understand, instead of the adults explaining how to carry them out. Linking to the admission statement, as a setting it is important to let children play to practice what they’re learning.  

The impact of McMillian Sisters can be seen in many Early Years setting and Primary Schools. In my setting each day the children are given a healthy snack- following the healthy eating policy. The children get the opportunity to eat from a buffet snack table, which includes a range of food eg. Fruit, Cereal, Bread. All foods are freshly prepared on site each day- promoting independence. This is to promote and reinforce healthy eating habits, as children are encouraged to try new foods each day. Public Health Agency (2018) stresses

Good nutrition is essential during childhood, as it is a time of rapid growth, development and activity. This is also a vital time for healthy tooth development and prevention of decay. Childcare providers therefore have a key role to play in introducing children to a wide variety of foods and establishing a pattern of regular meals and healthy snacks.

 Oral health is also important in my setting as the children wash their hands before/after snack, and brush their teeth after snack time.

It is very important that when the children are within the setting they are safe and secure at all times, to prevent them from any harm that may occur. My playgroup states (2018:12) in their parent information booklet ‘Our priority is to provide a safe and caring environment for our children. The premises are locked at all times so no child can get out or no one can get it, there is a secure entry system in place to ensure if anyone wishes to enter the building they must buzz through the system first. This is to prevent people gaining access into the building without permission, so that each child is safe and secure within the setting. Macleod-Brudenell emphasises

Security is an important factor today, not just ensuring that the children remain on the premises, but also keeping unwanted people out

 All visitors must sign in and out of the building- using the visitor’s book. All children are also signed in and out of the premises, to ensure that their health and safety is not at risk- in connection with the legislation The Children (NI) Order 1995. Blackstock (2007:73) stresses ‘Child welfare laws that emphasized the safety and well-being of the child as the paramount’ Anyone collecting a child from my setting must be over 16 years of age, if a parent is unable to collect the child they must notify the setting as to who is collecting the child.

As my playgroup is within a small rural area it is essential that everyone works together to benefit the children. In connection with the community surrounding my playgroup, a community volunteer comes into my setting to carry out music with the children- this is done one morning per week. The children get the opportunity to play instruments, sing, dance and listen to songs. Bright Horizons (2018) outlines

Music ignites all areas of child development and skills for school readiness: intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy.

It is very important that children get the opportunity to participate in music activities to build upon not only their self-expression but fine and gross motor skills.  In relation to Owen’s theory he stressed the ‘importance of dancing, music and military exercise in the school curriculum’ According to Donnachie, I. (2003).

It is very important that the transition from playgroup into a primary school setting is as smooth as possible; this will help with the settling in process. Once a month the full-time children from my playgroup visit the feeder primary school, they join in with the P1 class in outdoor activities, snack time, songs and play- this lets the children form friendships.

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A breakfast club is available within my setting, for the parents of the children to benefit from. Breakfast club does not only offer the children a healthy breakfast but supports the parents, especially those who work- providing an affordable option for children to attend. This enables the parents of the children to gain an extra hour in work. Price (2018) indicates

The main purpose of a breakfast club is to provide a safe, secure environment before school, where children can have a decent breakfast with their friends 

As a setting we believe that ‘Play gives children a chance to practice what they’re learning’ as displayed on the admission statement. In relation to Frobel my setting aims to let children explore different resources and materials- building upon their imagination. It is very important that children are given the opportunity to explore the outdoors e.g. Planting vegetables, mud kitchens. As stressed by Tovey (2012:3)

Everyday experience of the natural world outdoors is essential so that children can learn to appreciate its wonders and begin to understand the interrelationship between all living things

A sensory area is available for the children within my area, this area provides activities to stimulate the children’s senses: smell, touch, sight, hearing, movement, taste and balance. These sensory activity let the children explore, play, learn, create and investigate- to build upon new experiences. Linking to Montessori theory, Education Playcare (2018) emphasis

Providing opportunities for children to actively use their senses as they explore their world through ‘sensory play’ is crucial to brain development – it helps to build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways.

The staff within my setting have a variety of different talents e.g. Art, Dancing, language. Their different talents are used to build upon the children’s learning, as they may not get the opportunity at home to gain excess to these talents. The children in my setting are learning how to speak polish at the minute, as after Christmas there is a polish child starting- this is to promote inclusion in our setting to ensure that the Polish child feels included.

I feel that theories and historical perspectives have a huge impact on Early Years settings and Primary Schools, as they help children play, learn and develop their social, emotional, physical, cognitive development. Montessori, McMillian, Isaacs and Frobel have a huge influence in everyday practice within my setting. The aims and functions of the establishment have been awarded from our recent ETI inspection (2018) from receiving ‘Outstanding’. It is clear to see that the staff are showing high standards and are bringing them into practice, to benefit the children’s learning and experience.


  • Best Start (2018) Importance of the Early Years , Available at: https://www.beststart.org/OnTrack_English/1-importance.html (Accessed: 28th November 2018).
  • Blackstock, C., 2007:73. Residential schools: Did they really close or just morph into child welfare. Indigenous LJ, 6, p.71.
  • Bright Horizons (2018) Children and Music: Benefits of Music in Child Development, Available at: https://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/e-family-news/2010-music-and-children-rhythm-meets-child-development (Accessed: 28th November 2018).
  • Children’s Act 1989 (Accessed 28th November 2018)
  • Daystar Montessori (2018) The Montessori Prepared Environment, Available at: https://montessori-fremont.com/about-daystar-montessori/prepared-environment-daystar-montessori (Accessed: 14th November 2018).
  • Donnachie, I. (2003) Education in Robert Owen’s new society: the New Lanark institute and schools, Available at: http://infed.org/mobi/education-in-robert-owens-new-society-the-new-lanark-institute-and-schools/ (Accessed: 28th November 2018).
  • Early Years - the organisation for young children (2018) Playgroup, Available at: http://www.early-years.org/parents/choosing-playgroup.php (Accessed: 15th November 2018).
  • Education Playcare (2018) Why Sensory Play is Important for Development, Available at: https://www.educationalplaycare.com/blog/sensory-play-important-development/ (Accessed: 28th November 2018).
  • ETI inspection (2018)
  • Long, M. (2018) Child sized furniture, Available at: http://programqualityassessmentinpa.com/child-sized-furniture/ (Accessed: 29th October).
  • Macleod-Brudenell (2008:254) Advanced Early Years, 2nd edn., Essex: Heinemann.
  • Playgroup admission statement (1993) (Accessed 28th November 2018)
  • Playgroup setting, Parent information booklet (2018:12) (Accessed 27th November 2018)
  • Public Health Agency (2018) Nutrition matters for the early years, Belfast: HSC.
  • The Children (NI) Order 1995. (Accessed 28th November 2018)
  • Tovey, H., 2012:3. Bringing the Froebel approach to your early years practice. Routledge.
  • Price,K. (2018) What is a breakfast club?, Available at: https://www.theschoolrun.com/what-is-a-breakfast-club (Accessed: 29th November 2018).


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