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This essay explores the range of early year settings that are involved in the care and education of young children, and discuss the roles and responsibilities of the professionals who work at these settings. Two critical incidents will be focused upon with the use of a Personal Reflection Diary, which has been taken throughout Practical Placements. The diary will emphasize the roles and responsibilities of the professionals that are key within the setting. The essay will also evaluate the curricula appropriate to the setting that were visited during placement and compare it to another practice setting. The essay will finish with a personal statement defining what has been learnt from the experiences.
First, the history of care and education of young children will be reflected upon. Next, there will be a discussion on social care and health care legislation which is affiliated to the support of children's health and safety (historical to present day). A Reflective Account will follow, which will consider two incidents which identifies the roles of the professionals who work in various settings. Subsequently, the author will define the importance of reflective practice. Finally, conclusions will be drawn as to whether the objectives have been met.
History of care and education- Education sector first started and when did children become important?
Pre 1870 there was no organised system of education. Instead children were sent out to work to earn money for their families. Some children attended schools run by charities and churches or 'Dame' schools run by women for young children. There were fee paying schools for those rich enough to afford them or the wealthier children were taught at home by governesses. In the social legislation of this period education did not become a real priority until the year of the first Education Act, 1870.
The 1870 Education Act also known as the "Forster Act", that we have the real birth of the modern system of education in England. This not only gave rise to a national system of state education but also assured the existence of a dual system - voluntary denominational schools and nondenominational state schools. The act required the establishment of elementary schools nationwide. These were not to replace or duplicate what already existed but supplement those already run by the churches, private individuals and guilds. Elementary education became effectively free with the passing of the 1891 Education Act.
The1870 Forster Education Act set up mass primary education (education for everyone). It was introduced because the government was worried that the working class was becoming revolutionary and also because it was thought that Britain's economy was falling behind the rest of the world. The education received therefore a strong emphasis on obedience to authority.
The Victorians soon realised the importance to read and write. Passage of the Education Act of 1870 was an important event because the act established compulsory elementary schools for all children from the age of 5. All children had to attend school until they were 10 years old.
Education Legislation (historical to present day).
By 1880 many new schools had been set up by the boards. This made it possible for the 1880 Education Act to make school attendance compulsory for all children up to the age of ten.
The school boards were abolished under the 1902 Education Act. In their place Local Educational Authorities (LEAs) were created to organize funding, employ teachers and allocate school places.
Under the 1918 Education Act school became obligatory for all children up to the age of 14. The Act was conceived by the liberal MP Herbert Fisher (1865-1940). Other features of the Act included the provision of additional services in schools, such as medical inspections, nurseries and provision for pupils with special needs.
During the 1920s and 1930s Sir Henry Hadow (1859-1937) chaired a consultative committee that was responsible for several important reports on education in England. In 1926, a report entitled The Education of the Adolescent looked at primary education in detail for the first time. It prioritized activity and experience, rather than rote learning and discussed, for the first time, the specific needs of children with learning difficulties. The report also made the important recommendation of limiting class sizes to a maximum of thirty children. In 1931, another report was published: The Primary School was influenced by the educational ideas of Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget and advocated a style of teaching based on children's interests.
The 1944 Education Act saw the introduction of the tripartite system. Devised by Conservative MP Rab Butler (1902-1982), the Act introduced three different types of school: Grammar schools for the more academic pupil, Secondary Modern schools for a more practical, non-academic style of education and Technical schools for specialist practical education. Pupils were allocated to a particular type of school by taking an examination called the 11- Plus, which was also introduced under the Act. Secondary education now became free for all and the school-leaving age rose to 15.
Comprehensive schooling was recommended in a document issued by the Labor Government in 1965 called the Circular 10/65. The system was developed in contrast to the tripartite system and was instead intended to suit pupils of all abilities.
The Plowden Report is the unofficial name for the 1967 report of the Central Advisory Council for Education (England) into Primary Education. The report was called Children and their Primary Schools and was named after the chair of the Council, Lady Bridget Plowden (1910-2000). It observed that new skills were needed in society, stating that, 'the qualities needed in a modern economy extend far beyond skills such as accurate spelling and arithmetic'. They include greater curiosity and adaptability, a high level of aspiration, and others which are difficult to measure'. (The Plowden Report: Children and their Primary Schools, London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1967.)
The Education Act 1973 stated that schools leaving age was raised to 16.
The National Curriculum was introduced in the 1988 Education Act. It made all education the same for state-funded schools, ensuring that all pupils had access to a basic level of education. A selection of subjects was made compulsory including maths, English, science and some form of religious education. It also introduced sex education for the first time. Pupils were divided into Key Stages, depending on their age, Key Stage 1 for pupils aged 5-7, Key Stage 2 for pupils aged 7-11, Key Stage 3 for pupils aged 11-14 and Key Stage 4 for pupils aged 14-16. The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) was introduced to replace O-levels and the Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE).
In 1996, the Conservative government introduced the first stage of a Nursery Voucher scheme. The Voucher scheme allowed parents to use vouchers worth up to £1,100 per child for up to three terms of part-time education for their 4-year-old children, in any form of preschool provision.
However, in 1997, the incoming Labour Government abolished the voucher scheme and made its own plans for the development of early year's services. The government provided direct funding to preschool institutions for part-time places for 4-year-old children and an increasing number of part-time places for 3-year-old children.
Around 1999, the government introduced a Foundation Stage of early learning, which is a new stage of education for children age 3 to the end of their reception year when they will be 5.
The Labour government revealed plans to introduce City Academies in 2002 as part of a five-year plan to improve education. City Academies are designed to improve inner city education by building new schools, introducing new technology and changing the ethos of schools. The scheme is controversial since schools will only get academy status if they raise £2 million from private funds.
Various types of early year's education provisions.
There are a number of various types of early year's education settings that can offer the free entitlement: day nurseries, private nursery schools, maintained nursery schools and nursery classes attached to primary schools, preschools and playgroups, primary school reception classes, where schools operate an early admission policy to admit four year olds, accredited child minders who are part of networks approved to deliver early education and Sure Start Children's Centers.
Theorists who may have impacted upon early year's provision.
The first infant school was opened by Robert Owen (1771-1858), utopian radical socialist reformer-mill owner who had set up crèches for the children of his workers as well as housing and health facilities.
Pestalozzi (1745-1827) attracted the attention of some education reformers. Pestalozzian schools attempted to recognise the specific requirements of young children.
Also very influential was the kindergarten movement, Froebel (1782-1852). First opened in England in 1851 Froebel's vision was to educate the whole child. Outdoor activities played a signiFIcant part, but his vision was of the children as plants in the garden of the school flowering and blossoming under the correct care and attention as you would care for a plant. Gradually though the more precise nature of Froebel's pedagogy and philosophies got taken over by a wider emphasis on play combined with domestic tasks as defined by the theories of psychologists.
Stanley Hall (1884-1924) and John Dewey (1859-1952) Also these kindergartens were also rescuers of the children of the urban poor so the teachers became more like social workers.
Another significant figure was Maria Montessori (1870-1952). Her work came to be seen as more a preserve of middle class private nurseries but originally she worked with deprived children of Naples and aimed to develop cognitive physical linguistic social and self care skills through carefully structured play activities and equipment. Advocate of natural materials - wooden blocks sandpaper letters. She thought that too many brightly coloured toys and pictures could over stimulate. Children were taught to concentrate on one activity the put it away and move on to the next one.
Margaret McMillan (1860-1931), was a Christian socialist and was regarded as the originator of Nursery School concept. Opened an open air nursery school in London in 1913 focus on sense training and health of the young child. Sand water clay and paint free cooked meals fresh air covered area so the children could be outside as much as possible.
Roles of professionals that work in early years.
Then Early Years Practitioners (EYP) will be trained to often work as part of the team of skilled and committed people working with children in early year's settings or wider children's services.
Take responsibility for leading and managing play, care and learning. Have a secure and up-to-date knowledge and understanding of early years practice with children from birth to five; and be skilled and effective practitioners. In addition to this, EYP will have an important role in leading and supporting other staff by helping them to develop and improve their practice, establish and maintain positive relationships with
Children and communicate and work in partnership with families, carers and other professionals.
Social care and health care legislation which is affiliated to the support of children's health and safety (historical to present day) - Range of health care settings in early years.
There are many types of social and health care in early years for example Health clinics, residential care, home visiting scheme, children centres, paediatric services. Health and social care professionals, for example: Health visitors, GP's, midwives, children's centre staff, social workers and mental health services.