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.
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.
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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.
E2 – Collate information about how care for children may be provided within families and society &
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:
Low income families
Cannot afford food or clothes
Poverty, poor health and depression
Poor housing, etc
Loss of jobs, no income
Changing jobs / Mother working
Loss of child care
Separation of child from mother
Divorce and separation
Smaller housing / cramped conditions
Caring for other family members / long term illnesses
Dealing with grief
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;
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.
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.
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 –
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)
E6 – include an explanation of the key issues which enable multi-professional teams to work together.
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.
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.
E8 Show 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.
E9 – References
Child Care and Education – Tassoni. P. (2007). Heinemann (Harcourt Education Limited). Oxford , England
Child Development – Meggitt. C. (2006). Heinemann (Pearson Education Limited). Harlow, England
Department of education and Skills (DFES) 2007 –
Early Childhood Studies, Willan, Parker-Rees, Savage: (2004) :Learning Matters ltd
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