Nursery schools are a statutory setting for children under five. The main purpose of them is to provide pre-school education and sessional care for children aged 2-4. They are entitled to 15 hours free each week at a nursery school. Nursery schools are usually open from 9am – 12pm and 1pm – 3pm and most are attached to a primary school. They follow a curriculum, the EYFS, to educate the children. Nursery school are also a valuable provision because going to nursery can provide children with many different experiences and can help them to develop their social skills and begin forming relationships with other children.
A statutory setting for over fives is primary school. Primary schools provide education for children aged between 4 and 11 years old. They are usually open from 9am – 3pm. Primary schools follow a curriculum which covers, the EYFS in reception class and also Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, from year 1 to year 6. Children can also further develop key social skills, in primary school, through the interactions and relationships they have with other children. D2 One provision in the private sector, for children under five, are nannies. Nannies provide childcare within the family’s home.
A nanny will often live with the family, depending on the individual circumstances, allowing 24hour care to be provided. Nannies may care for children of any age, although maternity nannies or night nannies, will generally only provide care for children from newborn to five years old. After school clubs are one childcare setting, in the private sector, for children aged between five and seven. Often parents working hours will not coincide with the school hours of the children, in that case after school clubs are a very useful provision.
An after school club provides care for school age children, from the end of the school day, usually 3pm up until 6pm at the latest. They will usually be based in or near schools and provide a variety of activities, including sports, arts and crafts and many others. D3 Play specialists work with children, of all ages, and their families, within the family’s home or with children in hospital. They can provide advice and ideas for parents on ways to engage their children in play, if parents are experiencing difficulties. They aim to provide children with a variety of play activities to meet the child’s individual play needs.
Both therapeutic and developmental activities for the children can be provided by play therapists, to help explore existing problems and provide coping strategies for children and their families, keeping in mind the individual emotional, physical, developmental and social needs of the child. Within a hospital setting they can help children to feel more comfortable and at home, by helping them to cope with the separation from their family and prepare them for the stress and difficulties the child might face during their treatment. D4 + C1 + A + D8.
One of your professional responsibilities within a childcare setting is to keep information about children and their families confidential. All confidential information that the setting holds should be kept in a locked filing cabinet. As well as this all staff, volunteers and students must read and sign the setting’s confidentiality policy. ‘Information that you learn during the course of your work is confidential and you must be careful not to discuss it outside of the workplace or with anyone who does not have direct involvement,’ page 315, Child Care and Education, Penny Tassoni.
This means that staff members and students on placement in a childcare setting must not discuss any information they have been told, outside of the setting or even in the setting’s staffroom, as they could be overheard, by people who do not need to know that information and should not know about it. Care must be taken at all times by staff that they do not gossip or accidentally let slip about any information they know to staff or anyone else, who does not need to know that information.
The parents or guardians of the children, in the setting, must always be informed of what information is held about them, in accordance with the Data Protection Act. This is also important in building trust between you and the parents, for example if you did let slip a piece of confidential information about a child, outside of the setting and the parents found out about it, you would loose their trust in you and in future they may be far more reluctant to tell you information about the child and their home life, which could actually be very important for you to know.
However, there are some instances in which you should refer information about children and families to other professionals in the setting. For example, if you notice a child coming into the setting, with unexplained injuries, such as cuts and bruises and are concerned that this could indicate possible abuse, this should be reported to your supervisor, so they can pass this information onto the appropriate professionals and the matter can be investigated further.
Also if a child tells you something or you notice unusual changes in their behaviour, which leads you to believe that child could be a victim of abuse, this should also be reported to your supervisor, as the health and safety of the children in your care should always be put first. Another example of this could be if a child presents particularly challenging behaviour, which begins to be a worry. In this case the parents should be notified of the problem and it may also be necessary to refer the child to a specialist. D5 + B1 When preparing to work in a placement it is important to first find out about the placement.
If the setting has a website, it may be a good idea to look it up and read through the information on there, so you know a little bit more about how they work, what exactly they do their and what they provide. It is also essential that you get in contact with the placement yourself, either by writing them a letter, calling them on the phone or sending an e-mail, so you can ask them what they expect you to wear, what time you should arrive, what time you will finish, who your supervisor will be and if there is anything you will need to bring with you.
The placement should provide you with a copy of their rules and policies, when you start. However, if they don’t you should ask them for a copy as it is vital you read these. First impressions are very important, so on arrival at your placement it is important that you maintain a certain standard of behaviour, making sure you know how you will get to the placement and how long it will take you is a good start, so that you can ensure you will be punctual. Also making sure you are dressed smartly and well prepared. This shows the placement that you respect them, that you want to be there and that you are taking it seriously.
It is very important to give a good impression on placement, as this will help build their trust in you. First impressions also tend to stick in the mind and the impression you give could affect their view of you for the remainder of the time you spend there and how likely they would be to accept you for another placement there in future or even a job. D6 + D7 Having a variety of dolls, within a childcare setting, that show diversity, for example dolls with different coloured skin or dolls that are depicted with a disability, such as being in a wheelchair, is a good and easy way of catering to the individual children in your care.
For example, having a doll that resembles themself may help a child of a different race feel more relaxed and less out of place, in a setting, where perhaps there are very few or no other children of their race. Also this can help children begin to learn about diversity and get used to the fact that other people may look very different to themselves and may have disabilities. Another good way of showing the value of each individual is to show an awareness of different cultures within the setting. One way of doing this could be by teaching the children songs and dances from different countries.
The children can begin to learn from this that everyone likes to sing and dance, but different cultures have their own special ways of doing this. Also to expand on this activity you could also provide instruments from different countries for the children to experiment with as well or even ask parents if they have instruments that the children could bring in to listen to or try out. B2 + D8 It is important to always show a positive attitude to work while in a childcare setting and you can demonstrate this in many ways. ‘Always remember to say please and thank you even if you are in a rush,’ page 316 Child Care and Education, Penny Tassoni.
Saying please and thank you is an example of basic courtesy, you do not want to appear rude or ungrateful and so it is very important that you are careful to use proper manners anywhere you work. You should also always try to remain non-judgemental and not allow your own prejudices or personal feelings to influence how you treat your colleagues, the children and parents of the children. Showing that you respect the parents is also very important.
If you need to speak to a parent or a parent wishes to speak to you about something confidential, you should take them to the office or another room where it will be private, if at all possible, as this is a good way to show that you respect the parent. Teamwork, communication skills and showing some initiative are also very important. When given a task, always make sure you fully understand it and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure about anything, you should always ask for help when you need it. If you have a lot of tasks to complete, figure out which are the most essential and do those first before carrying out the less important tasks, this is one way to show your initiative.
You can also demonstrate a positive attitude through using positive, open body language and smiling, by doing this people will feel more comfortable around you and more able to approach you. A* There are three different learning styles, auditory, visual and kinaesthetic. Recognising your preferred learning style can be very useful in planning your studies and revising. For example, an auditory learner could benefit from listening to a recording of important points as they go to sleep, while a visual learner would probably benefit more from highlighting different key words in their notes.
I am predominantly a visual learner and there are many ways I could use this knowledge to aid in my learning. While taking notes during class for instance, I could draw diagrams and sketches that illustrate the topic and relate to specific paragraphs, which would make the information a lot easier to remember and would help find the key points quicker when revising. Also drawing flowcharts, where applicable, and using mind maps would be useful to help me study and would also be very valuable to revise from later on.
The visual journey or story technique could also be a good way to remember things for a visual learner, such as myself, as this technique links information you need to remember to a visual journey or story, which helps when trying to memorize something that you can’t necessarily ‘see. ’ It could also be useful for me to think about the way I layout my notes as the organization and layout of notes, could help to make them more visual and therefore easier to remember and revise from. D8 Bibliography Tassoni, Penny. 12th October 2000, Certificate in Childcare and Education, Heinemann 1st edition.
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