An Introduction to Working with Children
The first type of setting I’m going to choose is a Speech and Language therapist, this is a statutory provision. This is a service which has to be available by law. Speech and Language therapist help children who have trouble with their speech, if a practitioner feels that the child doesn’t speak a lot for their age comparing to the norm of children around them then they will contact this setting who will then come round and help the child develop their speech. Not only do they help with speech but if there is baby who has difficulties in swallowing and feeding then the Speech and Language therapist will help for that occasion to.
They visit all types of setting such as schools, day nurseries and children’s centres so that the child can develop their speech but at the same time stay in their setting. This setting aims to support families and children by helping the family to find different ways in which they can communicate with their child, they will also provide the family with ideas on how they can improve the speech of their child or give them new feeding techniques for babies. For a private provision I am going to choose a Jersey GP, this is a profit making setting. GP’s in jersey are paid for there are several different GP companies and they are all private.
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On occasions they will do home visits but it is most common to go up to the setting and visit your GP. Each family or person will have a GP which they would have been with for years and that is known as a family GP. A GP supports children and their families when they are ill and will provide them with medication or even if they have any concerns about their child the GP will help them out and sometimes put them through to another service if needed like the hospital. A voluntary provision would be a youth club; voluntary provisions are services which get their money from charities, donations from publics and grants from the government.
Youth clubs are usually on in the afternoon and it gives children time to get together and enjoy themselves by playing games or just a chance to socialise with different people. They tend to provide snacks and drinks for children and do group activities. It gives their parents time to relax or do important things without worrying about what to do for the children. The main legislation in my country which is used to support the rights of children is the Children (Jersey) law 2002. This legislation supports the rights of children right up to the age of 18 years. This law was put in place to protect the children and their rights.
It contains information and laws about care and provision for children. It also contains information the parental responsibility over a child, the welfare of a child. Here are a few things that Jersey children’s law look at in children within that age range- “-Looked after children -Care and supervision -Protection of children -Employment of children -Care homes and fostering -Supervision orders” H. Davies (17th October 2011) Class handout This law also gives us laws which protect children whilst they are in care and gives us a lot of information about contact with children whilst they are in care.
Jersey also follows another programme which is every child matters. This programme is to make sure every child is treated fairly no matter what background they have, how rich or poor they are or how capable they are due to disabilities. This programme will make sure that the child and the family gets support and makes sure that they stay safe, healthy and make sure that no matter what they are happy. It is important that this programme is in place because we want to look after and support children and make sure the community works together to achieve this for children.
The EYFS is the recognised framework which underpins the values and principles of working with young children. The EYFS is a quality framework which supports children’s learning and development from Birth to 5 years. The EYFS have four main themes which put the principles into practice are as followed “A Unique Child- Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured. ” It is important that you value each child as an individual because every child has their own needs which should be met by any person who is working with children. Positive Relationships- Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and or a key person. ” Not only does the child have to have a positive relationship with the people around them but it is also important that the child’s key worker has a positive relationship with parents, they need to have effective communication so that the child can develop at the right age and stage.
“Enabling Environments- The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning. The child’s environment should have equipment which gives them a chance to explore their environment and take risks. Having an environment with different learning equipment will help the child to develop and will extend the child’s learning. “Learning and Development- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and inter-connected. ” Every child has the right to learn all the areas which are essential, even if it takes a child longer to learn a certain topic they should still be given the time to complete the same areas as other children in their class. ttp://www. bracknell-forest. gov. uk/early-years-foundation-stage. pdf (28th October 2011) Each one of these principles is supported by commitments which describe how the principle can be put into practice. When valuing and respecting each child as individual you have to not just respect their culture but their family, language, beliefs and care needs. For an example if a child has to have something sugary to drink at a certain time of the day because of their care needs then as a practitioner you should make sure that you meet the child’s needs and respect them.
Inclusiveness not only relates to the child but to the child’s family as well, it is when the needs of children and their families are met. It also can relate to children with special needs or disabilities. Valuing each child is not hard to do, children like to feel that they are valued by the adults which are around them. Listening to a child’s ideas, interests and acknowledging their efforts properly will make them feel valued as an individual. No matter how little the news is the child gives you, you must always listen to their fears and concerns.
When respecting children favouritism must not occur, each child and family should be treated with equal respect and concerns. To be a professional key worker you need certain skills which help you to work with children in the correct manor. Not only do the skills help you to work with children but they also help you to work colleagues around you which are essential when working with children. The three skills I have chosen are skills which I think are required by practitioners: *Communication- In my opinion I think communication is one of the most important things which I think practitioners should be good at.
Not only to children but to colleagues and the parents of the children. It is important that parents know how their child is progressing because if the child needs extra support the parents can help by taking their education further and doing extra work at home to help their child. If a child has an accident it is important that the parents know because they will be worried if they get home and realise that their child has a cut up their arm but there is no explanation for the cut. Attendance- If a practitioner has good attendance then they can keep on track of their planning make sure they follow their planning and make sure that the children are developing to the right to the right age and stage. If they are always off then supply teachers will have to come in cover work will have to be done at the last minute and the cover teacher won’t know what each child is capable of and won’t be able to tell if the child is developing and could even end up pushing the children to do work which they are not capable of.
Even if the teacher is their but is late to lessons then children will go into their classroom where there is no teachers and a teaching assistant or a key worker from another room will have to leave their classroom to go and cover the teacher who is late. *Confidentiality- Well this is the most important skill which every person who works with children should be aware of and obey. If the practitioner doesn’t have this skill then it could put a child’s life at risk and the child’s family too.
It is important that everything you know about a child stays with you unless it has to be taken further, but you don’t tell anybody like friends you will tell the correct person which will most likely be a supervisor or head teacher. The study skills which I think will support my learning through my training are- *Time management- It is important that I keep on top of my time management if I want to succeed during my training. I have a table which sets out days for me to study so that I can meet deadlines without it being on top of the last minute.
If I stay on top of my time management then I will have all assignments handed in on time and will get time to improve them and that will lead to me being successful. *Group work- This is the best way that I can remember things because if I’m just sat down listening to somebody talk to me with a lot of information I can’t take it in, I will take down some notes but doing group work is better for me because you can talk to other people who are in the same situation as you (students) and help them out if they are struggling to understand and also I can get help off other students.
Another reason why I prefer group work is because being sat down for 2 hours can be borrowing especially if you just have somebody talking to you for the whole time being in groups give you a chance to move around and work with other people but even better create things instead of just writing down paragraphs. As a practitioner their most important job is to have a positive ongoing relationship with every child’s parents.
This isn’t just to be nice, this will benefit the child, if a child is really struggling in a certain subject for example numeracy then the practitioner can communicate with the parents and give them ideas on how they can help the child develop their understanding of numbers at home not just at their setting. It is good to have appropriate relationships with parents because it makes them feel that you value their child and they can build confidence with you and should be able to feel as if you are listening to what they are saying and taking it on board.
If you have a child who is your friends child you should keep a professional attitude to them, you must not treat that parent any different to the others and maintain professional skills when communicating with them, practitioner should try to avoid personal relationships but very rarely it will happen when a personal relationship is involved in the setting. If you don’t have an appropriate relationship with parents then the child’s needs will not be met.
It is just as important to have relationships with other professionals because sometimes a child’s needs cannot be met by just their class teacher or key worker, it may be that a child has speech difficulty which means practitioner will have to communicate to a speech therapist so that the child’s need’s can be met. On some occasions it will help to communicate with other professionals within the setting, it may be that you need one to one time with a child to make sure they are meeting their learning milestones, another professional in the setting could do the one to ne time with the child or the professional could cover the class teacher while the teacher has one to one time with the child so that their needs are met. Multi-agency teams are professionals which work together to support and meet children’s needs if a child’s need’s has to be met. They are professionals who communicate with children for any reason for the child’s benefit. The teams must encourage each other, praise other teams and support one another, this will help the agencies to work together effectively with confidence.
The multi-agency teams should share the needs of the child so that it is not an individual job it is a team job. CAF is a shared assessment and planning framework which all agencies who work with children can use. The aim of it is to help the early identification of a child’s additional needs and promote co-ordinated service provision to meet them. CAF is a standard approach to conduct the child’s additional and decides how the needs of that child are met. The multi-agency teams have access to CAF(common assessment framework), this is a form which each individual child has, it has every detail of the child and their family.
The TAC (Team Around the Child) is the multi-agency group which is set up once the child’s needs has been assessed. This joins up all the professionals from different agencies to provide support for the child. It is important that the family and the child or young person is involved in the TAC process. Children know when they are being listened to by body language, if they are not listened to then their self-esteem will go down because they will feel as if what they are saying isn’t important and doesn’t need to be heard.
You can never guess what a child is going to say to you so it is always important to listen, a child could be trying to tell you something serious to do with their home life and if you’re not paying attention then you could be leaving that child at risk. Listening to their views can help with planning, they can tell you what they like and dislike and then you can educate them in their preferred learning style. Listening to children’s views and valuing them will give them more confidence in their daily outines and in the activities they take part in. It is known that if children are involved in the planning and are allowed to have their say they will feel a sense off achievement because they will start to notice that their opinion was the source of their success. As part of my role I should be aware of my limits and boundaries. The four most important areas when thinking about my role and the boundaries of it are- Managing children’s behaviour- I should be aware of the settings policy on how they manage children’s behaviour.
There is a careful way balancing between playing with children and encouraging them to be over-excited and distracting them when they are meant to be focussing on their activity. It is important that you see how other members of staff manage children’s behaviour and notice the ‘rules’ they use. Health and Safety- Making sure children are safe is every ones responsibility, as a practitioner you should find out about your role in this as soon as you can. When spotting a Health and Safety issue as a practitioner I should know who to report the safety issue to or who to report to if a child has an injury.
Being aware of the settings policy on hygiene is also part of Health and Safety, knowing what to wear and certain equipment you have to use for activities, gloves, tie hair back or resources. Confidentiality- Being in different settings you will find out a lot of information about children which must not be discussed with friends or anyone outside of the setting. If the information is easy to find then it is not confidential but if the information you find out is linked through working in the setting and involves names of children or problems that occur in the family and personal staff information.
Child Protection- As a practitioner it is important that you are aware how to keep children safe from abuse. Every setting will have a child protection policy, you will need to know how to sign into the setting when you enter. Settings can insist that you are not left alone with children, this is not just for the protection of the child but also your protection as a practitioner. You have to be careful on how much physical contact you give a child. When you start a placement you should find out who to go to if a child tells you something that may point to abuse.
Practitioners need to understand their role so that they don’t breach confidentiality, it could put the child in danger and their family. If they are aware of the settings policies and procedures then they will be aware of what they can and can’t do. Being aware of the policies and procedures will make you feel safer as a practitioner because you won’t always be worrying whether you have done something wrong. Child centred approach is ensuring that children’s interests are always reflected in what they do.
Children should participate in discussions about their learning and make sure that they are provided with the resources they need so that they can develop to their full potential. “To ensure the practice is child-centred and that the adult leads the child appropriate, it is important to acknowledge that learning is an internal process in each child which is seen when a child increases their skills, confidence or knowledge. It is then that the adult can be assured that they have kept the child at the centre of their learning and have led the child appropriately. (Tassoni, 2007, p234) If a practitioner responds to each child individually then their practice is child-centred, to make sure the practitioner is child centred they need to make sure their role involves these- Interaction with children Provide appropriate resources for appropriate child Make sure the resources are accessible Observe the child, then plan for the child then reflect on the child’s learning. When appropriate practitioners should communicate with children to extend their learning .
Communicating with children to extend their learning can involve different methods in the way the child is approached this is a way in which children can learn by interacting- *prompt questions, if a child is doing role play as a practitioner you can ask questions about who they are, what their acting out and the different characters which the role play will involve. This will extend the child’s knowledge and get them thinking about the answers to the questions. The importance of child-centres approach is to make sure the child is valued before anyone else.
It builds the child’s self-esteem and brings the child closer to the curriculum; this will ensure that children will learn because they are doing it how they enjoy to. The heart of the Reggio system is the powerful image of the child, the Reggio educators don’t see the children as empty vessels that require filling with facts. They see children as full of potential and are capable of building their own theories. They recognize the rights of children and expand their potential, they place great value on their ability to socialize, and satisfying their needs to learn.
Reggio Emilia is a school in Italy which places creativity at the centre of children’s learning, and encourages observations and the importance of them. The Reggio approach is based on children as competent, creative learners who discover in collaboration with adults and other children therefore social learning is important. “The approach is a complex system that respects and puts into practice many of the fundamental aspects of the word of Dewey, Piaget, and Vygotsky and many others. http://www. reggiokids. com/about/about_approach. php At my placement I always see child centred approach, each child has their own reflective journal, and the teacher takes pictures of the children doing their activities and sticks it in their reflective journal in date order and leaves a comment on how well the child has done. Pictures are taken every day of the week and put in a folder then on a Friday it gets stuck into their journal with description.
For the journal the teacher has interaction with each child as an individual and every child gets this. At my placement the resources are easy to access they are in boxes on the floor round the class room or in trays on shelves which the children can reach. Any child who has difficulty will have resources to support them for example if a child has a difficulty in holding a pencil correctly then my setting has pencil grips and thicker pencils which makes it easier for the child to hold and write with.