The Government have enforced legislative documents through national frameworks, such as the Children’s Act 2004 which stimulated the development of the Every Child Matters 2006 legislation, which then led to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2007(for the young children). These pieces of legislation have forced all child care professionals to consider every child individually to ensure inclusion resulting in a holistic approach. For example every child has a right to stay safe, to participate, economic well-being, to enjoy and achieve and be healthy. DCSF, 27th March 2010, www. dcsf. gov. uk) All childcare providers should, (while working with the frame works and in a holistic manner, have an awareness of anti –bias/anti-discriminatory practice. “Anti-bias/anti-discriminatory practice is free from stereotypical assumptions and conjecture. ” (Sheila Riddall-Leech 2006). The frameworks mentioned help to stop bias and discrimination as they assist you as they look at all aspects of the person not just one area. As a childcare professional looking at a child’s life e. g. here they live, you are required not to stereotype children (they live in a run down area so they must be financially restricted or they are developmentally delayed). Your perception of the child may not be a true representation. The frameworks help assess and view the children as a whole not the stereotypical narrow view society may have. (b) Explain why careful planning is required to provide for mixed age groups of children. “In order to work effectively and efficiently you need to plan your day and your working week. ” (Sheila Riddall-Leech 2006) Planning is organising, preparing and making arrangements e. . activities and routines for the children you care for. As a childcare practitioner planning your day, week or a child’s routine is an integral part of your work but it can be done in many different ways e. g. written or thought. Most childcare plans show short, medium and long term targets for the children and should also include their family at times. They should also set out time frames in which to meet the goals. The plans should also follow some key aspects of learning; play, first-hand experiences and talking/communication with one another/parents and other close adults.
Careful consideration is needed when planning for mixed age groups to ensure that the children’s needs are met, inclusion of all children, and to provide a holistic approach to the care of the children. As a childcare practitioner it is important to think about the different support each child will need and how you can give that support to the children when planning, so (when the activities happens) no child will be excluded from the activities. At times it is important to plan different activities for the different age groups to help the children’s learning and understanding processes.
Careful planning can highlight actual and potential problems for example Risks link with the activities, each child’s understanding/developmental stage and any other issues that you may have forgotten e. g. allergy or health issues the children may have which may restrict some children. Planning should also involve thought into the child’s enjoyment and pleasure of the activities as this encourages positive self-esteem, self-confidence which ought to give the child a sense of achievement, that they have learnt something, or used/gained a practical skill. c) Evaluate the importance of play in children’s learning. There are several things that help a child to develop and learn to their full potential. “Play is one of the most important ways that children learn. Some people think that children play naturally, but in fact they learn how to play. ” (Sheila Riddall-Leech 2006) It is importance to allow children to play, as it can be a time for trying things out and experiencing things first hand, all important for learning and developing. One of the greatest attributes of play is the opportunities it affords for learning to live with not knowing: we all learn more effectively through trial and error, and play is a non-threatening way to cope with new learning and still retain self-esteem and self-image. ” (NICHED National Institute of Childcare and Education, 7th April 2010, www. niched. org/importance_of_play. html) Play can be the use of imagination, exploring, and interaction and should be fun for children. Through play children explore social, material and imaginary worlds and their purpose/relationship within them.
They also learn to be adaptable with their responses to the challenges they encounter. Play can be provided by many different environments not just play areas, but also within everyday things such as, the home, garden, beach, woods, parks, countryside. Most things in everyday life can assist in a Childs learning and can be turned into a form of play (game) e. g. counting the steps you take from A to B or when you go shopping, playing eye spy with the shopping list. During play children learn and develop essential life skills about relationship and the environment they are in, this helps to build self-esteem and confidence.
The simple thing in early child hood such as playing with letters, numbers and shapes, encourage children to develop intellectually and socially. These skills in turn can help children to do better at school and can ultimately lead to greater employment opportunities. Research has shown that without play to help develop these essential skill children tend to have difficulty in forming healthy relationships leading to isolation and can in turn also course socially unacceptable behaviour. “Play is therefore essential for children’s development and learning. ” (NICHED National Institute of Childcare and Education, 7th April 2010, www. iched. org/importance_of_play. html) Bibliography DCSF 2010, Department for children, schools and families, Welcome, viewed 27th march 2010, www. dcsf. gov. uk National Extension College Trusts Ltd (2006) Diploma in Home-based Childcare: Unit 2, Childcare and Child Development (0-16) in the Home-based Setting. National Extension College Trust Ltd NICHED 2010, NICHED National Institute of Childcare and Education, The Importance of play, viewed 7th April 2010, www. niched. org/importance_of_play. html Sheila Riddall-Leech (2006) Diploma in Home-based childcare for childminders and nannies Heinemann