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HNC-Childcare_CH01Working in an Early Education

HNC-Childcare_CH01Working in an Early Education

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07/15/2013

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In this chapter you will learn:
•
How appropriate skills are used to create a nurturing and stimulating learning and play environment
•
How to plan, organise and implement development and learning opportunities in an early education and childcare setting 
•
How reporting and recording supports the work o the early education and childcare practitioner
•
How other proessionals support the early education and childcare practitioner
•
How to evaluate your own contribution in creating a nurturing and proessional service orchildren
•
 Ways in which codes o practice inorm the work o the early education and childcarepractitioner Working with children is interesting andvaried. It is a job that requires careulplanning and preparation, personal skillsand attributes. These include skills o communication, problem-solving and theability to work with others. You will also nd you need to have the skills to organise andplan activities or children and to prepare andmanage the play environment or them.In this chapter you will learn about someo the practicalities o working in the early education and childcare sector. This willhelp you to develop the proessional skills you need to organise day-to-day experiencesor children in the setting you work in. You will learn about the importance o reporting and recording what young children do andhow this is used in planning appropriateexperiences to support their learning anddevelopment. The process o reporting andrecording will also be vital when you work  with other key proessionals such as teachers,educational psychologists, social workers andcommunity nurses.In Chapter 4 you will learn how to developplay-based activities or children, and withinormation rom this chapter you will beginto develop a clearer understanding o someo the key eatures o children’s learning anddevelopment and how you can contributeto supporting this. This will includeunderstanding what you can provide, how itcan be provided, why you should do this andthe type o important relationships that willbe involved in the process. When you work with children and withother team members, it is essential to be ableto stand back and evaluate what has goneon. This means thinking about the successeso the day and what might have been donedierently. This chapter will help youunderstand some o the subtleties o doing this and will support your understanding o  why it is important to be evaluative whenoering a proessional service to children. As an early education and childcarepractitioner in Scotland, you are part o aregulated workorce. This chapter will guide you through some o the key points aboutthe Scottish Social Services Council’s (SSSC)Codes o Practice (2003) and how they impacton the day-to-day work you do.
Introduction
HNC unit covered:
Unit DF4Y 34
Chapter 1
Working in an early educationand childcare setting
This sample chapter from Heinemann's HNC Early Education and Childcare student book (ISBN - 978 0 435401 01 6) has been downloaded fromwww.heinemann.co.uk/childcare.
 
HNC Early Education and Childcare
How appropriate skillsare used to create anurturing and stimulatinglearning and playenvironment
Early education and childcare practitionersquickly discover that working with children isn’tan easy option. It’s a job that requires knowledgeand understanding, with proessional values,skills and abilities, and personal commitment. When you put these together you achieveproessional action. It is through proessionalaction that the early education and childcarepractitioner provides an eective service orchildren and their amilies.Early education and childcare is an importantproession and you should never underestimatethe skills required to do the job.
Not all children are the same
Children are unique individuals and you shouldbe aware o how to work with a range o children with varying needs. This includes understanding that children will have dierent dispositions with dierent ways o playing and learning, andunderstanding what additional support a childmay need rom time to time. You will already be aware that some children may be quiteoutgoing while others are more introverted;some children preer to be alone while othersseek the company o peers. Some children will bevery tenacious and spend a lot o time trying tosolve a problem while others will give up easily. As an early education and childcare practitioner you should respect and value children as unique, whole individuals who have a right to participateand be consulted about what they want to doand how they like things done. You will learnmore about this in Chapter 2. Part o the skillso an early education and childcare practitionerinvolves supporting children’s play and learning as well as helping children who move quickly rom activity to activity to concentrate or longerperiods. This may mean sitting with a child andgently encouraging or posing questions thathelp the child to rethink or reconsider what heor she is doing. These strategies sometimes helpchildren to concentrate or longer. You may also nd some children avour only one type o play or stay or very long periods atone activity. As you become more experienced, you will learn to use your proessional judgementto decide whether this is unusual or undesirableor the child. You will learn techniques that help you gauge accurately the preerences o eachchild. This, in turn, will help you to plan activitiesthat are appropriate or each child’s age andstage o development.In Chapter 4 you will read about the type o experiences children should have in a setting,but it is useul to mention here that childrenshould have opportunities or play that is reely chosen and will help them to explore, observe,listen and talk, respond, think, experiment andbe active, among other skills.
Key term
Professional action
is the way you apply theknowledge and skills you have learned and theobservations you have made to the day-to-dayactions in your chosen proession. It combinesthe way in which you behave at work with yourproessional values and the knowledge andskills you have developed.
Activity
Working in small groups with others romyour class, consider the skills you have thatyou think will make you a good practitioner.Discuss these as a group and choose oneperson to list all the skills that everyone inyour group has.How do you think these skills can be used?Make a group poster o these skills thencompare the poster with others in the class.Are there similarities common to each group?
This sample chapter from Heinemann's HNC Early Education and Childcare student book (ISBN - 978 0 435401 01 6) has been downloaded fromwww.heinemann.co.uk/childcare.
 
 As an early education and childcarepractitioner you will have high expectations orall children and you will be committed to making sure they are provided with opportunities toachieve their ull potential. At some point in their lives, most children will have additional support needs.
 
These may be long-term needs such as a disability, or may be or the short term such as going into hospitalor a procedure. As an early education andchildcare practitioner, you will develop skills todeal with specic and additional support needsin the course o your day-to-day work. This couldinvolve the need to develop specialist skills incommunicating with children by alternativemethods. It could also involve researching a specialist area or bringing in a specialistpractitioner, such as a hospital play specialist totalk to and try to reassure a child.The Scottish Government’s
Skills or Scotland:  A Lielong Skills Strategy 
(2007) has identiedsome o the key skills needed by employers inall sectors as being ‘sot skills’. It describes theseskills as less denable but nevertheless essential.They are listed below.
•
Eective time management
•
Planning and organising 
•
Eective oral and written communicationskills
•
The ability to solve problems
•
The ability to undertake tasks or makesubmissions at short notice
•
The ability to work with others to achievecommon goals
•
The ability to think critically and creatively 
•
The ability to learn and continue learning 
•
The ability to take responsibility orproessional development
•
Having the skills to manage, or be managed,by others
Activity
Make a table similar to the one providedbelow. Fill in the type o play you might expectto see or each o the categories. You mightalso want to think about how you could extendthat play and what additional materials wouldhelp you to do this.
Type oplayDescribe whatyou haveobservedDescribe theway this wasextendedExploringObservationalListening;talking andrespondingThinkingExperimentingActive
Key term
Additional support needs
is dened by theEducation (Additional Support or Learning)(Scotland) Act (004).
3
Chapter 1
Working in an early education and childcare setting
The Act moved away rom a system thatnarrowly dened special educational needsto accepting that there is a broader spectrumo need that may be long term or short term.Examples might include: children who arebeing bullied; very able or ‘gited’ childrenwho have suered loss or have been identiedas abused; children with disabilities. Thereare dierent ways children with additionalsupport needs can be supported, includingproviding a coordinated support plan orthose children who have particularly complexneeds. You will learn more about this Actand about the ways children are supported inChapters 6 and 9. You may want to undertakeurther research on the Education (AdditionalSupport or Learning) (Scotland) Act (004)which can be accessed through the ScottishGovernment’s website )www.scotland.gov.uk)which also provides links to other useulsites to visit.
This sample chapter from Heinemann's HNC Early Education and Childcare student book (ISBN - 978 0 435401 01 6) has been downloaded fromwww.heinemann.co.uk/childcare.

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