Discuss the Skills and Attitudes to Working with Children, Young People and Families

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Discuss the skills and attitudes required to work with children, young people and families
In this essay I will be researching policies, frameworks and reports that have highlighted skills and attitudes required to work with children, young people and families. I will also look at government documents such as EPPE, Common Core Framework and Every Child Matters. From my research I will discuss my findings and go on to include some personal opinions and reflection of my experience within settings.

In section one I will define skills and attitudes and explain how they are relevant to practice and discuss why they are important. In section two I will present my research and explain their relevance. In the final section I shall review everything I have discussed and conclude my findings.

A skill is ‘the ability to do something well.’
An attitude is ‘a settled way of thinking or feeling of something.’
The Oxford English Dictionary (1989) Vol. 3, Oxford: Clarendon Press. A wide range of skills, knowledge and a positive attitude are all vitally important as a practitioner working with children, young people and families. The job can be challenging at times and a certain type of personality is needed to do the job well. Patience, empathy, confidence and good communication skills play a huge part in the job role.

The Cathy Nutbrown report ‘Foundation for quality: the independent review of early education and childcare qualifications (2012)’ reviews the Early Years sector as Nutbrown was concerned the current qualification system is not equipping practitioners with the current knowledge, understand and skills that are needed to work with children, young people and families. Nutbrown is very keen on every practitioner in the Early Years sector having at least a level 3 qualification and also to have a high level of training, this is where she recommends the idea of practice placements for all newly qualified staff. Nutbrown also identifies a number of skills and attitudes that all practitioners should have to do their job well. She believes that a good practitioner should have a strong professional identity, be confident, take pride in their work and be recognised and valued by children, parents and other professionals. ‘In my vision for the early years sector, pedagogical leaders are those practitioners who have extensive knowledge and understanding of child development, of play, of individual needs of children and their families and how to support them all. They are experts in their field. They know how to develop children’s interests and plan to extend their learning and apply this expertise to everyday practice. They share it with the other practitioners to ensure every child is receiving care that is warm and welcoming and supports their physical, cognitive, social and emotional development and learning’ (Nutbrown, 2012).

Alternatively is Angela Rumbold’s report which identifies some very similar skills and attitudes. The Rumbold Report (1990) was written to consider the quality of the education experience which is offered to five year olds and under. It gave particular interest to progression of learning and also the National Curriculum. The Rumbold Report (1990) recommends a number of skills and attitudes to aid practitioners when working with children. The skills and attitudes that appeared in both reports were the genuine liking and sensitivity towards children and the readiness to value them as people in their own right, respect and appreciation for colleagues, parents and other professionals and to have high expectations of children and self. The skills highlighted in The Rumbold Report (1990) which also came up in the Nutbrown report were good organisational skills, good observational and monitoring skills, the ability to facilitate the provision of equal opportunities and good management and leadership skills. Additionally is the government documentation: Common Core of skills and knowledge for...
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