Early Years

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E 100 The early Years: developing practice

Myself, my setting and my learning.

Part 1.

Modern days feature incredible modification to the term and understanding of who are the early years professional. The maturation in development and opportunities o professional progression for early year`s practitioner’s has increased dramatically if compared to the beginning of this century (Reader 1, Chapter 3, page 33). As we are talking about our children, their happiness and their education and our future, then it is clear that this progress has been vital and invaluable.

The decade`s long research and studies into childhood and children has been identified as essential in understanding of their development and became established as guidelines in the Early Years Foundation Stage by government. This studies and research are originally based on a range of scientific and psychological studies dating back over 200 years by many of the established key theorists, for example: Arnold Gessell (1880-1961), Jean Piaget (1896-1980). They confirm that the first 5 years of child`s life is fundamentally important for overall development of any and all children. That these first years are the years that will form the future adult. [KU3][CS1][KS2]

In this essay I will attempt to present and discuss myself and my own practice, reflect upon my own professional development and learning to date.

My place of work is based in a purpose build Children Centre that split into two levels. Centre provides the local community and area with a full time nursery for children under age of 5 and offers a wide-ranging service to the children and families. Aims of the Centre is to work together with parents, professionals and other agencies to improve the lives of children and their families by implementing Every Child Matter program (DCSF 2003) and Sure Start initiatives (DCSF 1998).[KU3]

I am currently working as an extended services crèche worker in the Respite Crèche for children and their families referred by Family Support team. Respite Crèche I a ‘break or time off’ service for parents who have challenges in caring for children as a result of ill health, depression, domestic violence or special needs. I am also managing daily crèches and drop-ins with variety of activities such as music, baby massage, parent’s drop-in, messy play and a whole host of other activities for the families. I am currently working as part of a 6 people’s team with qualifications ranging from student on practice placement to the level 4 early years worker. Apart from the respite crèche, I am also helping to provide crèche sessions for the families that attend adult learning and parenting classes.

Every one of these sessions tends to be no longer than 3 hours. Never less they do create an enormous satisfaction and pleasure to me and my colleagues when I get the perception of the job well done, when I get a ‘thank you’ from the parents, and at the end of the program seeing not only the parent with better employment prospects, job skills and enhanced self-esteem but most importantly children with improved behaviour, better speech, development and possibly greater prospects in life. [CS3][CS2][KS4][KS5]

As Children Centre staff I am required to follow very closely Early Years Foundation Stage standards (DCSF 2008) in our setting, including when we do long or short term planning and delivering intended or unintended curriculum. [KU3]It is much more complicated and difficult to approach than in a nursery setting as most of children that attend usually display behaviour and attendance issues and do not spend that much time with us as I would like to.

According to the latest guidelines on the Early Years Foundation Stage requirements (DCSF 2008) and policies from Ofsted:

“…play work principles can work alongside the EYFS requirements,…, to identify and build on children`s interests”. (Nursery World, article by Katy Morton, page 9)

I do try to...
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