Unit 2 the Developing Child

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This assignment looks at observing children, every day care routines and how the child’s social development can affect them. During the pre and early school years, children’s motor skills and social development change dramatically. Practitioners need to be able to recognise the pattern of development that children go through, right from birth up to 16 as these are the years that children develop their personalities, any disabilities will come to light and the basic foundations of the child’s identity will form. Every child will go through milestones at some point in their lives, although these may be at different times as every child learns and develops at different rates. By having an understanding of children’s development from birth to sixteen, practitioners can create a nurturing and healthy environment which will enable children to get the most out of life and learning. If for some reason a child is really behind in hitting a certain milestone or not developing as they should then practitioners can question why and then if needed they can put in extra support such as extra help from a teacher or they may need to refer the child onto other agencies for instance speech therapy if there is a problem with speech. All children will learn to sit up, crawl, walk, talk eventually at their own pace. Practitioners use guidelines to measure milestones and below are two examples of what the guidelines are for a 4 year old and 5 year olds expected development. There are no vast differences for these age groups.


Children at the ages of 4/5 are becoming increasingly independent, they can play with other children and they are learning about why they need rules. They are getting better at communicating their needs and frustrations therefore us as practitioners can understand what the children’s needs are.


We can help develop these new skills by providing stimulating tasks which in turn will help the children gain in confidence, we can also promote independence by giving them small tasks like putting out equipment that will be needed for the day on the tables or sending them with the register box to the office. Praising the children will also encourage them to try these tasks again building on their new found skills

All methods of observation must be carried out on a regular basis according to the settings guidelines. They must also be stored correctly to the usual confidentiality guidelines and only those with authorised access can read them. They should cover all aspects of development according to age including communication and language skills. Carrying out observations can highlight children’s strengths and identify any concerns that may come up. This can then help practitioners plan for further activities and plan future goals for the children and enable the practitioner to encourage the children’s development.

A method of collecting such data could be a checklist or tick chart. Permission needs to be got from the parent/carer and no information that may give the child’s identity must be put on the form. A sheet is made up with a list of tasks or skills that the child is expected to then the tasks are ticked off when completed. Below is an example of a basic tick chart

|Child........................ |Date of observation..... | | | |Observer....................... |Time.................... | |Age of child............... | | | |ACTIVITY |YES |NO |COMMENTS | |Can cut with scissors | | | | |Can turn pages...
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