Unit 8: Caring for Children

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The role of the practitioner is not just about keeping children safe and happy; it is about helping them develop to meet their full potential. It is essential that practitioners are able to observe and assess the children's progress to inform plans and report back to parents and other professionals. (archive.excellencegateway.org.uk - 28/11/12 Appendix 1) As a childcare practitioner it is important to have an understanding of child development and have the appropriate training in order to meet the individual needs of the children. By understanding child develop practitioners will understand which activities will help children to develop as well as supporting them in doing this. It is important to meet their day to day needs such as feeding, toileting and play. (Tassoni, P 2007) Having the appropriate training and knowledge enables practitioners to be in control and manage situations that arise. Training ensures practitioners are confident, capable, can analyse and plan what needs to be done in meeting the needs of children. (www.niched.org – 10/01/2013 Appendix 2) Children's needs are met in my placement as there is a lunch and break period implemented into the timetable. This is an opportunity for children to have something to eat and play in the playground. Children are supported while doing activities either by adapting the activity to meet their needs or having a classroom assistant present to give them extra support. As a childcare practitioner there is a responsibility to work according to the principles of the sector and codes of confidentiality. According to Tassoni. P, Beith. K, Bulman. K, Eldridge. H (2007) "these principals are influenced by the UNCRC and are designed to ensure that every child has the right to quality care and education.” (Appendix 3) Examples of these principals would be keeping children safe, working in partnership with parents and other professionals and equality of opportunity. These principals allow children to feel safe and happy within the environment. Working according to these principals ensures that all children are cared for to the highest standard. Maintaining confidentiality is important as it safeguards children and their families. Therefore all documents relating to a child must be kept out of reach of unauthorised people. It is important that there is a secure computer system and that any meetings taking place are in private. Partnership with parents is an integral part of good early years practice. According to O’Hagan (2001) “childcare workers need to work in partnership with parents or the child’s primary care giver in order to ensure that all the child’s needs are met. This requires the child care worker to have an understanding of family life and should be able to build the parent’s confidence by ensuring that they know that the child is safe in their care.” (Appendix 4) Practitioners need to help build the parents confidence by ensuring that they know that the child is safe in their care. In placement this is done by having an open door policy so that parents can speak to their child's teacher at any time, a homework letter is sent home each week informing parents of what topics will be covered that week, school reports are sent home, parents are invited to school assemblies, a newsletter is sent home each month informing parents of what is happening during that month in school and parent teacher interviews are held so that the teacher can discuss the child’s progress with the parents. As well as working in partnership with parents it is essential that practitioners work with other professionals as part of their role. This is known as the multi-agency approach, which brings practitioners from different professions together such as a social worker or a speech and language therapist in order to support children. It ensures that children who need additional support have the right professionals to support them. (www.education.gov.uk - 28/11/12 Appendix 5) It is...
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