The Child Centered Approach promotes the rights of the child to choose, communication and connect with others. It gives them a chance to think, explore and experience new things whilst questioning and discovering answers. This approach gives care practitioners the opportunity to watch how children develop through play instead of directing play themselves, this enables children to be more creative with play and enhance communication and social skills with each other. A child is more able to work and play independently and have a say in the activities they wish to take part in. All children can access the curriculum at their own level. The curriculum is not dependent on the child fitting the system but the system fitting the child. The importance of a child-centered approach is that it looks at the individual needs for each child and work towards meeting each need. Some children have difficulty learning skills at the same rate as the other children, they could be more advanced or slightly behind, these children’s needs are recognized and catered for in 1:1 sessions to help them achieve their individual goals. Some children are given an individual education plan (IEP), which aims to achieve skills in a set time frame with support from their peers. Children given an IEP include children with: * learning disabilities
* attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
* emotional disorders
* cognitive challenges
* hearing impairment
* visual impairment
* speech or language impairment
* developmental delay
The Reggio Approach is based on the image of the child ‘Image of the child’ where they are believed to be ‘rich in potential, strong, powerful, competent and most of all connected to adults and children.’ (Loris Malaguzzi) The image of the child support the learning and teaching that takes place with a school, children are seen as having unlimited potential to interact with others and contribute to their community they live in and the world. This approach focuses on children’s early years development as a stage in which we can observe, interact and learn from.
At my work placement they use the child-centered approach in all different ways one example of this would be in the toddler room there is a child who is developing at a slow rate compared to the other children. This child is given a 1:1 session every Monday and Friday where a care practitioner sits with her and helps them with their skills and development in order to interact with the other children.