(C1) It is important for childcare practitioners to consider the individual care and learning needs of every child within their care, which will allow them to plan a challenging and enabling environment which supports all areas of learning and development. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) states that: “Every child is a unique child” and will therefore not always learn in the same way or at the same time. A child with special educational needs should have an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) to highlight their learning needs, for example a child with dyslexia may find it difficult to read worksheets in the classroom, the needs of the child can be facilitated by using coloured paper which will enable them to read the worksheets more comfortably. Children with medical needs will need to have an Individual Health Care Plan (IHP) in place; this will identify the level of medical support needed for the child within the setting. In the case of a child with diabetes it is important for the practitioner to know the details of the child’s insulin and the dosage requirements as well as understanding how and when to administer it to the child, this will reduce the likelihood of the child experiencing Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels) or Hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels). In the interest of supporting health and development, practitioners should plan in compliance with legislation and curriculum framework. The Children Act 2004 introduced the Every Child Matters programme; this influences practitioners to plan and provide care and activities which endorse the 5 outcomes: be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a Positive Contribution and achieve economic wellbeing. The ‘be healthy’ outcome is particularly important as is strives to promote healthy lifestyles in children, Practitioners need to consider the health of child when planning their care needs by ensuring that the children are eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, participating in regular exercise and getting any medical treatment they may need whilst attending the setting, for example a child with diabetes would need repeated insulin. (C2) Adequate planning is key to ensuring that children’s care and learning needs are met accordingly. A good approach to planning is to establish clear, concise routines; a regular routine plays a vital role in maintaining a positive learning environment as it, “enables children to reduce anxiety by knowing what is coming next” extension.org this will allow them to feel secure within the setting and therefore find it easier to enjoy and achieve. Planning a routine is an effective way to guarantee that all children’s basic needs, such as feeding, sleeping, hygiene and toileting, are taken care of as it enables practitioners to allocate time slots throughout the day to meet each specific need; meeting these needs is a vital part of children’s every day care and if they are not met the child’s health and wellbeing may suffer.
The learning needs of a child can be planned by using a Learning Journey, which is described by the EYFS as a “collection of different documents that provide a picture of a child’s development” choochoos.co.uk in specific areas of learning. Learning journeys are thought to be a holistic approach to planning a child's learning, as they consist of a portfolio of photos, the child's work and detailed observations, which allow the practitioner to accurately plan the child's 'Next Steps' in relation to their needs.
Care Plans are an effective way to meet a child's care needs. The purpose of the Care Plan is to set out long term objectives for the child and make arrangements for achieving these objectives. A child diagnosed with an attachment disorder, for example, may have a care plan which outlines the details of their disorder and indicates the course of action needed to be taken to support the child, this might be a referral to a child psychologist or arranging extra training...
Tassoni P (2007), Child Care and Education, 3rd Edition, Essex, Heinemann
Tassoni P Beith K Bulman K Eldridge H (2007) Child Care and Education 4th Edition Essex Heinemann
Pound L (2005) How Children Learn: Educational Theories and Approaches United Kingdom, Step Forward Publishing
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