The developing child in an early years setting.

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Amna Gul


At 4 years old children will make up their own games and play the way they want without help from adults. An example of this is role play. In my placement I saw that children would usually go to the role play area and make up their own scenarios. For example sometimes they would role play walking around with dolls and playing dress up. Whilst they are doing the role play they communicate with each other both verbally and non verbally. This can lead to the child becoming more confident within the class and with other children and staff.

Another milestone that children reach by four years is being able to communicate feelings and wishes. They are usually able to tell the practitioner how they feel whether they are happy or upset. This was commonly seen in placement as children would always tell the practitioners how they felt, e.g. a little girl who was quite excited at her new wellies that her mum brought her. She showed them to every staff member and friends.


At the age of five children are now more confident and secure. They usually have quite high self-esteem. Examples of independence that five year olds show can be dressing up. At this age children take great pride in getting themselves dressed. This is because they have the skills and independence to choose their own clothes.

At this age children usually have the skills to clean and tidy up effectively. Children at this age are usually asked by practitioners to help them tidy up and are given tasks such as wiping the tables. This can affect their social development because they will feel like grownups and so again their self – esteem and confidence will go up.


Practitioners observe children to help them assess the progress which children are making. Observations help practitioners to decide where children are in their learning and development and plan what to do.

One appropriate method of observing and recording the social development of children aged 5 years is the time sample. A time sample is a table which has 4 different columns e.g. time, activity, social group and comments. To save time the practitioner should draw the time sample table before hand so that while observing the practitioner doesn’t miss out anything important while drawing it then. The observation may last for 2 hours. Every 10 minutes the practitioner looks at what the child is doing and will note the details down in the table.

The one advantage of the time sample method is that it takes less time and effort compare to description observation. The one disadvantage is that the child might do something interesting or show some skills outside the 10 minute observation and the practitioner would not be able to record it on the table.

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D5+D7) There are many diverse needs that children and families face at the nursery. These can range from having Special Educational Needs to being a child that’s come over from another country. There are also many ways that a child’s social development can be effected, either by positive or negative influences. An example of a situation that will have a negative impact on the social development of a child is their parents getting divorced. This can have a negative impact on the child and their social development as the child may be stuck in a custody ...

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