Early Years Setting. This report is based on the wellbeing of children in my care experiencing the process of transitions. I have decided to maintain this focus on the emotional side of the aspect as the children and parents in my care seem to be finding
E105 Statement of ethical consideration
In this TMA I have only used material from the setting identified on my Agreement with Confirmer Form. I therefore confirm that I have authorisation from my manager and that I am meeting the requirements stated in the assessment guide for E105 (page 16). When relating to personal experiences in my assignment I will change names to ensure confidentiality is maintained.
This report is based on the wellbeing of children in my care experiencing the process of transitions. I have decided to maintain this focus on the emotional side of the aspect as the children and parents in my care seem to be finding this difficult. I have analysed three documents to discover exactly how I promote children’s health and wellbeing when in my practice these are; ‘a summary of the rights under the convention rights of the child’ (unicef), EYFS Effective practice Health and Wellbeing and my own settings safeguarding policy. The action that I recommend is to work more effectively with parents/carers to build good working relationships.
I work in a private day nursery setting full time. The nursery is registered for 71 children and offers full day care for local families in a slightly disadvantaged area. The room I am based in is the baby room and help to take care of babies from 6 weeks – 15months. My role within the nursery is an early year’s practitioner. My responsibilities include being a key person, planning and carrying out activities and being a mentor to students. In this assignment I am going to discuss the overall wellbeing of children in my care considering their physical, emotional and social needs. To do this I am going to analyse documents to discover more about my practice in relation to children’s wellbeing considering their provision rights, protection and prevention rights and participation rights. I have also devised a key question to help enable me to reflect on my personal practice, “How do I support babies health and wellbeing throughout the transition process to ensure that they continue to reach their full potential?” My reason for maintaining my focus on transitions is because I currently have 3 babies undergoing this process which involves one child starting nursery and two children moving into the toddler room.
My focus group and issues affecting their wellbeing
The world health organization describes health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (The OU, 2010, Block 4, page 99). I believe I promote this in my setting by providing the building blocks for health which consist of “independence, self-esteem and wellbeing, social contacts, stimulation and a safe place to play, medical care, security, love and affection, cleanliness, balanced diet, water, fresh air, warmth and exercise, rest and sleep, protection from infection and injury” (The OU, 2009, Study Topic 5, page 112) If any one of these blocks wasn’t in place it could cause a severe impact on children’s learning and development. (KU1)
I believe that considering transitions is an important aspect with regards to children’s health and wellbeing as all children will experience it at some point in their lives. When children experience this process some find it quite emotional and it can cause distress and therefore produce psychological difficulties and may result in behavioral problems.
Critical review of my practice arising from my investigation
The focus of my investigation is how I support the babies emotional health and wellbeing with regards to transitions. My aim is to discover children’s rights relating to this situation thinking about their safety and promoting positive relationships with babies and also their parents.
To help enable me to review my practice I have analysed three documents, Effective practice: health and wellbeing (appendix 1),(KS2) A summary of the rights under the convention rights of the child (appendix 2) and my own settings safeguarding policy (appendix 3). (PP1) My reason for choosing these documents is because they consist of external documentation and also internal ‘official’ documentation which has given me an opportunity to explore how they link together to benefit the needs of babies and children supporting their wellbeing.
This is a preview of the whole essay
I decided to use two different methods of analysing, collecting quantitative data (appendix 1) and using purposeful questions (appendix 2 & 3) (CS3)I did this to find out which method was best in gaining information relating to my key question. I discovered that by asking purposeful questions and using the document analysis table from activity 4.6 was the most effective way of gaining information as I knew what I was looking for and found the answers by reading through the documents then thinking about my practice writing my own comments along the side.
My findings in relation to the wellbeing of children experiencing transitions
Bowlby’s attachment theory suggests that “babies and young children have a predisposition to stay close to their care givers. So a child sees separation as a threat and tries to prevent this from happening.” (The OU, 2009, Study Topic 7, page 19).(CS1) When thinking about my practice I can relate to this as one child in my care has recently started the settling in process and is reluctant to come to me in the mornings and gets upset as the parent leaves. This is also upsetting for the parent as they have admitted. Another child also seems to be finding the transition of moving to a new room quite difficult and a third child’s parents seem to be a little concerned about the move into toddler room as they speak English as an additional language therefore a communication barrier is in place. “Dowling has emphasized the need for practitioners to be proactive in supporting children during periods of transition rather than waiting until children show obvious signs of distress” (Browne, 2010, page 94) I completely agree with this and promote the process of transitions by introducing any new children to the setting with their parents on visits and provide welcome packs having informal conversations. When a baby is moving into toddler room I introduce the parents to the staff and provide a welcome pack for that room allowing the babies to have visits before the transition.
Although the document in appendix 1 doesn’t mention children’s rights it stresses the importance of children’s needs and suggests “Each child needs to feel they matter to someone who is special to them and with whom they have formed an attachment, so that they have a loving, secure relationship. Babies and young children learn to feel good about themselves when they feel secure and valued.” (DFES 2007) I feel I do promote this in my practice by engaging in a key person system this helps to enable children to build up a sense of security and develop a sense of belonging.
In appendix 2 the convention rights of the child which applies to all children, I have talked about article 13, freedom of expression. I have realised I promote this in my practice not only by offering choice allowing the babies to make their own decisions but by also creating a listening ethos through regular observations and encouraging participation. This is known as ‘the mosaic approach’ “Dahlberg and Moss propose that the processes of active listening, reflecting, discussing and interpreting can contribute to ethical practices” (Wood, 2010, page 213). By doing this enables children to feel valued and builds up their confidence and self esteem.
Through analysing my settings safeguarding policy which can be seen in appendix 3 (KU4)I feel that I promote children’s wellbeing in many ways such as keeping them safe, protecting and preventing them from harm, working together as a team and providing a safe secure environment. Safeguarding was one of the five outcomes in ‘Every Child Matters’ (DfES, 2003) and this was made law by the Children’s Act 2004 (HM Government, 2004).(KU2) By safeguarding and promoting children’s wellbeing I am developing my practice continuously as these policies are constantly being reviewed and updated in relation to any new legislation, these are essential requirements that I follow. (PP4) Although this document does not specifically state children’s rights it explains the importance of working together as a team to help enable children to reach the Every Child Matters five key outcomes to support their overall wellbeing.
This document (appendix 3) is aimed at all children who attend my setting and stresses the importance of all children’s safety and wellbeing. As you can see the policy also refers to the ‘equal opportunities policy’ Undergoing the transition process with the child and family who speak English as an additional language I believe that I have supported their wellbeing by translating the toddler room welcome pack into their home language so the parents understand and get the same opportunities as others would allowing the transition to be more successful. This would also benefit the child as the parents will be aware of the nursery routine and the activities carried out therefore may decide to adapt their home routine. Draper discusses the importance of working together in partnership with parents “Parents and practitioners need each other and have useful differences in their approach that can complement each other. Parents are experts on their own individual child and practitioners offer expertise in this stage of children’s development and learning” (Draper, L, 2010, page 271). (PP5)
I feel I have underestimated the importance of parent relationships during transitions because I have now realised the main issues affecting the children with the transition process is not only the children being moved into a different situation but also the parents getting upset, confused and unsure.(CS2) I believe that this also has a major impact on how the child thinks and therefore I feel I can do more to help this situation. The purpose of my report was to discover how exactly I support children’s health and wellbeing and find out what I can do to further improve it. I therefore believe I have answered my key question efficiently.
Through analysing the documents (appendix 1, 2 and 3) I feel I have gained a much greater knowledge in the different ways I can help to support children’s health and wellbeing. I will continue to work together as a team to help every child achieve the Every Child Matters 5 key outcomes which are being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution, achieving economic wellbeing. I will ensure children are kept safe by following my settings safeguarding policy and always keep in mind the convention rights of the child.
I believe that practitioners should give parents more support as well as the children as they are also finding the process of transitions difficult. To do this I would suggest that practitioners visit the child and their parents at their own home when settling in as this will give the child opportunity to meet and start to build a relationship in their own environment. I believe that this would seem less of a threat for the child and would also make the parents feel more comfortable. I believe that this will slowly build a connection with each other then parents would feel more at ease when coming on visits throughout the settling in process.
I also feel that when a child is going through the transition of moving into toddler room that the child’s new key worker from that room should come and visit often in the baby room first to begin to bond with the child so when the child does go for a visit in the toddler room they will already recognize the new face of their key worker. Involving parents is also crucial in supporting children’s emotional wellbeing I therefore also suggest that parents should have visits with their child in the toddler room this will provide the parents with a firsthand experience about what the room is all about and will also support the child.
I have found this assignment quite difficult as I have never analysed a document before and feel it took a long time, however I have also found it interesting as I have realised just how different they all are and how they promote children’s health and wellbeing in different ways I have also found the different approaches/method to analysing quite interesting.
Total word count = 1987
The Open University. (2010) “Block 4, Safeguarding children: promoting rights, health and wellbeing, Stage 1- thinking about practice” in Book 2, Developing reflective practice: Key themes. (E105)
The Open University. (2009) “Block 2, Study Topic 5” in Book 1, Early years practice: practitioners and children (E100)
The Open University. (2009) “Block 3, Study Topic 7” in Book 2, Early years practice: relationships and environments (E100)
Browne, N. (2010) “children’s social and emotional development” in Miller, L, Cable, C and Goodliff, G. Supporting Children’s Learning in the Early Years, London, David Fulton in association with The Open University (Course Reader 2)
The Early Years Foundation Stage (DFES), Effective practice: health and wellbeing (2007)
Wood, E. (2010) “Listening to young children” in Cable, C, Miller, L. and Goodliff, G. (eds) Working with Children in the Early Years, London, David Fulton in association with The Open University (Course Reader 1)
Draper, L, Duffy, B. (2010) “working with parents” in Cable, C, Miller, L. and Goodliff, G. (eds) Working with Children in the Early Years, London, David Fulton in association with The Open University (Course Reader 1)
Analysis of the Early Years Foundation Stage, Effective practice, Health and wellbeing document.
The word ‘rights’ was never mentioned in the document however it does promote children’s wellbeing and talks about their needs and how to provide these.
The word wellbeing was mentioned 35 times throughout the document.
The words ‘safe’ and ‘safety’ were mentioned 2 times.
This document explains about effective practice and the various topics used to promote children’s wellbeing such as “resilience, children’s dietary and physical needs, emotional wellbeing, opportunities to explore and play in a safe and secure environment”.
Table 4.6 Document analysis table – A summary of the rights under the convention rights of the child (unicef)
Table 4.6 Document analysis table – My settings safeguarding policy