Reflection on the FDA Children Families & Community Health
Studying this foundation degree has helped my professionalism grow in my workplace and made me a more competent worker in many ways. There are many theories that I have learnt throughout the different modules in this course that has helped me to improve my practice. In this report I will look back and reflect on which models and theories have helped my professionalism grow. Khilawala (2012) describes professionalism as the knowledge that we carry about our field of work and completing our duty with sincerity whilst maintaining professional etiquette and ethics in the workplace.
I currently work in a day care nursery that offers care for children aged between 3 months and 8 years. The nursery operates 50 weeks of the year, from 7.30am to 6pm providing a range of care services including before and after school clubs, full day care and pre-school sessions. There is a diverse mix of children from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds, the majority of +children live close by. Some children have English as a second language. The setting is available to all members of the community and holds strong links with local primary schools. to assist children's transition from the pre-school to primary school we have a visit to the local primary school every fortnight allowing the children to form a relationship with the teacher. My setting is recognised by Ofsted and has been rated as a good setting by the Ofsted team. I currently work as a room leader in the pre-school room working with children aged 3-5. There are 4 other practitioners that work alongside me and as a team we work well together to meet the needs of the children. The preschool acts as a gateway to primary school and we work very closely with staff from the local primary school to support transition when moving settings. We have a number of children from different ethnic origins and cultures attending the nursery, however the area the nursery is situated in is predominantly an area where white British people live. At the preschool we promote an atmosphere of care and enthusiasm, where all families are welcomed and parents are involved fully in all our events and activities. I have been working at the nursery for the past 3 years. My primary role at my setting is to ensure that the children's well-being and safety is in mind at all times by providing various different types of indoor and outdoor activities in a stimulating environment which help children develop holistically in all their different areas. As we work with very young children there are many set policies and procedures in place regarding important issues such as safeguarding, child protection, confidentiality which all staff have to comply to. All the staff are qualified to a minimum of NVQ level 2 and any students within the setting who are still under training are supervised while with the children at all times. The statutory framework the nursery follows is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) (DCSF, 2008) and all activities we provide are suited to the guidelines of this framework. I have introduced and analysed the nursery using the Normann Model (2000).
- Taking a genuine interest
In the childcare profession we meet and work with many different people of different cultures and backgrounds. In order to work in a professional manner it is important to have good people skills. Cottrell (2003) suggests that commonly we seem to appreciate people with similar beliefs and values to our own; however, any kind of variation can sometimes be disturbing because in some way it suggests that the other person is right and we are wrong. These types of situations can cause uncomfortable feelings.
As my workplace is situated in a predominantly white area most of the workers at the nursery are white British women. Before I started working at the nursery I didn’t personally know many different people of other backgrounds and cultures as majority of my friends were Asians, and so if anyone other than Asians looked at me for more than a few seconds I would instantly feel paranoid that they are staring at my hijaab (headscarf). I was very judgemental and judge them to be racist. When I first began working at the nursery I felt the same way if colleagues would look at me. However over time as I got to know my colleagues better a few of them asked me questions such as why I wore the hijaab? Was it my choice? I soon realised they were not judging me or being racist towards me it was just their curiosity and they wanted to increase their knowledge about our culture. In the work based practice module of my foundation degree we studied people skills and I learnt that Cottrell (2003) puts forwards a concept that in order to have good people skills it is important to take a genuine interest. She further goes on to say that as our people skills develop it becomes easier for us to accept a wide range of differences in people, and rather than feeling disturbed we soon learn to find a point of interest in all the differences and diversity. This concept has helped me improve my understanding as now if someone looks at me or asks me questions about my hijaab I don’t feel threatened and I think differently of them as I understand that they may just be curious. Not only in this situation but any conversations in my professional practice I now ensure that I am not judgmental and I take a genuine interest in the person I’m talking to.