It may be hard to establish a positive relationship with a child at first, the early years practitioners need to really get to know the children in their care in order to respond to them adequately. They need to know their interests, what frightens them or worries them, what makes them happy and sad and what annoys them. They need to be aware at what triggers their moods and they need to work out how to get each individual child to respond to them, trust them and open up to them and this is not very easy. Getting to know a child can be very difficult because they may be shy and may not like being around strangers and they also might be experiencing separation anxiety from their parents and may also be very wary of the setting they are in early years practitioners need to be aware that toys and games are no substitute for a warm and trusting relationship with an adult, who is actually interested in the child. Sometimes in early years settings the setting appoints each child with a key person, the key person will be responsible for helping the child settle in to the setting. The key person will try and build a genuine bond with the child so that they feel happy, confident, welcomed and valued. Babies and young children need to get to know there key person in order for them to feel safe and cared for. Also the key person will need to build up a good relationship with the child’s parents and work together in finding ways for the best ways for the child to settle in, the child will settle more easily if they know they have one person who they can trust and rely on. Adults are a child’s best resource and role model and by giving a child your complete attention are better than any toy or gadget. Most children long to be accepted in their surroundings and feel the need to belong and that their beliefs and opinions are respected and valued. By positively interacting with a child you will get to know that child really well, you will begin to understand what they like and dislike and once you know this you can plan appropriate activities for them to develop. A positive interaction with the child should start as soon as they come in in the morning by making sure the way you greet them is an extremely positive one as this is the most upsetting time for the child when their parents leave them. As the children get involved in activities you should be able to focus on what the child is saying and try and become a part of the conversation this lets the child think they are in the lead and you are taking direction from them and not the opposite way around, but there also maybe times when the child does not want or need input from an adult and by knowing the child you should know when to step back and quietly observe instead. All this comes from experience and how well you know the child, as you grow practitioner you will instinctively know when to intervene or simply just stand back and let the child explore. With all children they are all completely different and some children will open up to you very easily as some children thrive on adult attention .however some children will not be so keen to open up and it will be extremely hard to build a positive relationship. They may find it difficult for a number of reasons for example they may be shy ,they may be experiencing problems outside the setting, they maybe unwell or just tired whatever the reason if the child has been in the setting for some time you should instantly tell why the child is being quiet or withdrawn and t maybe a good idea to have a word with the child’s parents but if the child is new to the setting and are finding it difficult to settle in , it maybe that they are not interacting or communicating with anyone in the setting . It’s down to the early year’s practitioners to try and find a way to get to know them better this might be a lot easier if you talk to the parents and find out the child’s interests, try and spend quality time with the child on a one to one basis so you can gradually build up their trust. a child shouldn’t be forced into mixing with others till they are ready to do so they may just like to watch and adjust to their new setting .books can be extremely good by getting the child to interact, find out what their favourite story is and offer to read it to them this may encourage the child to talk about the story. It is very important that your child as a positive relationship with their practitioner as the child may spend 5-7 hours a day with them. Interacting positively with the child from an early age is the basis for a good relationship which benefits the children immensely by positively interacting with the child they get one on one time with the practitioner and produce a positive relationship between them. By having a positive relationship it helps develop the child’s cognitive skills , social emotional and language skills ; children not only obtain language and social skills but they also develop sensitivity , the ability to talk out their problems, encouragement and the ability to ask questions . teacher child interactions are most developmentally appropriate when the teacher responds quickly , directly and warmly to the children this provides a variety of opportunities to engage in 2 way conversations and identifies and elaborates on the feelings , interests and activities of the children teachers which react in a sensitive and positive way are more likely to develop positive and nurturing relationships which is a key to a child’s security , increasing the likelihood that the child will explore their environment giving them more opportunity to learn .
3.2. Describe why it is necessary to listen to children and effective ways of doing this.
Children need to talk excessively and constantly and whilst we hear what they are saying do we really listen to them? If you ask children about adults who they like to be with, time and time again they will tell you, someone who they can talk to. Listening is an integral part of working effectively with children of all ages. It needs to begin when children are babies; babies need to see responses to their early vocalisation. Adults working with babies may smile, pick up a baby and reply by expanding the vocalisation. Later as children become more fluent speakers, the need to learn the skills of listening. Contrary to popular belief, this is not learnt by keeping them still and quiet, listening is actually an active skill and children need to learn to respond appropriately. they can do this if adults are actively listening to them . Active listening is more than just hearing: it involves thinking about what the other person (in this case a child) is trying to convey. Active listening also means giving a child your full attention, this can be hard in busy settings, but need to be prioritised. In most settings opportunities for active listening are linked to layout and routines. Preparing the fruit for snack time and wiping tables are examples of tasks can be done with a child chatting alongside. The key is to make sure children feel relaxed and they know that you are not in a rush or likely to be distracted. By listening closely to children we can identify their needs and capabilities and interests and also helps them build on their confidence and self-esteem. we can use this knowledge to plan activities and decide how to extend these activities in order to promote the child’s learning in all areas of learning and development , some children take a while before they really get round to talking . This is one reason why it is important to create situations where you are not rushed. A child may simply begin by just wanting to be with you and gradually begin to want to talk. Some children also need visual props and cues to help them. This is particular important in younger children. As well as children whom the language of the setting is not their own language. A child who cannot tell you cannot tell you what they want is likely to grab what they need by behaving badly. To listen to what a child’s saying you need to give the child your full attention and make sure you know that you have done so face them, look them in the eye, lean in towards them and respond to what they are saying, do not deny or reject what they are saying. It is also important to remember that when we talk about listening to children we do not simply mean taking into account what they are saying through there spoken word. There are many ways in which a child can communicate or even very young babies or children with a developmental delay or disability can communicate in a number of ways. These children must also be listened to and their feelings taken into account. Early years practitioners need to learn how to identify the right moment when to intervene in a child’s conversation without taking control or finishing sentences for them you can do this by trying to expand on what they are saying through asking appropriate questions or giving relevant opinions. If a child begins to feel like what they have to say is of no consequence and you are not likely to take into account their opinions they will cease to voice them, speaking and listening are fundamental to everything we do every day. A child’s communication skills need to be targeted daily. Their ability to talk and express themselves need to be nurtured and the best way this can be done is for early years practitioners to listen intently to what they have to say. We may not always agree with them and it may not always be possible to let them have what they request. However it is possible for us to listen to them and respond to them in an adequate and effective manner.
3.3 summarise the importance of spontaneous play and how this can be achieved in early year’s settings.
Given the opportunity children play “spontaneously ” which means they provide their own motivation to play and act without intervention of an adult .the time and type of play is totally decided by the child and activities can be stopped and taken up at will. Playing to the child is just spontaneous and may not have any goal or conclusion. Spontaneous play can be extremely effective and practitioners should make use of unexpected opportunities, for example it may suddenly start raining or snowing, this is the perfect opportunity for the children to build snowmen or just go out into the rain and explore the puddles in their wellys, or even look for rainbows. Spontaneous play can happen anytime or anywhere in all environments, jumping in leaves whilst walking to the park or just by picking up a teddy bear and starting a tea party are just a few examples of spontaneous play. It is essential that all early years workers understand and value spontaneous play in order to become sensitive facilitators. While most children embark on spontaneous play willingly, adults need to make the right provisions. It is important to remember that every child is an individual with their own needs and during development these needs change. facilitating spontaneous play requires careful planning , anticipating the next stage and adapting resources to fulfil the need of the child.in providing play , space ,resources , time and friends need to be considered. Appropriate space should be set aside for play. It should be big enough for free ranging activities for a child in relation to the child’s developmental changes, play space should be safe and should have opportunities for exploration and investigation by the child. Provide stimulating resources that are appropriate for the specific child, resources should be easily obtainable and representable of a multi-cultural society and they all should be checked for safety. Spontaneous play depends on the child being given the opportunity to engage in activities without interruption. They should be given enough time to do the specific play activity. At all stages of development children need playmates it is important for them to interact with children. Enthusiasm and encouragement from adults should be available when the children need it. Just by watching young children it is easy to see that play is often stimulating and rewarding , and they get a great deal of emotional satisfaction from playing . Although the differences are not always clear cut or easily understood, it is possible to identify distinct functions that play has for a child.” Mary d Sheridan” a researcher in child development for over 40 years termed these functions “apprenticeship”, “research”, “occupational therapy” and “recreation”
Apprenticeship. As children get older they gradually develop competence in performing everyday tasks, such as dressing and feeding them or answering the telephone, play can provide the shills of acquiring such skills.
Research. Children find out about the world around them through a process of observing, exploring, speculating and making discoveries. For example the child will learn about the properties of water – which some things float and sink. Playing provides ample opportunities for this kind of learning.
Occupational therapy. Play can have a soothing or distracting effect. It can be a simple escape from boredom, a means of diverting attention or coming to terms with things that are unpleasant such as pain.
Recreation. This is the function of play that readily springs to mind. Children entertain themselves through play; they are simply just enjoying themselves and having fun.
Studies carried out by researchers including Mary d Sheridan ,show that the functions that play fulfils for each child from moment to moment and day to day are part of the wider contribution that play makes to each child’s overall development . In other words play helps children in their development.
Beith, Kate and penny tassoni and Kath Bulmer “children’s care learning and development” oxford, Heinemann, 2005
Bruce, Tina and Carolynn meggitt “childcare and education “Oxon, book point ltd.