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Positive Working Environments for Children

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Childcare
Wordcount: 2606 words Published: 20th Oct 2017

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“To be included is to experience belonging.”

Lancashire County Council (2010)

The aim of this assignment is to explain and examine how the staff within a setting ensures a positive working environment for the child. The practitioner will demonstrate an up to date and working knowledge of principles, policies and practices of inclusion. The practitioner will also discuss how parents and multi-agency team’s maybe involved in meeting the particular learning needs and care needs of a child through the implementation of a case study. And also review how new legislation such as Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and The Children and Families Act 2014 have resulted from the term ‘inclusion’.

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According to Lancashire County Council (2010), children are included when they attend a mainstream setting and have complete access to its social and academic life. In becoming more inclusive, schools should meet a greater diversity of needs. Some children may have an identified Special Educational Needs (SEN), whilst others maybe gifted, a child who has English as an additional language or a child with behavioural difficulties. All these children will experience barriers when it comes to learning; therefore we describe such children as having additional needs.

All settings should make arrangements to meet the individual needs of all their children, before considering whether some children need arrangements that are additional to or different from their usual practice. All settings should be following good practice guidelines and be providing a differentiated approach for all children. “Differentiation “means altering and adapting the way activities are presented to children to enable them to access them and make progress. Settings should offer a range of resources to match different levels of ability, use staff flexibility to give children one to one or small group activities or individual attention and ensure that members of staff has time to plan and prepare activities. Staff should also look at how their setting is organised, are children expected to sit and listen for longer than is appropriate for their age and stage of development? Do children know the structure of the session? , does the setting have clearly defined areas for activities? All these issues can be addressed by adding visual cues for the defined areas and structure of the session. this can make such a difference to the children with speech and language development and for children with English as an additional language as these visual prompts will help the child to learn what is coming next and what is happening in that specific area.

“Every child deserves the best possible start in life, and support to fulfil their potential” DFES (2008)

According to the DFES (2008) a child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. Practitioners should focus on each child’s individual learning. All Early years providers must have and implement an effective policy for ensuring equality of opportunities and for supporting children with additional needs, learning difficulties and disabilities.

Working effectively in partnership with parents is a crucial part of the early years work. Parents frequently feel that their parenting skills will be judged according to how their child is getting on. Even the most confident and assertive parents can feel very vulnerable and ignorant when it comes to inclusion.

Parents are the children’s first and most enduring educators. When parents and practitioners work together in early year’s settings, the results have positive impact on the child’s development and learning. Therefore, each setting should seek to develop an effective partnership with parents.” (QCA 2000 page 19)

When a parent is told that their child might have an additional need the parents might endure a number of feelings for example, guilt – what have they done wrong? Denial- his brother was just the same and he’s fine now, Anger- who do they think they are giving me this information? Worry- I don’t want my child being treated differently from any other children. Recognizing and accepting that their child is experiencing difficulties can take time but as a practitioner it is important to support this process by taking the time and effort to build up a good relationship with the parents, have an honest and open approach, avoid using language that the parent might not understand or find distressing. It is important to remember that a parent has a lot of valuable information about a child and as a practitioner there aim should be to build a trusting relationship with the parent/carer and to keep the parent fully informed and included in any processes following the initial discussion.

In March 2011, the government published the SEN and disability green paper which proposed a new approach to special educational needs and disability .they intended to develop a radically different system that will support better life outcomes for young people. Any legislation changes were to be taken forward from May 2012. The green paper offered a visual representation of the main themes of the recommendations put forward by the government in the form of a ‘word cloud’.in the illustration below, the larger the word ,the more heavily it featured in the green paper.

Sen word cloud

Although the modern SEN started in the early 1980s, the current framework emerged in the 1990s with the education act 1993/1996 and the issue of the SEN code of practise (as revised in 2001). The code of practice as become the bible of SEN for anyone involved for anyone involved with children with an SEN. The new SEN code of practice 0-25 years (2014) has evolved from many criticisms of the older publications. Parliaments own education and skills committee said in 2006 that the system was “not fit for purpose”, and many people felt that getting children and young people the correct provision had become a “fight” between parents and the local authorities, with schools and nurseries often caught in the middle. Parents also perceived that local authorities had a conflict of interest as they both assessed need and made provision. There was also a criticism of the SEN system and particularly of statements in an Ofsted report in 2010 entitled a” a statement is not enough” Five separate inquiries conducted about SEN/disability issued between 2006 and 2010 made other criticisms. After a change of government in 2010 a call for views of the SEN Green paper in 2011 promised the biggest reform in SEN in 30 years. A subsequent SEN Green paper has become The Children and Families Act 2014 and a completely new SEN code of practice has now been issued coming into law in September 2014.

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Child A is 35 months old; he lives with his mum and dad and is an only child. His mum and dad both work full time so child A spends a lot of time with his grandparents. He lives on a local council estate 3 miles away from the setting and this is his first setting that he has attended which he started in September 2014.Child A has an identified speech and language difficulty which has been identified through observations and assessments by the practitioner and the settings SENCO. The child’s parents have also identified the speech and language difficulty and have a scheduled meeting with the settings SENCO.

DFES (2008) suggests that the development and use of speech, language and communication are very imperative in young children’s learning. Much teaching is delivered verbally; and children need good communication skills to make friends. Children’s future achievements are reliant on their capability to communicate effectively. It is essential for us, practitioners to ensure that we do everything we can to support child A in becoming a skilful and capable communicator.

As well as making use of spoken language effective communication is also non-verbal. Eye contact, body posture, gesture, facial expressions displaying interest/surprise/boredom can be just as expressive as words. If children arrive in the classroom without the ability to communicate effectively, then they will be disadvantaged from the outset. A number of reasons are given for the decline in early communication skills, forward facing buggies may hinder a childs speech development as it is difficult to push and talk to a child whilst the child is facing away from you , it is impossible to have any eye contact and engage in running commentary of sights, sounds and smells. New technology is also another factor in a child’s speech delay, mobile phones and listening to music with headphones isolate a parent in their own world , leaving a child to become isolated in theirs..Tallent et al(2011).

It is my job as child A’s key person is to identify these key issues and educate the child and the parents on opportunities for communication .ways in which I can do this is describe the stage child A’s speech and language and communication development has reached, track their progress (as shown in appendices 1) and identify issues as they arise. I encourage and interact with child A and also plan and implement activities that meet the level of his language development (as shown in appendices 2). I have the responsibility as child A’s key person to provide additional support for child A and to give the child my full attention when child A is talking and to ask open ended questions to encourage the child’s speech development. Skinner the behaviourist therapist suggested that children learn language through reinforcement. In other words, when we show enthusiasm for something that the child is trying to say, this should encourage child A to repeat the utterance. It is also essential that i provide the correct support for the child by adapting activities such as adding visual aids, adding visual aids around the room in the defined areas and offering the child visual aids in form of choices, and provide the child with prompts to indicate a response or request. This will help the child communicate effectively and give the child the same opportunities.

I identified that child A had a speech and language difficulty whilst tracking his progress child A was at the developmental age of 16-26 months I observed and assessed the child over the next few months in accordance with the graduated approach outlined in the SEN code of practice 2014 and when no progress was being made I took the evidence to the settings SENCO as outlined in the graduated approach shown in the illustration below.

This chart shows the graduated response, which settings should refer to in order to help meet children’s individual needs. Level

Who is involved?


Next Steps


All practitioners

Staff adjust activities according to individual needs, in order to help the child succeed and progress

An IEP is considered if after careful differentiation a child does not make adequate progress

Early Years Action

The SENCO discusses concerns with staff and advises them. A member of staff working closely with the child writes an IEP, with SENCO, parents/carers and child

The IEP is carried out in the setting. Additional or different activities or resources are used to meet the child’s needs. The IEP is reviewed regularly

If progress is not adequate, with parents/carers permission, advice from outside agencies is requested

Early Years Action Plus

The SENCO requests involvement of appropriate outside agencies. A new IEP is written, through a multi - agency meeting, along with parents / carers and child

The IEP is carried out, usually alongside other children, using the additional and different strategies and resources agreed upon. The IEP is reviewed regularly

If after monitoring of the IEP adequate progress is not made, additional support/advice is sought

Statutory Assessment

The assessment process will be initiated by an educational psychologist and parents

Everyone working with the child will be required to send written reports about the child’s needs

Local authority determines whether a statement of SEN is required

In my settings inclusion policy reviewed in 2014(as shown in appendices 3) it states that the setting will encourage children to thrive and to recognise and appreciate their differences and so fulfil their unique potential. It also states that the settings objective is to help parents with children and their families to take part in the nursery and their community and will do this by working with partner agencies and the local community to eliminate the causes of social inclusion and make our services available to all. This includes facilitating, assisting, supporting and valuing each child in pursuit of this aim. As a practitioner following the above graduated response will help the child to reach their full potential. And allow the families access to the partner agencies such as a speech and language therapist.

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According to DFES (2008) parents need to work in partnership with the setting and support their communication within the home, with their family and in the wider world. These situations are very different from those provided by the setting. For that reason I as child A’s key person must work with the parents in partnership. I should plan regular opportunities to discuss child A’s level of development with his parents. Information should be relayed between me and the parents such as rhymes that child A likes in the setting so these can be repeated at home.

The settings single equality policy is derived from The Equality Act which first came into force in October 2010. The equality act states that, public organisations including schools have to take action to make things equal for the people who work for them and use their services. This is called the Single Public Sector Equality Duty. My setting is committed to taking positive action based on the equality act and to make sure staffs are aware of the law and how to put it in to practice.

My setting has a professional and dedicated, multi skilled, highly qualified and diverse team of staff who have lots of experience of working in a diverse setting within a diverse community. All these professionals such as practitioners, family support , the setting SENCO and other outside professionals such as health visitors and speech and language therapists will work together to ensure that child A will get the support that he needs. This support will come in the form of regular reviews and meetings with the setting SENCO and key person and additional support in the form of family support services and speech and language referrals may also be offered to child A’s parents..


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