Values and Principles of the Early Years Sector

Values and principles of early years sector. 1)The five basic tenets of good practice are; Equality and Diversity Rights and responsibilities Confidentiality Promote anti discrimination Effective communication The three principles are; The welfare of the child is paramount Practitioners contribute to children’s care learning and development and safeguarding is reflected in every aspect if practice Practitioners work in partnership with parent’s families, as they are the child’s first and most enduring carers and educators The eight values are;The needs, rights and views of the child are at the centre of all practice Individuality, difference and diversity are valued and celebrated Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice are actively promoted Children’s health and well-being are actively promotedChildren’s personal and physical safety is safeguarded, whilst allowing risk and challenge as appropriate to the capabilities of the child Self-esteem and resilience are recognised as essential to every child’s development Confidentiality and agreements about confidential information are respected as appropriate, unless a child’s protection and well-being are at risk Professional knowledge, skills and values are shared appropriately in order to enrich the experiences of children more widely.

) The values and principles are displayed in my role on a daily basis. I implement the Early years foundation stage framework into my practice which the values and principles are embedded in. I ensure the welfare of the children in my care is paramount through working in partnership with the parents/carers of the children in my key group and sharing information about their child’s progress. Through carrying out observations, assessments and planning on my key children I am contributing to the children’s care and earning and development as well as ensuring their welfare is paramount. I make sure children are safeguarded through putting my settings safeguarding procedure into place and following my settings confidentiality procedure. As well as carrying out risk assessments I support and encourage the children to manage risk safely this provides the children with basic skills to safeguard themselves. I work in partnership with parents/carers and families as it is beneficial to the children as they are their child’s first and most enduring carers and educators.

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Ways in which I work in partnership with families are; day to day transitions communicating with families sharing and passing on information about their child, providing learning stories on the children for families to share at home and comment on, providing new families with “getting to know me” packs as well as being on hand during their child’s settling in period. Through implementing the Early Years Foundation Stage framework I am meeting the four Themes which the framework is based around; A Unique Child, Positive Relationships, Enabling Environments and Learning and Development.Through meeting the four Themes in my daily practice I can ensure the values are being put into practice. 3 & 4) A time I have witnessed an example of poor principles and values was when a new manager Pauline had been at the setting for a couple of days. I was asked to support the children in Mighty Oaks, children aged 3 – 5, with Pauline as Julie the room leader was off. At focus time Pauline insisted on taking the lead although she had not yet sat in on the children focus time before and did not know their routine.

Pauline started the focus time by picking out the children’s registration name cards and asking them to identify their name before putting it on the registration board. She insisted on each child to be sat on their bottom with the legs crossed silently to wait for their name. One of the quieter children James who is also a nervous and shy child, was messing with the straps on his shoes.

Pauline asked him to leave his shoe alone and to sit nicely with his legs crossed and wait for his name to be shown. James stopped then continued again to play with the straps on his shoes.Pauline reached over to James and took the shoe off his foot and threw it to the side of the group. When reaching James’ name card he put his hand up and said that it was his name, Pauline then replied to him with “James it says on this card, I thought your name was Cinderella because I had to take your shoe off you” then handing him his card and continuing on with the focus time whilst James sat with no shoe on his foot.

Through out the focus session she was impatient with the children and when they did not answer her question on what day it was today she referred to the group of children “Take it we are all brain dead today. Through this focus time there was more than one value and principle which was displayed in Pauline’s poor practice as well as no signs of implementation of our settings behaviour policy and procedure. The children’s welfare was certainly not paramount to Pauline during the focus time and that the children listened and followed her instructions was more paramount to her. Pauline’s communication skills with the children were poor and did not meet the needs of a majority of the children in the group.

James was embarrassed and humiliated in front of the other children in the group and his self-esteem was effected.Through targeting James Pauline did not actively promote the children’s health and well being by not respecting his needs and displaying it in front of the other children, who she was meant to be setting an example to. She did not contribute to the children’s care, learning and development and safeguarding and when referring to the children as “brain dead” she showed poor practice of equal opportunities as well disregarding the settings policy and procedure regarding behaviour which states all staff should “treat all children fairly and with respect, recognising that each is an individual and being aware of their particular needs.

To raise children’s self esteem and provide opportunities for them to develop to their potential. ” I waited for the children to be sat down at dinner time before I arranged to speak to Pauline in private, as it was a time the children would be settled and I could arrange for other staff members could support the children. When up in the office I firstly explained to Pauline that I did not agree with the way she carried out the children’s morning focus time and that it was not in accordance of the routine the children are use to.I gave reasons to why it would have been more appropriate for myself to take the lead during focus time as I am aware of the routine and structure and I know what the abilities and needs are for each child. Pauline disagreed with the points I raised and said she had observed briefly the focus time over the few days she had been here and from what she had seen, the children had fidgeted through out and she wanted it to change. I justified the structure that was already in place for the focus time identifying that it meets every child’s needs within that group and that today it did anything but meet the needs of the children.I brought up the way she had spoken to the children and that it was not professional nor appropriate and that she had targeted and humiliated James.

Pauline tried to justify her actions explaining that she had already told James not to mess with his shoe in which I replied to by asking what harm was he doing by pulling the straps on his own shoes. I explained that James is a very nervous child and that it had taken a long time for him to settle in to the setting and that Julie had spent a lot of time bonding with him and supporting him whilst he made friendships with the children and helped build up his self-esteem and confidence.When she carried out the focus time I reflected back on her practice and explained to her that she never once made James feel valued which would not help his self-esteem or confidence and by referring to him as “Cinderella” she humiliated him in front of his friends. I then brought how she had referred to the whole group of children as “brain dead” and that was far from a professional and appropriate term to use towards the children as well as in the setting environment.We discussed what she had said and Pauline could not see a identify any faults with her practice during the focus time today.

Wanting her to be able to put her self in my position I asked Pauline how would she like to know that her Grandson was being referred to as “brain dead” in his nursery by someone who is meant to ensuring that his welfare and wellbeing is paramount. I was replied to with a negative attitude and Pauline began to inform me of her history in the early years sector and that she had never had a complaint made against her practice before.Continuing to try and get Pauline to see how she was wrong I tried to explain that the children in the setting could have relatives who are seriously ill with brain injuries but Pauline continued to disregard what I had to say. Seeing that she was not willing to admit she was wrong or show any interest in what I had to say I brought the conversation to an end. At the end of my shift I contacted the owner of the nursery, John, and arranged for him to come in so I could discuss the incident with him before my shift the next day.

When I got home I recorded what had happened accurately in a note book and recorded Pauline‘s response.The next day I explained to John what had happened and that when I discussed the incident with Pauline she was not willing to identify her poor practice nor willing to listen to what I had to say. John wrote down what I had told him and I showed him my own written record of the incident, before arranging a meeting with Pauline and himself. John gave me feedback of the meeting keeping to confidentiality explaining that the meeting had gone in accordance and should I have any other concerns not to hesitate in contacting him. 5) Meeting the individual needs of all children lies at the heart of the EYFS.Practitioners should deliver personalised learning, development and care to help children to get the best possible start in life (Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage). Through implementing the values and principles in day to day practice, practitioners can ensure the key purpose of the every child matters outcomes, being promoted in the early years sector.

Through settings providing an effective key person system for children and their families, all of the principles and values can be met. What matters most in ‘achieving quality’ is carers who are ‘attentive, responsive, stimulating and affectionate’.Most practitioners try to be this for all the children they work with. However, being realistic, it is very difficult to offer all these things to all children and this makes huge emotional demands on practitioners. But the key person approach makes such relationships with children more possible and manageable to achieve for each child (The Early Years Foundation Stage Effective practice; Key Person). The key person system ensures that each child’s needs are met and supported through continuous observations, assessments and planning as well through forming good relationships with families.

This helps practitioners contribute to each child’s care and learning. It is important practitioners understand the benefits of working in partnership with parents and families, as they are their child’s first and most enduring carers and educators. Working in partnership with parents and families can be carried out through meeting the needs of all families accessing the setting and sharing, providing and requesting information through the day to day transitions effectively respecting each family as an individual unit.Including families in their child’s observation, assessment and planning cycle will ensure each child’s needs are met to the highest standard. Appropriate and adequate policies and procedures should be in place for all practitioners, volunteers, visitors and families to follow and put into practice. Settings should have in place risk assessments on the environment and equipment with practitioners encouraging and supporting children to manage risk safely providing age appropriate toys and equipment.It is important that settings provide a welcoming, enabling and safe environment providing enhanced CRB disclosures for all staff to complete in order to ensure the welfare of each child is paramount and to ensure safeguarding is reflected in every aspect of a settings practice. In addition to carrying out risk assessments, providing correct staff ratios and encouraging children to carry out self risks under suitable supervision settings must complying with data protection and the welfare requirements children’s personal safety is safeguarded, whilst allowing for risk and challenge as appropriate to the capabilities of the child.

Settings with confidentiality and safeguarding procedures and policies in place allows practitioners to implement and respect ,as appropriate, confidentiality and agreements about confidential information, identifying information must be shared when a child’s protection and well-being are at risk. All staff and children’s information should be locked securely away with no un-authorised access and information shared on a need to know terms.The needs, rights and views of each child should be at the centre of all practice and by ensuring all practitioners comply with the UN convention and value, respect, support, listen to and acknowledge each child within the setting, settings can promote it. Settings should aim to support and identify every child’s needs and abilities in order to promote the key purpose in the early years sector, every child matters.It is important to promote each child’s sense of identity and belonging through the option of choice, acknowledgement, praise, encouragement and reassurance given and displaying each child’s work and achievements, in order to recognise the importance of self-esteem and resilience to every child’s development.

Every child should be able to celebrate their own birthday and respect should be given to those who do not with consideration taken to each child’s religion, culture and background.Individuality, difference and diversity should be positively valued and celebrated ensuring each child feels welcomed and valued providing them with their own personal area to keep their belongings. A variety of cultural and religious festivals should be celebrated taking in to consideration of the cultures and religions within the settings.

Through providing multi cultural meals and snacks for the settings menu’s, providing a wide variety of equipment to help support the needs of the children within the setting, allowing children and families to share items and stories from their home life and displaying positive images will allow children using settings to be introduced to the wide variety ways of life and actively supports each child as a unique child. Having equal opportunity and anti-discriminatory policies and procedures in place and implemented allows settings to actively promote equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice.Settings can put policies into practice by ensuring the environment is accessible and welcoming with practitioners respecting, valuing and greet all families. Using posters, pictures, photographs and diagrams on notice, menu and welcoming boards and news letters, as well as text in different languages and practitioners verbally relaying information to families in a way which meets their individual needs allows settings to work in partnership with families and ensures equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory for all families accessing settings.Using key words in selected languages when English is not a child’s first language, implementing makaton, displaying vision cards and picture time lines and providing for children’s additional needs appropriately promotes the key purpose of the early years sector, as the needs of each child are being met and supported. Children’s health and well-being can be actively promoted through healthy eating policies and health and hygiene policy in place as well as regular staff training.

Communicating with families, practitioners being aware of children’s needs and effective sharing of appropriate information ensure each child’s needs are being met. Informing children about the importance of health, hygiene and exercise, and encouraging children to take control of their own personal hygiene and respecting and considering the needs of others introduces children to managing and contributing to their own health and well-being. In order to enrich the experiences of children more widely professional knowledge, skills and values are shared appropriately through working in partnership with families and multi agency working.The Early Years Foundation Stage framework document makes it clear that multi-agency working is a key part of the framework that is designed to deliver improved outcomes for all children in their learning and development.

Multi-agency working and the integration of services for children and families is central to government policy across the disciplines including Health (White Paper Saving Lives: our healthier nation, 1999); Social Services (White Paper Modernising Social Services, 1998; Modernising Health and Social Services: national priorities guidance, DoH, 1999; the National Service Framework, DoH, 2004); and the Childcare Act 2006.A common thread running through all government documents is that services and agencies need to work together to make the delivery of services more effective“(EYFS Agency work benefits). Through attending courses and providing further training for staff settings can ensure they are up to date and effectively implementing the overall outcome of every child matters. Word count ; 2926

Author: Katie George


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