The main principle of building positive relationships is identified in the Early Years -Development Matters document is that “children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships. Every child is a unique individual, a competent learner from birth who can be strong, capable, confident and self-assure. Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and /or keyworkers. Parents are children’s first and most enduring educators. When parents and practitioners work together in Early Years settings, the results have a positive impact on children’s development and learning. Early years practitioners need to consider children’s age and stage of development as a factor when ensuring that the environment is safe and suitable for children. If you are able to build good relationships with parents, this is also a really positive thing, as parents will share information easier and take an interest in what their child is learning. The EYFS has as a statutory component the requirement for all children to be allocated a key person. A key person is someone who develops a close and genuine bond with a child, takes additional responsibility for the child’s welfare and works closely with parents. A key worker acts as a surrogate attachment figure when the child is separated from parents and carers.
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This essay will recognise how positive relationships promote children’s well-being. And analyse the importance of a key worker system. It will explain the benefits of building partnership with parents for children learning and development. Describe how to develop positive relationships within the early years setting, making reference to principles of effective communication.
The main principle of building positive relationships is identified in the Early Years -Development Matters document is that “children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships. Effective communication plays a vital role in the early year’s settings. When effective communication is established, positive relationships can begin to develop between practitioners and young children. Good health and well-being is central to effective learning. Children are more likely to develop self-confidence, resilience and positive views about themselves when they are involved in a respected, safe and secure environment where their achievements and contributions are values and celebrated. Children’s relationships influence their well-being through development, and learning. Consistent, secure, responsive, and respectful relationships with caring adults are vital to children’s wellbeing. Through trusting relationships with adults, young children learn about their world and their place in it. They learn the world is safe and responsive to their needs.
Babies and young children learn to be strong and independent through loving and secure relationships with parents and carers. When children are looked after outside the home they can develop security and independence through having a key person to care for them. A keyworker such as a practitoner provides a reassuring link with home so that the children can cope with being separated from the special people in their lives.
Positive relationships with children and young people are important because:
â- When children feel comfortable with us they can separate more easily from their parents
â- Children are more likely to participate in the play and learning activities if they are secure emotionally
â- When children have strong relationships, they are less likely to show unwanted behaviour as we can recognise and meet their needs
â- Children’s language develops more quickly because they feel con¬dent talking to us
â- Practitioners can plan more accurately as they understand children’s developmental needs and know their interests
â- Practitioners are able to respond to children more e¬€ectively because they can recognise their expressions and emotions.
Children deserve to feel, and to be respected by all adults and other children. Children want and need positive, loving relationships with the people close to them.
The Early Years Foundation stage has a key worker system in operation. Each child will be given a responsible member of staff which we refer to as a key worker. A key worker is a practitioner who is designated to meeting the individual needs of a child, and to build a positive relationship with their parents. The key worker system is essential for children to develop a close relationship and strong bond with a key worker who will be looking after them. A key worker is responsible for the settling in period.
The key worker needs to form a bond with the children, especially babies in their care. Babies need to be with the same people each day to develop social relationships. This is why the Early Year’s standards have put a key worker system into action. A key worker will be nominated as the first point of contact for the child and family. In order for practitioners to understand the child’s requirements and enable the child to become secure in their environment practitioners will have to build a relationship with parents in order to discover the child’s routine an particular interests and needs the child may have. The keyworker system is especially important for young babies as they are totally dependent upon their careers, they can become anxious when separated from their parents.
Erik Erikson devised a theory of psychology development. Erik Erikson believed that the quality of care of children in this age group receive depends on how well they develop trust in their careers. “Erikson claimed that in the stage (birth-1year) the child will develop a sense of basic in the world and in his ability to affect events around him. The development of this depends on the consistency of the child’s major caregiver. If the care the child receives is consistent, predictable and reliable then the child will develop a sense of trust, and will be able to feel secure even when threatened. However, if the care has been harsh, or inconsistent, unpredictable and unreliable then the child will develop a sense of mistrust and will not build confidence in the world around them. This child will constantly carry mistrust with him to other relationships.” McLeod, S. A. (2008).
Successful development of trust will enable the child to feel safe and secure within their environment. Being consistent with child’s routine and ensuring their individual needs are met will develop trust. Key workers should allow time for a one to one communication with individual children throughout the day to support their emotional well-being.
All Early years settings will meet their own requirements of roles and responsibilities. The role of a key worker is to keep up to date with the child’s development within the setting through observation, and sharing this information with the parents and carers.
Responsibilities of the key worker include:
Assessing the child’s individual needs.
Sharing information with parents on all aspects of their child’s care.
Meeting the entire child’s need throughout the day in nursery.
Physical needs-Nappy changing, skin care and bottle feeding.
Emotional needs-Settling the child on arrival each session and comforting when distressed.
Developmental needs- Planning learning with the individual child
Spend time with individual children promoting their learning and development through play.
The Ecological systems theory states that human development is influenced by the different types of environmental systems, Formulated by famous psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner. “The micro system’s setting is the direct environment we have in our lives. Your family, friends, classmates, teachers, neighbours and other people who have a direct contact with you are included in your micro system. The micro system is the setting in which we have direct social interactions with these social agents.” Sarah Mae Sincero (March14, 2012). In early years setting, a child’s microsystem would include their relationship with their key workers, friends, other staff members and the environment.
Effective key worker should be committed to their role, by demonstrating to be a good communicator, needs to remain calm and confident throughout the day, able to make time to communicate with the parent and carers. Effective communication with children can develop positive relationships and develop a strong bond, it is therefore important for practitioners to communicate in an appropriate manner.
Children’s learning and wellbeing are enhanced when families and childcare professionals work together in partnership to promote the best outcomes for children; quality care occurs when childcare professions understand each child’s family, culture, community and when they use this knowledge to provide experiences in ways that are meaningful to the child.
When parents and practitioners work together in early year’s settings, the results have a positive impact on children’s development and learning. Early Years settings work to build parent confidence in what they do already at home and they offer idea to support and enhance this. Most significantly, they exchange information about children regularly or on a weekly bias with parents. They listen to what parents have to say about their own child’s capabilities and interests, ad make use of these observations for future planning, encouraging parents to be active in the planning process. Parents and practitioners have a lot to learn from each other this can help them to support and extend children’s learning and development. Parents should review their children’s progress regular and contribute to their child’s learning and development record. Parents can be helped to understand more about learning and development record. Young children flourish when the adults caring for them work together. Families know their child’s strengths, personality, moods and behaviours very well. When families and staff work together they can exchange information, and can focus on meeting each child’s needs and supporting their development. When children see positive communication between their parents and staff, they begin to learn that it is important to build health relationships, for example children who see their parents communicating well and being friendly with staff, children will feel valued and important when in the care of their practitioners. Parents and carers who are positively involved with their children can help reduce mental health difficulties. In partnership, families and staff can share their experiences with each other and their understanding of how their bond is important to a child. For example (x) likes to cuddle on to a special teddy at sleep time at home, this experience should be offered in the care setting.
Strong partnerships between early year’s practitioners, staff and parents are essential in early year’s settings and are one of the important relationships to develop. But too often, parents and program staff do not effectively communicate with each other, thereby limiting opportunities for developing open, respectful, and trusting relationships. Miscommunication, or limited communication between adults, can lead to situations that adversely affect all of the parties involved.
Parents play an important role in the admission of their child to the early years setting. Working in partnerships will help meet the child’s individual needs, through identifying information about a child’s background to health and wellbeing such as illnesses, disabilities, allergies, likes and dislikes and emergency contact information. There are many way to involve parents within the setting such as arranging open days, an open day is a social opportunity for parents to communicate with other parents and early years staff this will help build parents confidence and self-esteem. Key workers should share their observations and assessments of the child with their parents and encourage parents to try out similar activities at home with their child. Outgoings in an early years settings is a good opportunity for parents to be involved in their child’s learning and development, when the early years setting has organised an outgoing this will give parents the opportunity to take part and come along and meet other children and staff. Parent evenings play a vital. Role in early years they will allow parents and keyworkers to discuss their children’s development progress. Parents should be invited to come to the setting to carry out workshops or activities on particular subjects, all parents are unique and come from different backgrounds, they can get the opportunity to be involved in promoting diversity by carrying out activities such as cooking food or demonstrating different clothing from different backgrounds. There are many barriers to parent involvement which must be recognised and overcome to promote involvement and partnership working. Parents with different languages may find it uncomfortable to communicate so staff members should aim to learn a few works and phrased in home languages to help them feel welcome. If a parent has low self-esteem and confidence they will not feel comfortable in joining in. practitioners should overcome this barrier by welcoming and supporting parents in becoming involved in the setting. Parents have busy life and will not always have time to communicate with the staff at the setting when they are dropping or picking up their child, so practitioners should arrange times or regular parents evenings for parents to communicate in their available time.
Positive relationships with children are important; practitioners act as role models and are effectively teaching children how to have positive relationships with other people as well. A positive relationship for a young child is very important as this increases their confidence and trust in other people. Positive relationships are made by first of all actively listening to the child and finding out their likes, and dislikes.
Children at different stages have very different needs and interests and learn in different ways. Communication for children needs to consider different abilities and needs at different ages and this must be child-centred and age appropriate. Communication is a fundamental skill within a learning environment and is the main source of interaction amongst children, practitioner’s and staff in a learning environment. It is a mean of setting foundations to build positive relationships making children feel safe and to develop their self-esteem (feel good about themselves). In order for communication methods to be effective we need to have knowledge of relationships which is the main concept that drives positive behaviour. Actively listening to children, what they have to say is an example which can promote relationship in a learning environment. The importance of this form of communication is that it tends to help children to build their self-esteem, makes them feel valued and welcomed because their views are being listened to by others. Verbal communication requires verbally encouraging children to respond to ‘open’ question discussions which can promote positive relationships. Written communication in the form of comments, praise (certificates) highlighting achievements in good work can contribute towards positive relationships. The importance of this form of communication is that it keeps the children interested to take part, increase their concentration. Creates an effective learning environment and stimulates them to strive for success which contributes towards positive relationships in a learning environment.
Regardless of the type of setting, the ability to communicate effectively is crucial for developing positive relationships with children, young people and their families. Communicating well involves the following:
Giving your full attention- by maintain eye contact.
Being aware of your body language – use appropriate gestures and facial expressions.
Listening- by showing response of nodding and smiles.
Taking account of individual needs.
Being sensitive to cultural differences in communication.
If the child speaks different language- use of photographs or other visual aids ma help.
Hearing impediment- use sign language or visual aids to facilitate communication more effectively.
Being confident – build confidence in your communication skills by practicing how and what you want to communicate, and role modelling good communication skills.
Positive relationships are important because it helps a child to develop independence and build their self-esteem, positive relationships will help children feel confident, secure and be able to trust their relationships with adults. A strong connection between families and childcare providers is essential for building positive relationships. A Parent’s role is to talk with the people who care for your child on a daily basis about eating habits, behaviour, activities, learning of new skills, friends, or other happenings in your child’s day. . As a parent you need to strengthen the bond between your child and her keyworker by helping to establish an attitude of trust. Mention the keyworkers name in conversation at home, and show interest in your child’s interactions with her/him. As a practitioner, you should know the importance of working with parents and how these relationships can support children’s learning. Practitioners and parents need to develop a good two way communication in order to gain good effective positive relationship between the child and a practitioner.