Staff should value children by giving them praise at their achievements. It can be done by saying ‘Well done’, by giving them a sticker, class applaud, certificate or even choosing a book at story time. Giving praise urges them to achieve more by doing good work and making a child feel appreciated. Listening to what a child has to say is an important factor as well as respecting and supporting the different types of one-to-one basis a child needs. The adult/EYW has to be steady and fair and empowering this is fundamental for any child’s development.
As stated in the Value Statement of Cache (unit 10 handout: 2006) “Put the child first: … respecting the child as an individual, upholding the child’s rights and dignity, enabling the child to achieve their full potential …” This statement includes a regard for a child’s religion, race, origin, cultural background, beliefs, customs and traditions with out stereotyping (racial/ gender etc) and discrimination. A child who feels barred or cast out the effects could be that of discrimination this could put the child off from socialising. The Children Act 1989 (unit 10 handout: 2006) in the key principles states: “….
Race, Culture, Language and Religion must always be taken into account in any work with children and families…” In a school setting, these can be met by talking about and celebrating all such religious festivals e.g. Eid, Christmas, Diwali, Chinese New Year etc. Furthermore, having toys, books, images posters, and musical instruments from different cultures will help to create a positive environment. In the home corners having different costumes from different cultures for children to wear and play will help them to become aware of each others beliefs and to accept the multi-cultural society we live in. by celebrating and talking about religious festivals will augment children’s KUW around them. Staffs have to be able to appreciate and respect every child as to what they wear as it could reflect the child’s religious background.
For a safe environment Supervision is vital because as stated by Tassoni Pet al (2002: page 102): “Accidents often happen very quickly…” It means that the school should have all the essential safety equipment i.e. smoke alarms, windows with catches, slow closing doors so no fingers get jammed. The setting should have adequate space to hide the wires and there should be a daily check of equipment to ensure that it is fit for its purpose.
Hygiene is crucial in order to prevent children and staff from harm and becoming ill. All equipment used in the classroom must be cleaned on a regular basis. The most frequently cleaned areas used by the class are the floor and carpet, sinks furniture, toilets and cutlery. The toys get cleaned at least once a month. It is important to clean these on a regular/ daily basis as bacteria can build up on equipment as children at this age tend to forget to wash their hands after visiting the toilet.
Consequently, frequent cleaning is necessary. The floors need regular sweeping and mopping due to continuous sitting down and running around. Hand washing is important after going to the toilet before and after snacks, meals and play. EYW’s and adults should set a good example by demonstrating this at every opportunity and having a high standard of cleanliness/ personal hygiene. EYW’s should say this as an example written by Tassoni Pet al (2002: page 134): “I’ll come and join you once I have washed my hands…”
Social Learning Theory suggests as quoted by G.C Davenport (1994: page 102): “…children also learn by observing and imitating… The child will model aspects of his or her behaviour on these important people…” This is since children behave the way they see other people behaving.
When handling food it is important that no bacteria is passed on to it or any equipment as mentioned by Tassoni Pet al (2002: page129-30) on the Food Handling Regulations Act 1995: “Settings must … be clean and maintained in good repair, good hygiene practices…” Hence, staff should have basic hygiene knowledge/ training in food handling including snack time so as to minimise the risk of illness. Reports from parents/ carers of their child(ren) having diarrhoea, vomiting can reflect an inadequate environment of the handling of food.
A safe reassuring environment is when EYW’s comfort distressed children, this can be done by getting down to the child’s level sitting with them, being calm, talking gently and dealing with the problem. Moreover by asking questions to further develop the child’s language and conversation techniques.
For children to enjoy good physical and health needs, needs looking after such as appropriate shelter, sleep/rest, exercise, nutrition, general comfort, fresh air and food/drink. Personal hygiene (hair, skin and oral) needs good cleaning to reduce the risk of illness/ infections.
Children should be encouraged to brush their teeth after meals. As Tassoni Pet al (2002: page119) writes: “Care of teeth and mouth is important to prevent bacteria build-up… best done after meals and before going to bed…” It will help stop teeth decay and bad breath which can lead to Halitosis causing heart problems and plaque can cause gum disease. Skin, hand and hair washing are necessary to prevent the spread of chronic infections such as gastroenteritis, E-coli and Salmonella which can be transmitted through socialisation like the cold or even through food and water. Infectious diseases have a tendency to spread easily in unhygienic surroundings.
During the day children need an environment which helps them rest after being extremely energetic. This is met by having a warm ventilated atmosphere, making sure that the children are clean and not hungry. In this rest period often in the school setting storytelling is provided or even a video. Rest helps refresh a child’s mind and body to help them get ready for the next activity as noted in the class handout (unit 3: 2007): “One of the values of relaxing …is providing children the opportunity to rest and recharge their batteries…”
Exercise for children must be provided for either structured or free play indoor/ out door. The classroom facilitates for different types of play these are messy play, pretend play, construction, jigsaws, threading and small world, reading books and the home corner. Outdoor play includes: messy play, ball games, running, skipping, hula hoping and tricycles and socialising with peers.
Taking children for a walk to the Local Park/ farm or library is also a form of exercise. In general each activity involves some kind of movement which benefits a child’s growth and development. Health and safety at all times is vital, supervision during all activities is necessary in order to avoid accidents. While taking children out, they learn how to cross the road, not to talk to strangers and learn Health and Safety rules. Furthermore, permission from parent/ carer and risk assessment has to be done.
Team work is important or there would be confusion plus a lack of communication according to Tassoni Pet al (2002: page 525) writes: “A successful team depends on the cooperation and skills of team members” This suggests that everyone has the same outcome to look forward to by recognising that management is everyone’s responsibility in different ways and therefore the quality and guidance is significant. Also team members need to plan together and agree on a system in the classroom. Good practice and involvement are needed to the support of each other in order to create a friendly atmosphere in the setting.
Working as part of a team is important to create a positive environment for children and families and for staff to feel welcome and work professionally with each other in partnership with parents/ carers to develop tactics in meeting the needs of the child. If team members do not like one another it is irrelevant as teamwork is precedence. It is a must to have reviews at the beginning to assign tasks/ subject for each member and how, when to execute these tasks and making sure everyone has equal responsibilities also these reviews can be taken place at the end of each day to see how well the day progressed or not. A team who has positive attitudes such as respecting each other, displaying good manners, valuing differences in diversity and being non-judgemental without discrimination against any child or staff.
If there is teamwork in the classroom then it can be a sign of a flourishing relationship between staffs where all tasks and responsibilities are shared out. Only one member of the team is responsible (teacher) but everyone’s opinion is taken into account so the whole team contribute and make decisions. It is important that teams work together to meet deadlines and individual needs, process is not slow and overall the team achieve and become successful.