The following report will discuss how the EYFS,2017 is used as a guideline for good practise in an early years setting. It was also be discussing how the EYFS have certain regulations about assessments which to be undertaken for children in the setting by practitioners (Department for Education, 2017)
Roles of an early years practitioner will be discussed such as encouraging learning and development, through play and teaching, creating a safe environment, Daily observations and assessments (Department for Education, 2017).
Reflective practise will be discussed and how reflective practise allows practitioners to gain a clear understanding of their own practise and continuously develop their own skills and expertise (Department for children, schools and families, 2010).
This report will discuss how Anti- bias and Anti-Discriminatory is practised in an early years settings and how the Equality Act 2010 protects children from discrimination. Discrimination is the act of treating someone unfairly because they are a different race, religion, gender, have a disability or different skin colour. Anti-discriminatory is aimed at counteracting the negative effects of discrimination on children and parents and at combating discrimination in any form (RCN, 2017)
Established under the Childcare Act 2006, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS, DFE,2017) is a statutory framework for the learning, growth and care of children from birth to five. This explains what is meant by the provision of high quality Early Years in England attended by children from birth until age 5 + (Department for Education, 2017).
The (Department for Education, 2017) is a major influence on practise, the EYFS framework has received high levels of support from all practitioner groups and there is broad consensus that it impacts many areas of everyday practise and improves the quality of education for young children and their parents (Department for Education, 2017).
The Early Years Professional Practitioner plays a crucial part in the learning and development of the child while working alongside the EYFS. It is the duty of professionals to use their knowledge and expertise to improve the learning environment and create additional learning opportunities for children (Department for Education, 2017).
Good Practice is about guaranteeing that all children get the most out of their EYFS experience. This can be achieved when adults work together to get to know the children so they can help their play, development and learning (Department for Education, 2017).
Assessment plays an important role in helping parents, carers and practitioners recognise the progress of children, understand their needs, and plan activities and support. The EYFS,2017 regulations provide assessments you will need to undertake in your practice for every child. There are two sets of assessments, age-specific assessments, and ongoing assessments. Assessments are associated with the wider topic of learning and development. Assessments should be undertaken through observations on a child through seven areas of learning & development and lead into your future planning. (Department for Education, 2017).
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Observation is the practise of watching and listening to children in order to find out how they develop, what they like to do and what they learn through their play and the experiences they offer. It is important for parents and practitioners to share what they know about these things, so that they can assess whether the development of the child is at the expected level, whether the facilities such as toys and equipment are appropriate for the child and reflect on what to provide in the future to support the child in developing new interests, learning new skills and gaining new knowledge (Early Years Matter, 2016)
Role of the Practitioner
An early years practitioner is someone who works in any school nursery, or childcare setting for young children ages of 0-5 years old. As a practitioner in early years, your roles and responsibilities may include, encouraging learning and development, through play and teaching, creating a safe environment e.g Anti- bias and Anti-Discriminatory Practice, Working with parents to support their children ,ensure children build their literacy, language and numeracy skills, monitor progress and play educational games, put together activities which will keep children engaged throughout the day, help children get ready for the transition into a classroom environment, help children to become more independent when carrying out daily tasks (Department for children, schools and families, 2009).
Understanding the individual needs of a child is done using the EYFS,2017 principle assessment, evaluation and development process. Early Years Settings use this framework to ensure that children's individual needs are met. Early Years Practitioners work in a setting which they use the EYFS,2017 to track, assess and prepare for the children's learning (Kelly, 2016)
Daily observations and photographs of a child are taken which allow the practitioner to gain a better understanding of the individuality of the child. Some researchers have made reference to the significance of observing children. An Early Years Practitioner's role is crucial in ensuring that all children achieve their personal development goals and attain the highest learning level possible. (Kelly, 2016)
In addition to observations and photographs, the learning journeys also include a sheet called "all about me." This is done first by parents to help practitioners learn about the child and then completed by a key worker. Observations play an important role in the child's development, and they can be used in many ways. Learning journeys are completed on a monthly basis which are held for each child and include the best achievements for that child, these are unique to the child and give an idea of the development of the child. Learning Journeys are connected to EYFS, and an EYFS quote is produced for each observation or photo (Kelly, 2016).
As a reflective practitioner, you will think about how you work, recognize your strengths, but also recognise your weaknesses, Consider the impact your actions have on children and their families, review your methods to improve the quality of your practise (Kelly, 2016).
Reflective practise enables early childhood practitioners to gain a clear understanding of their own practise and continuously develop the skills, expertise and strategies necessary to achieve the best results for children (Department for children, schools and families, 2010).
As an early years practitioner you should provide the best possible care for the children in your setting, Reflective practise is an excellent way of constantly maintaining and improving the consistency of your work (pacey, 2016).
Reflective practise is the process of thinking about and examining your practise, in order to challenge, alter, adjust, grow and strengthen it. It should be a process of constant evaluation and development (pacey, 2016).
You need to be able to take a balanced view of your practise to be a positive professional, identify and appreciate your strengths and what works well, but consider what can be strengthened. Reviewing your practise will help you identify your needs for professional development, and help you become more comfortable in your practise over time (pacey, 2016).
Keeping a diary is one way to reflect on your thoughts and feelings. This way you can identify the week's events with your priorities and conclusions etc. The reflective process of Gibbs (1988) can be very useful to make you think through all the stages of an experience or activity. You could record a description of what happened, how you were feeling ,evaluate what was good and bad about the experience, analysis and conclude what could be done different and do an action plan of what to do if a situation occurs again (Kelly, 2016).
Anti- bias and Anti-Discriminatory Practice
Anti-discriminatory practise in an early years setting can be described as an approach to working with young children that encourages diversity and acceptance of all differences, self-esteem and positive group identity, development of individual potential and full involvement of all groups in society (Dickins, 2002).
Anti-Bias and anti-discriminatory practice are important as each child is given their right to learning and development opportunities. It is all about ensuring that you refrain from judging or making assumptions for having an anti-discriminatory and anti-biased practise as this helps to promote and protect the welfare of children as well as setting a good example as a role model. When you establish an environment in which there is an anti-discriminatory practice engaging with the parents is easily seen to build relationships as well as in the best interests of the child (Unicef, 2006).
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The Equality Act 2010 protects people from discrimination this includes children in any early years setting.The Equality Act,2010 places a legal responsibility on all practitioners to promote equality and eliminate discrimination in an early years setting. The protected characteristics covered by the equality act,2010 are gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, race and religion.The Equality Act 2010 ensures settings make reasonable adjustments to make sure that a child with a protected characteristic is not at a disadvantage. Settings can do this by considering policies and practises, considering physical features of the environment and considering if the need for auxiliary aids or other equipment.(Essex County Council, 2010)
The forms of discrimination the equality act highlights are direct, indirect, discrimination arising from disability, failing to make reasonable adjustments and multiple discrimination. To develop an anti discriminatory practise you must challenge someone if they make discriminatory comments or behave in a discriminatory way (Tower Hamlets Council, 2017)
To conclude this report, research has shown that the EYF,2017 is a major influence on early years practise.
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- Tower Hamlets Council (2017). Equality Guidance for Early Years Settings Tower Hamlets Council Early Years Inclusion Team. [online] Available at: https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/Documents/Children-and-families-services/Early-Years/Equality_Guidance.pdf [Accessed 3 Feb. 2020].
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