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Importance of Meeting Child Individual Needs

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Childcare
Wordcount: 2626 words Published: 17th Oct 2017

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  • Every child is a unique individual with their own characteristics and temperament.
  • Development is a continuous complex interaction of environmental and genetic factors in which the body, brain and behavior become more complex
  • Babies and children mature at different rates and at different times in their lives
  • Babies and children are vulnerable and become resilient and confident if they have support from others
  • early relationships strongly influence how children develop and having close relationships with carers is very important


Babies are especially interested in other people and in communicating with them using eye contact, crying, cooing and gurgling to have ‘conversations’

  • Babies and children are sociable and curious, and they explore the world through all their senses.
  • Babies and children develop their competence in communicating through having frequent, enjoyable interactions with the people, in contexts that they understand.
  • Children learn to communicate in many ways, not just by talking, but also in a non-verbal ways such as gestures, facial expressions and gaze direction, in drawing, writing and singing, and through dance, music and drama.


  • Babies come into the world ready to learn and are especially tuned to learn from other people and the cultural and material environment.
  • Play and other imaginative and creative activities help children to make sense of their experience and ‘transform’ their knowledge, fostering cognitive development.
  • Language, thinking and learning are interlinked, they depend on and promote each others development.
  • What children can do is the starting point for learning.
  • Children learn better by doing, and by doing things with other people who are more competent, rather than just being told.


  • Understand the process involved in babies’ and children growth, development and learning.
  • Support babies and children to develop a positive sense of their own identity and culture, this helps them to develop a positive self-image.
  • Encourage, listen and respond to babies and children’s communications, both non-verbal and verbal.
  • Acknowledge the different ways in which babies and children learn, and be aware that learning is a process that cannot be rushed.
  • Recognise that babies and children attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by the feedback of others.



  • All children are citizens and have rights and entitlements.
  • Children should be treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities. This applies no matter.

What they think or say;

What type of family they come from;

What language (s) they speak;

What their parents do;

Whether they are girls or boys;

Whether they have a disability or whether they are rich or poor.

All children have a equal right to be listened to and valued in the setting


  • All children have a need to develop, which is helped by exploring and discovering the people and things around them. Some children’s development may be at risk, for example

Children who are disabled and those with special educational needs;

Those from socially excluded families, such as the homeless or those who live with a parent who is disabled or has a mental illness;

Children from traveller communities, refugees or asylum seekers and those live diverse linguistic backgrounds. All children are entitled to enjoy a full life in conditions which will help them take part in society and develop as an individual, with their own cultural and spiritual beliefs. Practitioners ensure that their own knowledge about different cultural groups is up to-date and consider their own attitudes to people who are different from themselves.

Attached: Playroom Day Nursery’s Inclusion and Equal Opportunities policy



There are various pieces of legislation in place to promote equality and reduce discrimination. These include the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001, the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, Convention on the rights of the child (UN, 1989), The Human Rights Act 1998, The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (as amended), Employment Equality ( Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, the Equality Act 2010.

The aim of this legislation is to promote equality of opportunity for all, regardless of age, sex, sexuality, disability, race, religion or any other difference. However, whilst legislation is important because it protects people, the one thing it cannot do is change people’s attitudes

Everyone has internalised layers of expectation based on personal upbringing and experiences that operate on a conscious and subconscious level. A key worker acknowledging the extent of the baggage that they may bring to an environment is a vital first step along the road to anti - discriminatory practice.


Anti - discriminatory practice can be defined as an approach to working with young children that promotes

  • Diversity and the valuing of all differenced A setting whose practice is anti - discriminatory will celebrate and value differences in identities, cultures, religions, abilities and social practices.
  • Self - esteem and positive group identity A setting will recognise the impact of discrimination, the social inequalities and their effect on young children and their families. Such a setting will identify and remove practices and procedures that discriminate.
  • Fulfilment of individual potential A setting will value children and adults for their individuality and ensure a sense of belonging that promotes self - esteem. It will respect where children come from, what they achieve and what they bring to the learning situation.
  • The full participation of all groups in society A setting will appreciate the importance of what is learned and what can be unlearned in the early years and recognise the wider aim of early education to lay the foundations of a more just and equitable society.

Early years practitioners also need to assess the discrimination that occurs in society and their own setting (consciously or subconsciously) and the effect it has on the children.

In Practice

Moving towards successful anti - discriminatory practice involves

  • Understanding that diversity is inclusive and that we all have cultural backgrounds and multiple indignities that are derived from various sources, including our families, our peer groups and out own unique set of individual experiences
  • Examining our personal prejudices and how they operate, and committing ourselves to ‘unlearning’ our prejudices
  • Promoting positive values for families, communities and staff
  • Gathering a repertoire of strategies to ensure settings are welcoming, non threatening and stimulating places be, where children and families are valued because of their differences and not in spite of them
  • Developing the awareness, confidence, skill and knowledge to challenge and educate effectively, for example, the child who thinks black skin is dirty or the staff member who makes assumptions about a disabled child’s inability to join in and activity
  • Involving everyone in dynamic and constructive dialogue and process
  • Constantly monitoring, evaluating and adjusting practice and procedures

Flexible thinking

  • Among the attributes that we especially need to develop and strengthen are assertiveness, the ability to communicate effectively and the ability to empathise with others, The aim of anti - discriminatory practice is not to generate discomfort, conflict or negativity, although we may well encounter these feelings along the way.
  • Treating children the same isn't the same things as treating them equally. To treat children equally we have to recognise that society does not provide a level playing field and we may have to take a variety of unequal factors into account to meet their universal entitlement as future citizens.
  • All children stand to benefit from enabling, ensuring environment where achievements are valued in the broadest possible terms and individual potential is respected
  • Anti - discriminatory practice strives towards all the children and the adults in a setting developing and maintaining high self - esteem and being proud of where they come from
  • One important rule is not to expect to find easy or right answers to everything. This is an area where a little knowledge, if generally applied, can be as dangerous as none at all. While some knowledge can be desirable and useful, it is counter productive if it leads us to assume, fro example, that families from a particular culture or religion will have identical interpretation or application of this ideas, or that one child with Downs syndrome or cerebral palsy will have much the same needs or (dis)abilities as another.
  • This process which involves getting to know people and children on a personal and professional basis and avoiding pre - judgement and fixed expectations. This approach will often demand creative and individual solutions.


As every child is different, it is important to think about, plan for, and interact with the individual, as well as the group as whole. Considering the range of children’s styles, social interactions an personalities.

  • Some are quiet; others are noisy
  • Some like to spend time by themselves; others are the life of the party
  • Some are shy; others are outgoing
  • Some are active; others are quiet
  • Some enter into new situations easily; others like to stand back and watch

You need to ensure children are confident, happy and engaged in learning, their individual needs must be met. You have to be constantly alert and responsive.

The importance of meeting individual needs is well established in recent guidelines for early childhood practitioners. The English curriculum Guidance For The foundation Stage (GGFS) states that we should ‘ensure that all children feel included, secure and valued’ and ‘treat children as individuals’

Practitioners tune into children through observing them, interacting with them and listening to what their parents/carers have to say about them.


Personal, Social and Emotional development are three building blocks of future success in life. They are close linked to each other and often bracketed together as one area of learning and development.

  • Personal development- how we come to understand who we are and what we can do, how we look after ourselves.
  • Social development- how we come to understand ourselves in relation to others, how we make friends, understand the rules of society and behave towards others.
  • Emotional development- how we come to understand our own and other’s feelings and develop our ability to ‘stand in someone else's shoes and see things from their point of view

Practitioners work hard to ensure that children are happy in their learning and development and it helps children if parents are genuine partners with practitioners.

All Saints primary school and Playrooms Nursery use (SEAL) Social and Emotional Aspects of learning.


Seal is a school programme that support schools and plans to help children and young people to develop social and emotional skills. They are also essential for all adults and are important for early-years practitioners and staff in schools.


When a school/Nursery implements SEAL it will consider all aspects of school life and consider how social and emotional skills can be promoted. This might involve reviewing several school policies developing learning opportunities that ‘explicitly help children to learn the skills and to apply them.

(www.bandapilot.org.uk) website with ideas for assemblies, staff development activities, learning opportunities a guidance booklet and resources to use across the school day

Children must be provided with experiences and support which help them to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others, respect for others; Social skills, and a positive disposition to learn.


  • It is important to identify the need for additional support as early as possible. Without it children will not get the help they need at the right time, in the way that is right for them.
  • Early support for children includes listening to families and taking part in a sensitive two-way exchange of information.
  • For children with the most severe and complex additional support needs you need to plan jointly with everyone who is in contact with the child. This will coordinate support and promote learning as effectively as possible.
  • Knowing when and how to call in specialist help is one important element of inclusive practice.


  • Encourage children to recognise their own unique qualities and the characteristics they share with other children.
  • Make sure that you actively promote equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that all children and families feel included, safe and valued.
  • Ask parents whether there is need for and special services and equipment for children who ma require additional support.
  • Support children to make friends and help them to think about what makes a good friend.
  • Ensuring the needs of every child are fully met, even when temporarily you need to spend more time with a child who is new to the setting or whose behaviour is giving rise to concern.
  • Keeping a focus on the child’s needs when a parent also has significant needs.
  • Maintaining records suitable for sharing with colleagues in an inter-agency team while acting as a point of contact for a child and their family.


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