Discussing the importance of partnerships in a child care setting

A practitioners job is not only to ensure the safety of the children and to plan structured day to day activities but also to ensure that and created within the child care setting. “Professional relationships are absolutely vital to the smooth running of an early years setting.” Early Years Foundation Level 4, Unit 5 (Respecting each other) – Professional relationships page 69.

Depending on the child care environment practitioners can work with one or two assistants depending on the age group and adult to child ratio. Maintaining a happy and trusted partnership within in a team in a classroom can then benefit ways the classroom run and undertake various tasks together.

Knowing your teams strengths and having trust in each other not only encourages mirror behaviour with children in the child care setting but allows practitioners and assistants to develop further in current or new skills. “In order to build on your relationship with others it’s important that you respect and value your own strengths, skills and knowledge as well as recognising the contribution made by other.” Early Years Foundation Level 4 Unit 5 (Respecting each other) – Professional relationships page 69.

For some children then partnership they create with a practitioner could be one of the main interactions they have with an adult through the day. i.e. focusing on child who spend alot of time with maids or nanny’s.

Having good partnerships with collegues allows a practitioner to establish a good and effective working relationship to ensure that everyone works together as part of a team. This is to essentially benefit the children.

As well as a good partnership with collegues adults need to interact well with children in the environment as well. Practitioners should involve children in decisions “Ask them what they would like to do, listen to their ideas and incorporate as many of these ideas as possible into your daily routine.” Early Years Foundation Level 4 Unit 10 (Supporting every child) – Working together page 127. Incorporating a child’s ideas help build a partnership, loyalty and trust between them and the practitioner. “By involving the children in all stages of planning you will ensure that they feel valued, that their opinions and ideas are relevant and, most importantly, you will ensure that the activities you provide are meaningful and interesting to the children.” Early Years Foundation Level 4 – Unit 10 (Supporting every child) – Working together page 127.

A practitioner will try and create a secure attatchment between them and the children. Even with all the observation no-one will know a child better than their own parents. Creating a bond with parents is essential upon the first meeting. If a practitioner creates a relationship with a child’s parents it can portray a sense of trust to the child. If parents have a positive attitude towards the practitioner, assistants and the child care setting this can only be a positive for the child to observe and therefore for the child to possibly mirror.

A secure attatchment is essential in any child care setting however a practitioner needs to be able to reassure parents/carers that although their child may have a secure attatchment to a member in the class or have a key person. Their child will still always be encourages to socialise with friends, play independatly and generally become a member of the classroom as a whole. This is to ensure that parents dont start to panic that their child is becoming dependant on one key person.

All children at any age specifically babies and early years children rely on the continuity of a special relationship between the practitioner and the
child. They are the foundations of mental and physical development. Therefore practitioners should continuously ensure that every child feels loved, valued, cared for and thought about. “A part of the role of the effective practitioner is to bring together their commitments of respect and working with parents as partners, in order to reinforce positive relationships with all the children in their care.” Early Years Foundation Level 4 Unit 8 Key person ( Shared care) page 101.

Working with a group of children and their parents it’s important to acknowledge that every family is unique. This could depend on numerous things i.e culture, language barrier, nationality a child’s upbringing and their personal environment.

“Although practitioners may be experts in the field of children’s learning and development they must remember that parents are experts on their own child.” (Unit 6, Repeating diversity, page 75)

Effective communication is extremely essential in a child care setting with the children, the team of practitioners and also importantly the parents. Unfortunately there will be some things that parents miss out on when they entrust a practitioner to take care of their child. It’s important to make them feel as involved in any activity or achievement their child may have been involved in.

When language barriers occur or not being in contact with a parent. A practitioner needs to find another way of relaying information.

Many child care settings use weekly communication books to pass on important information, or even if the child may have received a sticker to attach that in the communication book. According to the age of the child this could allow for the child to explain their personal achievement thus making it that more personal.

Although communication diaries have advantages, it’s important for a practitioner to keep balance with written communication and talking face to face. Practitioners should try and retain any relationships they have with parents allowing them to feel a sense of comfort that you are flexible plus there as and when needed, for any type of discussion they may want to have, in case they have any questions or concerns. (REVISE)”

It is important for Early Years practitioners and parents to both realise the importance of learning from one another. Each holds vital information, knowledge and expertise which, if shared can contribute to and enhance a child’s learning and development.” (Unit 6, learning together, page 82)

Working with early years children a practitioner may not only work with assistants and parents / carers but practitioners may also work in partnership with other professionals.

All children have various day to day home lives, it’s paramount to try and adopt any routine to a child’s (child) care setting where possible, creating this continuity will promote a child to feel safe, valued and secure.

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