What will I be studying?
You will gain an insight to many roles in different childcare settings from Early Years Practitioners in Nurseries to Learning Support Assistants in Early Years classes and Reception classes.
You may be a studying a range of units which will help you acquire the knowledge and skills that will be invaluable to you as an Early Years Practitioner or for further studying. The college will be able to give more details about this.
- Children’s Development
- Play and Learning
- Keeping Children Safe
- Working with Parents and others in Early Years
- The Early Years Foundation Stage
- Work Experience Placement & reflective practice
- Development of Children’s Communication, Literacy and Numeracy Skills
- Children’s Physical Development, Care and Health Needs
- Children’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Observation, Assessment and Planning
So what do you need to do to prepare for a Child Development course?….
There are 8 tasks. My advice to you would be to read over each one carefully and PLAN how much time you are going to allocate to each task.
In Early Years Education you need to have an awareness of your own skills and qualities so that you can identify areas of development in order to work effectively. You need to be confident in role modelling your skills to guide young children to learn and develop following the norms of development. This means you must be willing to get your hands dirty and be creative.
Research and explore a variety of homemade play dough recipes. Play with them. What can you make from your play dough? How could you encourage children 2-4 years old to make these models of yours? What tools would be suitable for 2-4 years old to use with your play dough? What learning will they gain from playing with play dough?
- Experiment with the colours of your dough using various quantities of food colouring.
- Try altering the smell of your dough with lemon juice or peppermint essence, or various spices.
- Add texture to the dough by adding porridge oats, crumbled breakfast cereal, lentils or rice.
- Glitter can be added.
What can you do with your play dough?
Prepare a photo portfolio of your creations.
You now need to match your skills and abilities to the real world environment by applying for the job advertised below. Create a formal letter of application which includes full details of your current knowledge, skills, experience, values and beliefs.
Early Years Educators
- Are you what we are looking for?
- You must have a warm smiling face that makes every child feel special and loved.
- You will preferably have a little bit of quirkiness. If a child requests that you be a captain of a pirate ship, you will be the best pirate you can be.
- The ability to sing in tune is not necessary, however the ability to sing out of tune in front of a crowd is essential.
- Some knowledge of Frozen, Minions, Spider- man, Ariel, Peppa Pig and Thomas the Tank would be advantageous.
- A high level of multi-tasking is essential.
- You must be able to distribute warmth, interest and compassion to every child.
- Possessing the skill to rapidly count the heads of numerous moving small people is of utmost importance.
- You must be able to remain focused in an environment with high noise levels.
- Pretending to eat play-dough creations realistically is required; this is a skill that may develop over time and experience.
- The ability to remember the names of 60+ children, their parents, grandparents, pets and special soft toys is a key component of this job.
- Your feelings must not be easily hurt.
- You must have the ability to read a ten-page fairy tale with at least one interruption per page. Authentically showing an interest in curiosity for bugs and creepy crawlies is essential, even if they are your biggest fear on earth.
- You must be prepared to have a lot of fun in the workplace; laughter is something you can expect to engage in for a large part of your working day.
- Finally you must want to feel loved, special and important to many young children and their families. There simply is no other job quite like this one.
Things to include in your letter of application:
Relevant formal learning: This should include your GCSEs, any training courses you have attended, skills you have learnt from a part time job.
Relevant informal learning: This should include anything you have learnt in addition to school I.e. hobbies, home life, etc.
Communication: are you a good communicator? What language skills do you have – perhaps you speak more than one language? How about your non-verbal skills? Think about body language, eye contact, gestures. Do you know any sign language? How do you use your communication skills? Perhaps you know someone with a hearing loss or a learning disability – how do you communicate effectively with them?
Work experience: Do you have a part time job? Have you done any work experience? Detail here the skills these experiences have given you.
Practical skills: Do you play an instrument or bake a mean lemon drizzle cake? Do you participate in any sports? Tell us about it here
Working with others: Do you work well as part of a team? Please give some examples of when you have worked cohesively with others – this could be your peers or service users
Technical skills: E.g. use of IT – what are you skills in this area?
Personal skills: Detail here your organisational and time management skills e.g. include how you prepared for your exams or how you managed coursework to make sure it was handed in on time.
Values and beliefs:
What is important to you? This may include relationships, religion, dietary preferences. Use this information to tell us the sort of person you are. Try to describe yourself as others see you and use a wide vocabulary to outline your personality
Child Development All Mixed Up!
Match the correct ages with the correct line of statements.
|Can identify primary colours||Scribbles||Can hop||Can copy a circle
Uses mouth to touch
|Grasp reflex||Make guttural sounds||Feels hunger|
|Can copy a circle||Able to match different textures||Uses 50 or more words||Can kick a ball
Can put shoes on
|Throws a ball||Claps hands||Can kneel without support|
|2 years||Kicks legs strongly||Plays with fingers||Crawls||Gurgles and coos|
|15 months||Can identify pictures of named objects||Uses pincer grip||Bangs bricks together||Responds to instructions|
|1 years||Can count to ten||Can recognise and write own name||Can skip with a rope||Able to use roller skates|
The Government says:-
“The EYFS is mandatory for all maintained, non-maintained and independent schools and all early years providers on the Early Years Register”.
What does this mean? Create a detailed leaflet to inform parents of what this statement means.
Things to include in your leaflet
- What does EYFS stand for? – What does it do? What is the EYFS framework? What areas of learning are covered in the EYFS?
- What does the word ‘mandatory’ mean? – Try to put this in your own words to demonstrate you understand it.
- What is a maintained school? Just a sentence will do here.
- What is a non-maintained school? Just a sentence will do here.
- What is an independent school? Just a sentence will do here.
- What is the Early Years Register? – Who needs to register? What do they need to show in order to be on the register?
- What would a parent expect from a Early Years Provider offering the EYFS?
- Try to put into your own words what children do in nurseries and other childcare settings. What is a typical day for a child following the EYFS in a childcare setting?
How to tell stories
All children love story time and for adults to read to them. Not everyone is comfortable at reading to groups of children. Practice by using some of the techniques below. You will be reading to children within your first day of work placement.
- Be comfortable, relaxed seating
- Small groups or 1:1
- Know your book well
- Be prepared to be flexible and to improvise
- Use your voice imaginatively
- Take time to listen to each child
- Encourage participation – questions about the story or encourage them to tell what will happen next!
- Use visual aids
- Use repetition
- Enjoy yourself!
When you go on placement, you will be required to create learning activities that encourage learning.
This is Beth, She is 6 months old.
- Design a treasure basket to engage her.
- Research what treasure baskets are.
- Make sure it is safe for Beth.
- Write down how your treasure basket will help Beth learn and develop.
When you are on placement, you may be asked to support a child who has learning difficulties.
This is 2-year-old Jack. He has dyspraxia. How can you help him with his development and learning?
- Research dyspraxia.
- Design an activity that Jack can do every day to help with his dyspraxia.
- How can you motivate him to do this successfully every day?
There may be an occasion from your course that you must prove you can plan an activity to carry out with a small group of children.
Plan an ‘Understanding the World’ activity with a science focus for a group of 3-year olds.
- Describe your activity.
- List your resources required.
- Describe how you will organise it.
- Discuss the learning and development the children will gain from your activity.
- Describe your role in this activity.
Get familiar with the following documents. You will need to know them well throughout this course and as a qualified Early Years Practitioner. Make notes to help you remember the key points.