Table of Contents

9.1 Explain what you can learn about children by observing them at play- When sitting back and watching children play, you essentially see them learning and are able to understand the strengths and weakness better of each individual child. You can then make adjustments within your care environment to better the learning and development of each child. Regular observation of the child’s behaviour and attitudes can help to build a stronger bond with each child are able to emotionally connect better with them in a more meaningful way. The EYFS refer to observation as ‘the practise of looking at and listening to children to find out how they are developing, what they like doing and what they are learning though their play and the experiences on offer.’ When observing this as a practitioner it is important to share what you see with the parents so you are both able to decide what stage the child is at with their development and what areas may need some extra help in. Also deciding whether the toys and equipment are suitable for their age and ability and how to further their play so the child is able to develop new interests, as well as learning new skills to acquire new knowledge. This is why observations are so vital to the EYFS because each child has their own unique set of skills and abilities and the best way to view this is through regular play observations on a day-to-day basis. The main points you learn from observing children on a daily basis are: you are able to discover their interests, can assess their development level and what areas need improvement, you’re able to lean a lot about their personalities, you can assess how social they are and how they act around other children and finally, see what skills they are learning or trying to achieve. All of these can help you gather a better understanding and help when deciding what to do within the home based environment to better their development and improve the quality of our teaching. Personalities and traits will differ from child to child even if they are from the same family or have the same ethnic background. Parents, practitioners, child-minders, Ofsted and nurseries all assess and monitor their children in different ways and present their findings differently depending on the venue, but all clearly show how the child is developing over time. It is helpful support for the parents and maps the child’s journey through the time they spend in different settings. 9.2 Explain how observations are used:• To plan for individual children’s needs- Observations are used to plan for a child’s individual needs as they enable practitioners or parents to see what they like and dislike, how they respond to a particular activity, to see how their individual skills are developing and learn more about their friendships and social skills. It is the first stage in understanding children’s needs, interests and abilities and to see if the child is struggling in any areas. After observing a child and working out what their individual needs are, you can relate to this back within the home based setting and plan appropriate, suited activities around them.• For early intervention- Through observation you can recognise where a child may need early intervention in order to get their maximum learning development. Early intervention means ‘identifying and providing effective early support to children and young people who are at risk of poor outcomes.’ So this means that from observing a child play, learn or act and you notice they may be slightly behind with development compared to the other children they are playing with who’s at a similar age to them, early intervention has to be effective to prevent any further problems occurring and is at its strongest when offered during the first few years of a child’s life. • To review the environment- Observations are used to review the environment to make sure the childcare setting is safe, secure and suitable for the child. This means making sure the indoor environment is well lit, free from hazards and rooms need to be maintained to a suitable temperature as well as being properly ventilated. The outdoor environment should be tidy, inviting, free from any hazards, have suitable modern play equipment and have proper space for storage. A quick observation will ensure that the environment is safe for children to be in, as in order for children to develop and progress forward they need to feel secure and safe. Children will soon develop a sense of belonging as they become familiar with their expectations through their day-to-day routines as long as the environment is suitable. • During transition- Observations are used during a transition as children may find this frightening and may be anxious about a move. Although adults may try and sell a transition as new and exciting, children don’t see it this way and it can be very daunting and unsettling for a young person which is why it’s key to try and portray it as a journey rather than a single event. Careful observation will allow practitioners and parents to make sure the child is coping with the transition well and it isn’t affecting them too much and should have the support of staff who share-information with the family and practitioner about how the child is getting on and if they have any concerns. It is their job to then observe the child while you’re not there to make sure there transition is happy and stress-free.• When working in partnership- Observations are used when working in partnership to ensure everyone is being valued and to connect and engage with the parents to encourage and help develop the child’s learning. Being able to observe and see what areas of your partnership are strong and what areas may you need to build on. Having regular chats with the parents is a great opportunity for sharing information and to have a look at the child’s leaning journey and to discuss any extra support for the child’s development stage. Without observing your partnerships and ensure they are good and well maintained, anything you do for the child won’t be as be beneficial for them. A good partnership is key to a child developing properly and being able to observe it is necessary. 9.3 Discuss how early intervention supports children’s development- Early intervention supports a child’s leaning and development but some children may have delays in these developments because of conditions noticed at birth such as special needs, or development interruptions which may occur in the early years, which will result In them missing some of the most important learning and development milestones. That’s why early intervention helps keep every child on the right path to making the most of their abilities and skills which develop during their early years. There are different services that actually support parents and families in helping to spot early signs that a child is struggling and may need some extra outside help. There is also a service which helps support the families of children with special needs, as these families can often find raising a child who has special needs very stressful, tiring, and frustrating and leaves them to end up feeling helpless. So by having that extra support and early intervention it can have both an impact on the development of the child but may allow the family to sigh a bit of relief. This early intervention helps keep the family together to build a nurturing and supportive environment and gives the family that bit of support they may need to ensure that child is having the best possible upbringing. Early intervention can be beneficial for a child in many different ways, such as: have an impact on their behavioural and emotional attributes, be very beneficial on their health, their academic achievements will go up and their attitude towards learning will improve. These side effects will be long-lasting and affect them later on in life and will have substantial gains in outcomes when they start primary school, but they it will also benefit them when they start their GCSE’S and A level’s, even as far as university, all because of the early intervention which allowed them to have the best possible outcome in life. Early intervention isn’t just beneficial for the child there and then it has a long lasting affect which will help them as they progress through life and help them overcome the academic milestones within their early teens and adolescence. That’s why it’s so important to act on and spot if a child is struggling when they are young to prevent further damage later on in life.