When planning to meet the care and learning needs of all children, there are various approaches that could be taken. One approach could be ‘care plans ‘. Care plans give children structure and security whilst also catering for their hygiene and dietary requirements. Care plans tend to be used on children ages birth to 3 years as they are more reliant upon your assistance. For example, whilst on placement, I had to change nappies, feed bottles and carry out basic care routines. I had to ensure the care plan was flexible enough to adapt to circumstances that could occur in the setting e.g. if a child had just had a nappy change, then required another due to them having an “accident” then I couldn’t just wait until the next nappy changing time according to the care plan; I would have to adapt the care plan to fit the needs of that child therefore I would change them straight away to make them comfortable. Care plans also need to consider what the children enjoy doing and adapt activities and experiences to fit their mentalities in order for them to be more willing to participate. Care plans also need to meet parental/carers wishes and requirements, whilst also catering for the children’s’ individual needs and getting them used to structure and routine, ready for school, “A good routine can help children to feel secure and settled, while still allowing them time to explore, play and learn” (Tassoni.P, Hucker.K, 2005, Pg.63). Care plans also need to meet the individual learning needs of all the children in the setting, they can achieve this by allowing children to make mistakes and become self-reliant when making judgement on their actions in certain situations. Settings should incorporate learning opportunities in all their planning to ensure the children are developing to their full potential.
A second approach which can be taken is by using the planning cycle. The planning cycle is used in a way to describe the link between planning and observations. You must complete the cycle in place or you aren’t completing statutory requirements outlined in the EYFS guidance. The planning cycle is about allowing children to engage in the environment, observing that child and recording their actions, then the practitioner reflects upon these observation records to see what they have learnt about that child, then lastly, the practitioner feeds the information they have learnt in their observations, through to their planning to plan the next activity, to fit the likes, dislikes and development needs of the children. Development needs must be a paramount point to focus on when planning activities and the planning must fit the EYFS guidance."Each area of learning and development must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child initiated activity." (Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, DfE, 2012). An effective planning cycle supports and aims to extend the children’s current interests, skills and enthusiasms. It must be flexible and able to respond to spontaneous events that may occur in practice and allows children and parents to have a say in the planning process. The planning cycle must be continuous in order to keep up with the children’s development “It should be a continual process as children’s development is not static and because their interests and needs will change over time” (Penny Tassoni, 2007, Pg.108)
A third and last approach that can be taken is learning journeys. Learning journeys are the most child centred approach that can be achieved in practice, and are the most accurate representation of each individual child and their needs in the setting. Learning journeys are a collection of photos, paintings, observations and any work the children have done. The parents then receive this at the end of nursery and a second one at the end of reception class so they are able to look back on the progress their child has made and look back on all