The role of the childcare practitioner is to use the knowledge of children’s learning and development in order to help the children in their care to reach their full potential. Knowing the milestones that a child should reach and what the developmental norms are enable the practitioner to identify if there is a delay with a child, and what the next steps should be in order to help that child.
Children’s development is observed on a daily basis in a childcare setting and it is these observations that form the evidence needed to be able to refer concerns about a child.
If as a childcare practitioner I think that there may be a delay with one of the children, I will carry out observations. If I still had concerns I would speak to the health visitor and also to the parents to see what concerns they may have. It is important to speak to the parents, as they are the people who know the children the best. Early identification is important because it means that the child will have the extra support needed to help them to achieve their milestones.
The potential risks of late recognition of developmental delay are that: -
the child will not be reaching their full potential the child will struggle to be independent the child may become isolated and withdrawn the child may experience difficulty forming friendships the child may have low self esteem and low confidence the child may become frustrated
However with the early identification and the correct support the child will flourish.
3.3 and 3.4
Multi agency teams bring together professionals from different areas to work together as one integrated team. It is a successful way of working in partnership to support children and their families. This way of working is successful because the team decide what additional support is needed by a child or family, and the right professionals can be allocated to them.
The structure of the multi agency team depends on the support that is needed. Children with additional needs may have a large team made up of paediatricians, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, nursery staff, health visitors, GP’s etc where as a child with a speech and language delay may only need a small team e.g. speech and language therapist, health visitors and nursery teacher. The multi agency teams either meet regularly or on a one off basis.
The multi agency teams work together to support all aspects of children’s development by meeting together and talking through what support, resources etc are needed to help the child, their family and also the school/nursery setting. The multi agency team allows everyone present to have a clear picture of what is needed and when, and also providing a point of contact if further advice/support is needed.
In my setting we recently had a child with spina bifida. There was a multi agency team working with this child and her family. This team included a paediatrician, health visitor, nurse specializing in catheterization, physiotherapist, speech and language therapist, family health worker, special needs health visitor and a representative from the nursery. The team met every few months to discuss the childs development and to discuss if any extra support was needed.
In the setting we had visits from some of the professionals involved in order to support the childs play and learning in order to help her development.
Play and leisure activities can be used to support all aspects of development. This can be supported by setting up an EIP (Early Intervention Plan) or a play plan. These plans set achievable targets for the child in order to help them to further their development. The targets for example could be to stay at an activity of their own choosing for one minute.
Children learn through play and it is important to adapt activities where necessary to allow children the freedom to develop. Adapting activities could be as simple as lowering the sand/water tray or