Childcare Research Task Essay

Contents Page 1 of 13 C1 – Provide a rationale for the identification of the care and learning needs of all children Page 2 of 13

C2 – Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different approaches to planning for children’s care and learning Page 3 of 13

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C3 – Explain in detail the professional skills needed to plan. Analyse why practitioners need these skills Page 5 of 13

C4 – Demonstrate the application of relevant theoretical knowledge to play, learning and education to meet children’s identified learning needs Page 6 of 13

C5 – Explain in detail why it is important to plan for the provision of an enabling environment which meets all children’s care and learning needs Page 7 of 13

C6 – Explain how child development theories are used in practice when planning to support children’s care needs Page 9 of 13

C7 – Analyse how child development theories support planning for learning and play Page 10 of 13

C8 – Analyse the importance of play in children’s learning, giving reasons why play should be included in planning Page 11 of 13

C9 – A conclusion which evaluates the importance of planning to meet the care
and learning needs of all children Page 12 of 13

Bibliography Page 13 of 13

C1 – Provide a rationale for the identification of the care and learning needs of all children.

All children need care, in body and mind. Therefore educational buildings such as schools have different policies in place and have different procedures to ensure the child gets the best care and the best learning experience possible. Every day we pay attention to children’s needs as a whole or as individuals while ensuring the children meet all the requirements of the curriculum that’s been put into place. All practitioners plan ahead and ensure all the feelings of the children and parents are considered. For example a teacher knows things about the child such as illness or disability in learning, so they will naturally plan lessons that allow everyone to work equally together and ensure that at any time during a break time if the child has an allergy or cannot have certain types of food or drink that they have alternatives for the child to have just in case: “a child cannot have a carton of milk due to religion or lactose situations, they will have either water or juice ready for them.

Children’s needs are always important be it physical or mental needs, the child is always considered top priority. So we as practitioners plan towards a child’s healthy and enjoyable life be it schools or other childcare settings. They have their rights as a child also and planning must although planned by adults, be for the children and planned around the children to suit both child and adult needs.

C2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different approaches to planning for children’s care and learning.

In a childcare setting practitioners use different methods, different ways to
plan different lessons, activities, even environments around children that suit and work inside the curriculum framework and also meet the children’s care and learning needs. A few of these are as follows: The planning cycle

Practitioners use the planning cycle as it is the most effective method, since the planning method consists of 4 steps that continue constantly. The 4 steps consist of the plan, observe and assess, evaluate and implement. This allows the practitioner to carry out the activity or lesson they planned, observe how the children react and if they improve or not then evaluate the outcome, whether the child’s learning and care needs have been met. Then of there are any improvements they make will be noted and planned again for the next time they do the activity. Routines

Every day at placement, practitioners and children follow a routine set in place that also follows the curriculum. It’s seen in every placement some being stuck to the wall for all to see. It helps staff and settings a lot as it allows practitioners to see how much time they have to prepare snacks for children, doing observations, activities, getting milk or juice ready and helps the setting to manage well with the time slots. The child’s care needs are also met when the jobs are done and allow children to understand and get accustomed to the routine and times. Learning journeys

These are a key method in children’s learning needs. Practitioners are always writing and updating every child’s learning journeys in nurseries so they can track the developments children make. If the child still hasn’t quite reached a certain development milestone then they tend to work towards that and continue to improve the child’s learning. It also allows parents to get involved with their child’s learning as together they talk about the child’s development stage and together they can plan the next steps in their child’s life and their education. PLODS

To ensure that we are providing this we need to observe the child to see what they are interested in and record what we find. What we come up with will lead ‘themes/topics’ for planning This shows that practitioners use this method constantly. All children are different and to meet each individual
needs we would have to do different things all the time for each child. So we would record what each child’s interests and likes are, we can do this by talking to children in group work or we observe them during free flow. Then we can use this information to plan activities and special equipment in certain areas while ensuring we meet the special care and learning needs. Long, medium and short term planning

We don’t tend to use long term and medium term planning very often, we tend to only use short term as most times practitioners use a type of planning and carry it out in the most effective way to meet a child’s needs alongside the learning curriculum standards, however in the long term a child’s needs or the curriculum may differ or change, and also a practitioner may come across a fault in their planning and want to adjust the plans, also sometimes they may not have certain types of equipment and will have to use alternative methods. Thinking also the wishes of the parents or the child can change and must be respected.

C3 – Explain in detail the professional skills needed to plan. Analyse why practitioners need these skills.

To communicate effectively with children you need to be aware of their level of development and an understanding of their abilities. For example if a 4 year old was drawing at a table and wanted help, we would need to sit or kneel beside them and make eye contact. To show an interest in what they were saying you would listen and react to what they have said to show that you understand. Whatever the age of the child and even if they are a young person or adult, you should use the following skills:

Find opportunities to speak. Give the child a chance to speak and express themselves. Some may lack confidence and need to time to be able to express what they are trying to say. Encourage children to ask questions, offer ideas and make suggestions.

Make eye contact and listen carefully to what they say. You may be listening but if you are looking away it gives the child the impression that you are
not listening to them and are not really interested. Make sure that if someone is talking to you, you’re full attention is on them. You’ll probably find it easy if you are in a quiet place, however you should just make sure you are not distracted from the child.

Use appropriate body language and facial expressions. Make sure that you show you are interested by the way you act with children, young people and adults. Make sure you are approachable, get down to the child’s level as it can be intimidating if someone is standing over them. You should smile and react in a positive way to what they are saying.

These kinds of skills that you use when working with children gives us as practitioners helps us to know what the children’s learning needs are of what stage they are at and their care needs while showing the individual care the children need. After using these skills to get an idea of what the children like and what they are interested in, also how long they are interested in them for can be put towards planning for activities. We will then use skills for planning, our organisation, imaginative thinking and our detailed ideas to create an interesting, effective and fun planning, using the plan-do-review cycle.

C4. Demonstrate the application of relevant theoretical knowledge to play, learning and education to meet children’s identified learning needs.

Effective planning is what benefits a practitioner most.
With effective planning a practitioner will be able to achieve more out of the day that just doing small amounts and having so much time wasted or having a certain activity take up too much time and not being able to do other things that can be more fun. When careful planning takes place the practitioner focuses on getting good results by using activities that meet care needs and learning needs for children so when they carry out the plans children are happy with what they are doing, they are able to do the things the teacher sets out and can work efficiently. So the results from the children come out better because they enjoy it better, wanting them to do better themselves. Planning with plenty of consideration is better than just
planning simply on a whim just to please your own needs. Practitioners can benefit more from successful results as they are able to meet children’s needs and can get good results out of the planning, it can also really help the children improve their development so if the practitioner puts consideration into planning they make the children happy because the children can enjoy doing the work set, they can all be involved, working together helping each other and finish with really good results, achieving the correct marks can also make practitioners feel at ease because they are able to show children they can work to their best abilities and meet their individual needs and become enthusiastic. Children who are more interested in activities and enjoy them more follow planning better and bring out their best efforts better than those who don’t.

C5 – Explain in detail why it is important to plan for the provision of an enabling environment which meets all children’s care and learning needs. Teamwork- “The group will be able to collect different ideas from members of the team. Each student has a unique outlook and therefore can present concepts and ideas in a different manner. From the pool of ideas, the entire group can discuss which works best or will be the most effective. The team can be creative by bouncing ideas off each other to find the best solutions to the problems or tasks they are facing.” ( In my placement we constantly discuss all different kinds of ways we can plan the days. In the morning while setting up the activities and snacks, during our lunch breaks in the staff room and even after school. We share each of our ideas and views then on Wednesdays they complete the planning and make a decision on the upcoming weeks main start theme. They also decide together on indoor and outdoor rotas. Where I am teamwork in always our key feature and we always take into account the care and learning needs as a group and as individual children.

Indoors has an immediate effect on the quality of children’s learning and development. The benefits of establishing an indoor play area for children extend beyond a simple cure for boredom. Indoor activities are normally planned more, we allow the children to choose their areas to play in, and so that could be the home corner (role play), the computers, the book corner or
the creative areas. The children really enjoy this way of spending time in the nursery and our planning helps to put in the ideas for activities that the children love, it shows that we take into account all individual needs and learning they need. There are many benefits to a well-planned outdoor space. Outside, children can play freely; they can use loud voices, release excess energy and take part in different messy activities. In the outdoors children can experience different seasons and temperatures, the open space, wild life and different types of areas, such as hilly areas, holes, streams and mud puddles. Also putting into fact that children with additional needs can concentrate better after their explorations. Children in my placement enjoy the play they can experience outside. While we decide on the activities they take part in outdoors, e.g. sand, water, bikes, climbing frame and so on. It allows them to effectively develop in different areas of development and learning.

When we plan in our placement, we always take into consideration the space we have. So we use the most of it and allow children to explore all areas of that space, while ding different activities they can understand things around them and learn more about them using all their different senses such as touch, smell, sight, and sound. Then exploring inside when we have tasting sessions, they explore the different types of taste. Recently we had themes such as goldilocks and the three bears and we tasted porridge, the little red hen so we made bread for everyone and we are hoping to let the children experience more through our careful and thoughtful planning. When planning all different activities and such the Reggio Emilia approach seems to guide us as we plan around the children’s well-being and needs, we must always be putting into thought that the children should have some control over what they choose to play and are given the opportunity to experience all sorts of learning through their different senses and should be left to learn in their own unique way but always guided on the path to their learning and care needs. Practitioners in childcare always plan around the children’s care needs and learning needs. When we plan the children’s environment we set out activities that support a safe environment, an environment that the children would enjoy to the full extent, and can learn through all different methods, that also help achieve their developmental

C6 – Explain how child development theories are used in practice when planning to support children’s care needs. Bowlby – “Bowlby’s evolutionary theory of attachment suggests that children come into the world biologically pre-programmed to form attachments with others, because this will help them to survive.” ( Katz – “Katz (1994) provides some guidance for inferring the perspectives of young children. Principally, children’s sense of acceptance, belonging, respect, and engagement in meaningful activities as they go about their daily lives provides a framework for beginning to adopt a bottom-up perspective. Observation of individual children engaged in their daily routines provides a mechanism to consider children’s experiences and potential perceptions of the child care environment.” (University of Tennessee-Knoxville) John Bowlby’s theory clearly states as above that children from the moment they are born and through their life will attach themselves to many different things and different people, mainly their parents. Therefore in settings practitioners believe that when a child gets attached to something or someone they see it either as a good thing, or a bad thing. For example, when a child gets attached to a certain teacher and tend not to socialise with anyone else then that can be a problem because although we have to give them our support, care and attention, we must allow them to socialise, it’s not the point that we don’t show our care for them, when we are showing lots of care for them, we care enough to allow the children to interact with others apart from themselves to improve their social and emotional confidence and also the care we give gets clearly shown when the child understands that if the practitioner or the attached person leaves the room, or is busy during the day that they are not alone and have plenty of friends around them that they can interact with, therefore without that practitioner there the child can survive. Lilian Katz’s theory shows that children what to belong and want to be cared for in their lives. Practitioners plan the days at settings around the children, for the children, they don’t plan the activity to satisfy just them, they do it for the children’s interest and well-being. Activities that all the children with enjoy and take part in. taking care of each individual needs in the process. By including the thoughts and ideas of the children we
are giving the children care and understanding, so they know that they belong at the setting, have been accepted by other children and staff and their opinions and interests are being respected by everyone, therefore they will feel happy and their needs can be fulfilled.

C7 – Analyse how child development theories support planning for learning and play Whalley – “…Imagine an early years centre in which all staff are beginning to be assertive; self-critical and supportively critical of others, where the staff…work co-operatively, respect each other’s strengths, and celebrate each other’s successes and failures. A centre in which the adults, parents and staff are rigorous thinkers, focused and analytical, and yet aware of the rhythms of the organisation and their personal lives; where the work is rooted in the local community but staff also reach out and make their views known… this would be a centre in which all children felt valued as equals. It would be a centre in which children’s rich emotional lives were acknowledged and supported, where they were encouraged and cognitively challenges and their learning was promoted.” (

To support the children having parental involvement can be rather essential. In my setting we involve parents quite a lot. Our partnership with the parents allows us to see how well their children are coping in their home environment, we can pass on how well the children are coping in the setting to the parent and we can discuss where the children is at their learning stage and what we plan to do in the future for that child. By providing learning journeys/ folders in setting and learning journals that are passed between their home and the setting. Parents will be informed about problems with the children and we support the children with all the work they do.

Bruce – “Children need first-hand experiences which need to always be fun. Tina says “children cannot play if they are sitting at tables” (Bruce, page 13, 2009)

Children find that play should be most enjoyable as the saying goes “children learn through play”. Children don’t want to be sat down for lengths of time working with pen/pencil and paper, they aren’t robots. So placements allow
children to enjoy play freely and not force things upon them.

In my setting we have seen that children concentrate more and give better results by being given the chance to play through the day, as children learn naturally even if we direct them on the right path. We plan around the children, putting our thoughts into it that would help them achieve their learning targets.

However children may learn lots through play, but all play gets children nowhere in their learning development. There has to be at least some control in a child’s learning.

In conclusion they all focus on the outcome of child’s learning and care needs. A child has the right to be cared for and feel like they belong, then also have a right to learn in their own way under the guidance of the child care practitioner. The theorists above talk about and explain through their theories about the importance of the child and how important it is to follow these kinds of ideas.

C8 – Analyse the importance of play in children’s learning, giving reasons why play should be included in planning. “Children learn through play – by improvising, randomly exploring, compromising, negotiating, and being playful.” (

The importance of play in a child’s life is most important. Practitioners know that all children learn through play, so especially with nursery years. Staff plans their activities around the children’s interests making the lessons fun enough for the children and as educational as possible. All children have their individual needs and the majority of those needs are freedom. Children don’t want to be cooped up in a class room all day every day having to follow the teachers planning and not being able to enjoy themselves. If that happened then all the results teachers get from the children such as their learning development stages wouldn’t match the requirements for that age. Children don’t have a long enough attention span to be able to cope with a full day of work, so we shouldn’t expect them to.

In my placement we have different activities for the children to take part in and the main star activity every child have to do. But we realise that some children enjoy the activity and some children don’t, we make them as fun as possible so the children will take part, but not all the children want to work, instead they want to play and do things their way. Practitioners may see this as a bad outlook on the child’s life; by concluding that they don’t learn anything because they don’t follow and listen to what the teachers have planned, but in actual fact they are learning new things every day, through work and play. For example during the week a child may not be un-receptive to what you’re saying and not wanting to listen, but later on you may find they have listened and when taking part in an activity they follow the instructions and are showing they understood what you have explained. Children amaze us by doing wondrous things, by playing games using the things they’ve taken away and learned. They learn in lots of different ways so expect the unexpected. Now practitioners plan their activities when they know the times of the day, so they can work within the time line and work around the children’s free time. But when the teachers needs all the children to complete the star activity, we don’t taken them away from play, instead we let them come and go when they choose to, to carry out the activity and if we don’t have all the children marked off for completing the activity we have the entire week to carry out that activity.

C9 – A conclusion which evaluates the importance of planning to meet the care and learning needs of all children Through the entire time looking at planning for children, planning around their care and learning needs, thinking about inclusive practice and diversity has brought me to a closed conclusion on the importance of planning in a childcare setting. On looking at an overview of the strengths of planning those being beneficial aspects, an example being able to constantly see where the children are with their learning stages and being able to know what the children need to give them a good well-being gives a positive outlook on the subject, however also looking at the weaknesses and issues of planning being, the attention span of a child and the interest. Children that have had activities planned for them don’t want to follow everything exactly how the teacher wants it done.

As Bruce said in one of her theory in practice “Children make up their own rules while they play. Being in control is an important part of play.” (Bruce, page 13, 2009) The reason planning is so important despite the good and bad points is that we need to be able to plan for children and adjust planning to suit each individual child that may be at different stages or may have a learning/care condition. Planning is also based upon an adult’s view of each individual child, and as Katz stated in her theory in practice “As with children adult’s learning should be considered in terms of skills, knowledge, dispositions and feelings” (Katz, page 32, 2009) Although this quote speaks of the adults as in practitioners, we can link it in with children as children’s learning should be considered based on their skills, their knowledge, abilities and feelings. Different planning techniques are used in every childcare setting. However some settings may think one way of planning such as activity plans, planning cycle are better than other views of planning like overall weekly plans that are full in detail or just simply set out. However though different planning styles can give such a wide range of ways for effective planning, planning is very important for all practitioners. To make sure we meet the children’s needs, those being care or learning, and being for a group of children or as an individual, are in my opinion, very important for everyday purpose. Overall I think planning is very effective in settings and should be used to meet the curriculum; however a child’s opinion and their feelings of the things that go into planning must always be taken into account.






2/11/2012 Bruce. T (2009) How children learn 3 contemporary thinking and theorists, London; MA Education


6/12/2012 Bruce. T (2009) How children learn 3 contemporary thinking and theorists, London; MA Education

7/12/2012 Katz. L (2009) How children learn 3 contemporary thinking and theorists, London; MA Education