Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 1.4: Promote children’s emotional well-being
Learning outcome: Be able to promote the emotional wellbeing of children in own setting
Assessment criteria: Identify the needs of children in own setting in relation to emotional well-being
A vital component of an Early Years practitioner’s role is identifying the needs of children in their care in relation to their emotional wellbeing.
Practitioners can do this by making observations of the child and through communication and interaction with them. For example, a child who regularly has tantrums or is withdrawn and does not want to join in with activities may show signs of struggling to cope emotionally.
Sometimes, children will openly express their feelings and tell the practitioner what is upsetting them. Other times, they may not be able to communicate what is wrong, but their behaviour will show that something is not right.
It is important for practitioners to be aware of the signs that a child may be struggling emotionally so that they can provide the appropriate support. If a child is not given the chance to express their emotions and have them validated, this can lead to further emotional difficulties later in life.
In addition, practitioners should work closely with a child’s parents/carers. Parents/carers know their child best and can offer valuable insight into what may be causing their child upset or distress. For example, changes to a child’s home life may impact their emotional wellbeing, such as a new baby in the family or a divorce. A strong relationship with parents/carers means that information is more likely to be bi-directionally exchanged, and all parties can work together to achieve the best outcomes for the child.
A child’s key person is particularly important in supporting their emotional wellbeing. The key person is typically the practitioner that the child has the strongest bond with and they provide a sense of security and stability for the child. The key person is someone that the child can turn to when they are feeling upset or need some reassurance.
It is important for all Early Years practitioners to have a good understanding of emotional wellbeing and how they can support children in their care. By identifying the needs of children and offering the appropriate support, practitioners can make a positive difference to a child’s life.