Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 2.1: An introduction to the role of the Early Years practitioner
Learning outcome: Be able to communicate to meet individuals’ needs and preferences
Assessment criteria: Identify reasons why people communicate
There are many reasons why people communicate. Some of the most common reasons include:
- to share information
- to express needs or wants
- to ask questions
- to give directions
- to provide instructions
- to offer support or encouragement
- to build or maintain relationships
- to show love or affection
- to resolve conflict
- for pleasure
Communication can be both verbal and non-verbal. We often associate communication with speaking and listening (verbal), but there are several other methods that individuals can use to send and receive messages between one another.
Reading and writing is one example of non-verbal communication. Early Years practitioners will need to use this communication method regularly, whether reading policies and procedures or making written records.
Children may communicate using behaviour or gestures if they cannot verbalise what they are thinking. For example, a child may point at a toy to communicate that they wish to play with it or throw a tantrum to express that they are frustrated.
Other forms of non-verbal communication can include the use of visual aids or pictures, sign language or Makaton, and Braille. It is important that all practitioners know the different ways in which children may communicate with them to provide the best possible support.