Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 3.2: Plan, lead and review play opportunities which support children’s learning and development in relation to current frameworks
Learning outcome: Be able to plan play opportunities
Assessment criteria: Identify features of an environment which support children’s play, learning and development
In this section, we will discuss some of the features of an environment that support children’s play, learning and development.
Firstly, the environment should be safe for children to explore. This means that hazardous or potentially dangerous items are kept out of reach, and all potential hazards are identified and managed. Additionally, it is important that there is suitable supervision in place to ensure safety at all times and that adults interact and engage with the children.
Secondly, the environment should be comfortable for children, with furniture and structures sized to fit their needs. This includes comfortable chairs and seating, tables of the right height for activities and materials that are easy to use and accessible at the child’s level
Thirdly, the environment should be stimulating with resources to support children’s learning development and engage their senses. This may include a variety of toys, books, art materials and other educational items that are both age-appropriate and interesting for the child. Furthermore, these resources should be accessible to the children.
Finally, the environment should be flexible enough to allow for different types of play and activities. This means providing a range of areas, including indoor, outdoor, and quiet spaces, as well as open areas where children can engage in active play. Additionally, the environment should be regularly adapted and changed to meet the changing needs of children.