Describe information the Early Years practitioner requires to be able to plan to meet the needs of children

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 3.8: Understand how to plan to meet the needs of the developing child
Learning outcome: Understand how to plan to meet the needs of children
Assessment criteria: Describe information the Early Years practitioner requires to be able to plan to meet the needs of children

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As an Early Years practitioner, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of how to plan and deliver appropriate care and education for young children. This requires knowledge of the policies, procedures, and legal requirements early years practitioners must adhere to, but also an understanding of who the child is as an individual. Here we will look at what type of information should be gathered in order to provide the best possible early years experience for each child.

In order to plan effectively for each child’s individual needs, it is important that information about them is gathered from several different sources. These include the parents/guardians/carers, any relevant professionals such as health visitors or social workers, and most importantly the child themselves. This information can include details about their family background, medical history, physical development, language development etc., enabling the practitioner to gain a clear picture of who the child is and what their needs are. It should also be noted that this process should be ongoing throughout a child’s time with a practitioner; regular observations should be made in order to identify any changes in behaviour or development which may suggest new needs or issues which need addressing.

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The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework offers guidance on planning for each individual child within an early years setting. The EYFS states that practitioners must ensure they are delivering activities which are appropriate for each age group while still taking into account individual differences; this means assessing each activity according to what would suit each particular group of children rather than providing one “one-size-fits-all” approach. A key part of this process is identifying children’s interests so that activities can be tailored accordingly; it may be helpful for practitioners to observe children during playtime in order to get a better idea of their interests and abilities so that activities can then be planned which will meet their specific needs.

It is essential that practitioners gather as much information as possible when planning activities suitable for young children in order to ensure they receive an education which meets their individual needs as well as meeting all legal requirements. Information should come from multiple sources including parents/guardians/carers and health professionals if necessary, while regular observations by practitioners are also important in order to identify any changes in behaviour or development over time. By ensuring that activities are tailored according to individual interests and abilities while still falling within age-related guidelines set out by the EYFS framework, Early Years practitioners can make sure they are providing quality care and education experiences for all children under their care.

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