The EYFS explains that along with caring for a child’s personal development, and helping them build relationships with others – a positive environment is also key in a child’s development. By creating a positive environment, you are enabling a child to flourish and reach their full potential in all aspects of development. It is important to create a setting that ensures all children are ‘included’ – and feel equal within a setting – good partnership with parents is paramount to ensure the child is getting the best possible care.
The EYFS explains how a positive environment interconnects with a child’s whole development. Some key points that are covered in the EYFS to create a positive environment and a good relationship with the parents and children are; *Welcome parents and involve them in their children’s education. *Warm, relaxed, happy, friendly and welcoming environment and staff. *Staff should work effectively as a good team. *Positive behaviour – staff should always be positive and good role models e. g. no shouting, manners, no violence, etc.
*Lots of colour and activity, children seeing their work displayed up on the wall will encourage achievements, helping to develop and promote creativity and self-esteem. *The environment should be safe, hygienic and child friendly. *Well ventilated, with natural light and to always be bright and lovely looking. *Useful resources to reinforce their needs such as stepping blocks to toilets and sinks for washing hands. *Celebrating diversity and valuing the children’s individual needs, and be free from discrimination of any kind. *Equal opportunities.
*Children should be stimulated, through both activities and their surroundings. *Staff members should work effectively as a team. *All staff should be well trained and continuously updated about policies and procedures. Recognisable and predictable routines help children to predict and make connections in their experiences. EYFS mentions routines across the section on Personal, Social and Emotional Development. As you might expect, it advocates a predictable but flexible pattern to daily life in your setting as being the best way to support babies and young children.
The Childcare Act 2006 helps underpin a positive environment because; it offers simplified Early years regulations and inspection arrangements. It now provides a new inspection framework of care quality and education that provides that settings meet the needs of all children concerned and cater for them all individually. By providing a high quality of standard of care – practitioners are also providing the best positive environment for children to develop and flourish.
Parents are also reassured the people caring for their children are trained to the highest standard creating positive relationships with practitioners. Health and safety Act 1974: This Act – also referred to as HASAW – is the primary piece of legislation that covers occupational health and safety in the UK. The Act covers: Buildings and services and their design and maintenance. Cleanliness of a premises and areas where food is prepared. Safe storage of food and equipment. Working practices that promote safety. Provision of a safety policy.
The Health and Safety Act underpins a positive environment because it sets out legislation to ensure children’s safety is paramount. It minimises the risk of potential accidents whilst allowing children to develop skills to keep themselves safe. Toys must meet regulatory requirements – this creates a positive atmosphere not only in terms of safety but ensures that children maintain positive behaviour, by not getting frustrated with toys that may be broken. Risk assessment is very important when creating a postitive environment – it ensures any potential safety issues are addressed before a child commences in play – and ensures a better atmosphere for the children – in turn creating a trustworthy environment for parents to leave their children. Keeping the environment secure / at the right temperature and hygienic – also promotes a positive environment for the health of the children. Kitchen hygiene is of upmost importance – the act states that dangerous substances be stored safely away from children, and that food must be prepared in a certain way – refer to food handling (use of gloves, aprons, clean cutlery to avoid cross contamination)
Care Standards Act: This is an act in place to establish National Care Standards – these are in place for anyone that receives care eg, Pre-school’s , nurseries, after school clubs, children in care, and Adults in care homes. These are national minimum standards that every care provider must adhere to and are inspected on regularly. Providers will use the standards to find out what is expected of them in offering childcare and early education services. The standards make it clear that everything about the service should lead to you and your child enjoying good quality services.
They should guide the provider over who to employ and how they should manage the service. These national care standards provide the framework for assessing the service as a whole. The standards will be used to monitor the quality of services and their compliance with the Act and the regulations. Behaviour Policy: The setting has a behaviour policy in place to ensure children flourish; this is best done when their personal, social and emotional needs are met. It is important that are clear ‘developmentally appropriate expectations’ for their behaviour.
In order for an environment to remain the positive, children need to learn to consider other children’s feelings, and views – to ensure nobody feels excluded, and the environment is a happy and safe one. Bad behaviour is dealt with in a positive way – and positive strategies are taken to ensure solutions are found to overcome it. Wherever possible, support and understanding is used to help a child acknowledge their bad behaviour and to help them understand why they behaved a certain way. It is vital not to exclude a child or label them as ‘bad’ as this can lead to them feeling humiliated, and having a negative sense of self. Having a varied amount of toys prevents arguments / a negative atmosphere, as does using positive praise to award good behaviour. Speaking in a calm way – will encourage children to do the same. Following the same strategies when a child misbehaves, will ensure they are aware of what behaviour is acceptable and what will happen in this instance. To conclude, Supporting, and helping children to understand their actions of bad behaviour will help them to channel their feelings in a more positive way.
It is important that strategies are in place to reward good behaviour, and equally there be provisions in place to aid those with learning difficulties / language barriers etc. , to understand what behaviour is expected of you. When Behaviour can become hurtful toward others it is vital to maintain a healthy relationship with the parents of the child. There may be underlying issues that trigger bad behaviour – and working with parents can ensure the best possible care for the child, and also reassure parents that you are working in partnership with them.