Tuesday, 27 December 2016

4 Tips for Early Childhood Education and Care

4 Tips for Early Childhood Education and Care

The first institution where your child learns anything is your home, then he goes to school. When it comes to childcare, don’t think your responsibility is over once they start going to school. You have a bigger role, and you need to be careful at each turn.
Child education is no joke; you have to make this matter a serious agenda. Take part in their daily activities and view their progress with the following tips.

Give Them Time

Nothing improves early childhood education and care than sparing time from your routine. If you ignore your children, they will feel irresponsible and lose their interest in education. So spend time with them and discuss their study with them. Ask what they read today, help them if they need and if you can, ask how they can improve. Just give them your time, it’s the most important thing.

Supportive Environment

Your home and its environment affect your children more than you think. Therefore, you will have to create a loving environment with the good relationship among your family. This will have a positive impact on their mind and helps them to study. Nothing ruins childcare than a stressing environment because it doesn’t let them concentrate on study. Don’t do such activities which will consume their entire attention, or mental strength.

Encourage Them

You need to encourage your children to do well in every aspect of life. This includes study.  You have to show your appreciation if your children do well in their exams. If it’s the other way around, you want to find a way to motivate them to work hard, just don’t make them greedy or spoil their habits. Appreciate their efforts, and you will see them putting in more effort. Just don’t let their hope die. Always find a way to get them determined.

Stay in Touch with their school

To track your childs progress, you have to stay in touch with their school and teachers. They are the best insights you have in their educational life. The teachers will also notify you about their social behavior and will let you know anything important. Teachers play an important role in early childhood education and care. This makes them your best friend when it comes to developing and nurture the mentality of your child. So, get to know your children’s teacher, they can help you with anything with your child.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Constructions of Childhood

It was Rousseau who began to shape our understanding of the child and the emotions of the heart. For Rousseau, human kind was naturally good and it was only the constraints in many social situations that had a negative effect that led to children being considered ‘bad’. According to Rousseau, children were the bearers of goodness and if ‘properly’ educated and socialised according to ‘natural’ principles then all would be when. Even at this early stage ‘bad’ children were the parents fault!!!
NB: Note the highlighting of particular words here. This indicates the use of irony.
The effect of Rousseau’s thinking on our understanding of children was profound as from this we see the inauguration of a powerful commitment in western society to childhood as a form of promise and an extension of our own plans and beliefs – a heavy burden indeed for such young shoulders.
What this essentially means is that since the enlightenment, children have become our prime concern and we are their protectors and nurturers. Of course you might say – and is that not how it should be?? Perhaps – but read on to see how such a notion can prove highly problematic.
The Erosion of the Family
I am sure you have all heard this term. We often hear in the news about the moral decay of society, of how family life is no longer appreciated and that parents are not caring appropriately for their children. We hear about children roaming the streets unsupervised, how parents are not protecting them appropriately and how young offenders who destroy property should end up behind bars. We hear that children in this day and age are not ‘properly’ disciplined.
However, it is important to consider that while things might appear to be changing for the worse it might not be that this is the case. It may be that things are not worse just different and that life as we know it today merely has its own set of problems, in the same way as life did in the ‘good old days’.
The postmodern condition
Life in postmodern times is not worse but different. Life is now discontinuous, uncertain, insecure and nostalgic. In previous times life was certain – you were born, grew up, went to school, graduated, got a job, got married, had children who went through the same processes then you had grandchildren became old and died (well perhaps not quite that ordered). In postmodern times we may not access things in the same way. For example, we may go to school and graduate, then we could go on to further study or to work, we could get married or we might have children and then get married, we may return to study in later life. Suffice to say – life is no longer certain or continuous – we are losing familiar points of attachment (families may be continents apart) and we are experiencing discontinuity. Such conditions make us long for the security of times past – we are nostalgic about the past.
When we think about it though were times past really so great? To begin with, women did not have the choices they have today, we were almost annihilated by two world wars, children were kidnapped even then and we certainly did not have the capacity to see the world in reality or virtually as we do today. In short, the good old days were not really great – they were just different.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Children learn informally, through play and interacting with their world, during their early years, often persisting and tackling new challenges. All children enter school expecting to succeed.
However, for many children they lose confidence and motivation when they do not succeed.  Results in poor self-efficacy
Why do some children fail?
Do they stop being able to learn?
Is the fault within the child?
Is the nature of the educational program or the teaching part of the problem?
It is essential that teachers understand the learning process and the factors that enhance or impede children's learning. Understanding how children learn is fundamental for teaching and effective curriculum planning.
Pedagogical content knowledge suggests –
Select appropriate methods
Knowledge of curriculum content
Steps involved in learning process
Anticipate difficulties students may experience
Awareness of learning characteristics of the students
       permanent change
       acquire new skills, knowledge, attitudes and values
       increasing automaticity
       two neurons communicating with each other
       attitudes and values
Knowledge /learned information may be acquired incidentally in daily life. A Sound knowledge base is needed for thinking and reasoning skills – retrieval and application – automaticity (example -  learning to read).
This is most valuable when related to information previously stored in memory. Intellectual skills = cognitive abilities that allow students to interact successfully with their environment and successfully complete new tasks.
Acquire concepts, rules, routines and symbol systems. Thinking, reasoning and problem solving.
Direct teaching, demonstration and guided practice. Mental strategies used to approach a learning task or problem. Metacognitive processes that control our cognition = internal executive processes – plan, monitor and evaluate performance.
The Lack of appropriate strategies = the cause of learning difficulties.
Cognitive strategies taught by direct explanation and modelling, think alouds (self-talk), guided practice and reflection. Affects personal choices toward object, person and event. There is a significant association with competence and efficacy as a learner – shaped by the extent to which students fail or succeed at school. Intentional learning – learner deliberately working to acquire knowledge, skill or strategy.
Incidental learning does not require conscious effort to acquire information or skill it is exposure and learning unintentionally. A Combination of student-centred and direct teaching most effective.
Students with LD require additional direct teaching approaches.
  Observation and imitation.
       Retention - memory
       Reproduction – recall and imitate
       Reinforcement or incentive -  motivation
  May be intentional or incidental.
  Social Learning Theory – learning in the social environment – self-efficacy, self-understanding.
Important during initial stages of learning key information (maths symbols and notation, spelling sight words). Meaningful learning contributes to the development of intellectual skills and cognitive strategies. Learning hierarchy – each new stage or level of learning is dependent upon prerequisite knowledge, skills and strategies at a lower level (maths).
Task analysis – determining the learning hierarchy for specific task.
  Stages through which a learner passes in order to acquire new knowledge, skills and strategies:
1.       Attention to task – without attention no learning
2.       Acquisition – demonstration, prompting and error correction
3.       Application – developing competency
4.       Automaticity - fluency
5.       Maintenance – practice over time
6.       Generalisation – teaching across range of contexts
7.       Adaption – independent learning and usage
  Different learners require different times at each level.

here is a great video about urban learning :)

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Transdisciplinary models of practice have arisen from an increasing number of complex problems encountered by children and families. Currently we have a service system that is struggling to meet the diverse needs of children and families. We can find some good examples of high-quality, innovative service delivery in Australia, however, early years services are still very fragmented. Often our universal services have a difficult time reaching the children and families that may most benefit from their services.  Negotiating the system is time-consuming and frustrating for may families and even more so for those in crisis.  
Transdisciplinary practice aims to provide services that are more coordinated and integrated in order to reduce confusion, duplication and fragmentation, and to increase communication and accessibility for families. In transdiscipinary practice professionals from across disciplines come together to share knowledge, alternative ideas and new possibilities. Transdisciplinarity focuses on inquiry rather than disciplines (Nolan, Cartmel and Macfarlane, 2012) creating a space for the emergence of new data and possibilities.  It requires the professional to have critical thinking skills and a willingness to work collaboratively. Transdisciplinarity focuses on the client rather than on the 'truths' or 'taken-for-granted' practice within each discipline. It has been recognised that the transdisicplinary approach is 'good' practice for early intervention and prevention services. 
When practitioners come together from across disciplines communication can be difficult as the diversity of knowledge and practice can be quite diverse. This mis-communication often acts as a barrier to supporting clients rather than an opportunity to 'think otherwise' about what's possible.  One of the critical skills you will need to learn is how to listen to what is happening for your client/s, the ability to confront your own beliefs and 'taken-for-granted' practices, consider the  multiple perspectives and reconstruct possibilities. This model of of practice includes all of the perspectives, including those of the child and their family. 

Friday, 2 December 2016

Attachement Theory, an important thing to understand

Attachment is the deep and enduring connection established between a child and a parent/caregiver in the first several years of life. It is a reciprocal relationship that children and parents/caregivers create together (Daubney, 2010). It is important to note that children do not merely attach to one person. They can have significant attachments to multiple individuals – parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, childcare staff, teachers, etc.
When an adult provides a nurturing and safe environment, involving a sense of safety and protection, the child develops a sense of who they are, how others will respond to them and that the world is generally a safe place. On the other hand, if a child's attachment figure is insensitive, unresponsive and inconsistent (Rolfe 2004) the child will be at significant developmental risk. At the extreme, a child that has experienced severe abuse and neglect or whom have had attachment relationships that have been severly disrupted by constant separations (i.e. multiple out-of home-care placements) may develop coping strategies which are often viewed by others as negative (Rolfe, 2004). Hence, the child is at risk of being further traumatised in situations where the adult does not have an understanding of the importance of attachment relationships.
Recent findings in neouscience have also helped us understand the importance of early attachment on brain development. Evidence in brain development research demonstrates the importance of attachment and stability (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009) for the healthy development of the brain's neural pathways. The lack of positive experiences in the early years can have long-term effects on a child's wellbeing including; physical, mental, learning, behaviour and social/emotional development (Winter, 2010). Furthermore, research indicates that disadvantage in the early years is linked to the circumstances of a child's family and the environment in which the child grows up. Therefore, strengthening families is important as a strategy to support positive development and well-being for children.
Investment in early childhood development has shown to have positive effects, especially for children experiencing disadvantage. Evidence from successful intervention progams indicate that early intervention works! Research also tells us the sooner we start, the lower the cost and the higher the effectiveness (Oberlaid, 2007). Supporting families to understand the importance of early relationships and how to build a nuturing relationship with young children is the focus of this topic. 
There is a plethora of literature to be found on attachment theory and certainly it would take a great deal of time to cover it all. John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth have made significant contributions to our understanding of attachment.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Well its thursday and a short week for me! Day off tomorrow, but wow, its going to be 38 degrees so spending some time at the beach might be in order!

Ive been reading about the Montessori philosophy which I have found pretty interesting as it goes well with the unit in the childcare course I am studying at the moment.

Here is a short video I found demonstrating the theory :)

Sunday, 27 November 2016

I got a job!


this is my first post about becoming a childcare worker in Australia! Ive always loved children, especially toddlers, they are so genuine, so full of love and so cute! I worked in admin before and really got sick of going to work each day doing the same old thing over and over with my boss watching what I was doing, sitting down at a computer all day and generally being bored out of my mind. I looked everywhere for childcare courses, childcare training, childcare qualifications and how to become a childcare worker, eventually I found that I needed to do a Cert 3 in childcare or a Diploma in childcare, I think it used to be called a Certificate III in Childrens Services.

So... I decided to embark on a new journey in childcare. Maybe I was feeling broody, who knows but looked around and was originally going to sign up with Tafe but then when I started looking on the internet and found that the courses were way way cheaper! I after speaking to lots and lots of colleges I went with the Australian College of Teacher Aides and Childcare and enrolled in their Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.

Instead of speaking to a sales guy I spoke to a trainer who had been an early childhood teacher in a kindy and ran prep rooms. She was great and she even helped me prepare my CV for my placement.

I was lucky the first centre I went to offered me a job to start the next day!

Thats enough for now, but im looking forward to my next blog about my first few days in childcare!