None of us like too much change in our lives, but when changes are afoot in a children's life it can really affect them in a big way. It is really important to try and handle any changes in a sensitive and thoughtful way, to manage it proactively and to deal with it as if you were a child, not like an adult. Here are some thoughts about helping children cope with changes in their life.
- Chat to them about the change. Choose a time when they are calm and happy and speak easily and in a supportive manner.
- Talk about what your child enjoys at school and in clubs and then talk about what they don't like. This will help them feel confident enough to chat and may unearth some interesting facts you didn't know about.
- Talk about friends and people your children play with.
- Talk to their carers in private and discuss the issues.
- Try to keep to a routine and keep things the same.
- Give plenty of reassurance.
If a child is not coping with change you may spot some of the following:
- They become clingy and fearful to leave you
- They may become panicky and breathless
- They may complain of illness and headaches
- They may become less inclined to talk and communicate
- They may loose interest in activities
- They may become bad tempered and angry
A review has stated that nursery and childminding targets should be scaled back to allow teachers and carers more time actually teaching the children. Carers are spending so much time on paperwork that they are not spending enough time with the children, inspiring, guiding and helping them.
Dame Clare Tickell, co-author of the report, said that the Early Years Foundation Stage has helped boost standards, but it has also become too focused with meeting targets. The review calls for the EYFS to be radically changed thus reducing the number of goals for under fives from 69 to just 17.
It was said that the current scheme is "cumbersome, repetitive and unnecessarily bureaucratic." Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said the changes would be "a victory for common sense".
It points out that:
- children develop at different rates
- play is vital
- literacy and numeracy can often be taught in too formal a way which may not be productive
Instead, general checks should take place including:
- seeing if a child can negotiate space and objects around them
- communicate their needs (food, drink)
- learn new words and use them
These along with the health visitor checks at age 2 would indicate any educational needs. The report also states that everyone working with under fives should have, at least, A levels, thus ensuring a high quality workforce.
We'll have to wait and see the repercussions!
It has been suggested by Jean Gross, Communications expert and adviser to the EYFS Review, that the equal weighting given to the areas of the EYFS may do better if it were changed.
Currently the six areas of learning and development are given equal weighting throughout the age range it covers.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication, Language and Literacy
- Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
- Knowledge and Understanding of the World
- Physical Development
- Creative Development
However, there is talk of changing the weighting especially in the younger age ranges. Perhaps there should be an increased emphasis in the personal, social and emotional development and the communication and language areas.
Ms Gross has in he past spoken about the importance of bonding and attachment between babies and their parents and the value of talking to your baby! ToucanLearn agrees and as our activities with babies demonstrate, there is so much you can do to start the "conversation" and bonding with your babies by simply chatting to them. They can't speak back to you, or contribute to a conversation, but they look, watch and listen and learn as you talk to them and involve them in your life! This can only be a good thing!
More research will follow and decisions will be made as to how, if at all, EYFS will change.