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Child And Young Person Development Essay Sample

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Child And Young Person Development Essay Sample

Explain how different types of transitions can affect children and young people’s development. Transitions are the movements, passages or changes from one position, state, stage, subject or concept to another. These changes can be gradual or sudden, and last for differing periods of time. Different transitions children and young people may experience can start as early as when a child has to spend time with someone who is not their parent or main carer. This can be an emotional transition, while some children may take this change positively, for others it may be difficult and can have an impact on their development. While these transitions can be seen as small, they are important for children and young people. Learning to cope with these changes gives children confidence and will more likely result in a positive outcome. An example being where a child confidently plays with other children in a nursery. The “Early years Foundation Stage “spans the period from birth up to early primary school. This provides new and exciting opportunities for meaningful and challenging learning experiences and for children to develop educationally, emotionally and socially within that level. It also encourages good transitions from nursery or other early year’s settings into primary school. Other transitions can be when the infant of child stops wearing nappies and goes onto use the potty and/or toilet.

This is a transition which can affect the child both physically and emotionally where they move from one activity to another. Another physical transition could be moving from one educational setting to a new establishment, for example a new home or new locality. This transition can affect them in areas including physically, emotionally and intellectually. An intellectual transition where they move from pre-school to primary to post primary. They can also experience transition when they attend a Breakfast Club, Afterschool provision and Holiday Club play schemes. A large physiological change is usually around 11 for girls and 13 for boys where they are going through puberty. During this often fragile time, the young people have to adapt to the changes in size and shape of their body. At age 16+ most young people will move into sixth form, start at a college or begin employment so they need to make new friendships and adapts to new rules and expectations. Any significant change in the child’s or young person’s family structure can be difficult for them to cope with. Some parents will separate and the child or young person has to adapt to being in a single parent family.

Often, a new family is formed with a step parent, step sister/s or brother/s and a parent may go to have a baby with their new partner. Some children may even be moved into Foster Care because of challenges within the family unit while other children who are in Foster care may be adopted. Some children or young person has to deal with a bereavement of a close relative, parent or sibling. These transitions can change the whole family structure as well as creating an emotional loss. Some children and young people experience abuse which can sometimes happen within the family unit or carried out by someone trusted by the family. A significant illness or disability such as diabetes can be a very challenging transition for the child to face. Illness and disability can sometimes mean time away from home and undergoing treatment in a hospital.

Adjusting to an illness or disability is a significant transition for both the child and the parent or main carer. Serious bullying can seriously affect a child’s education and also their emotional wellbeing and their sense of confidence. Bullying can become particularly serious after the age of 11. While some children and young people will experience fairly straight forward transitions, other children may have to deal with some very challenging and difficult periods of their lives. Understanding the large range of transitions and changes that child has to encounter is vital in order to positively enhance their personal growth and development.


Providing positive adult support is very important in order to help the child or young person develop healthily particularly during difficult times of transition and change. Reducing difficulties during change by even a very small amount can make a big difference to many children. Understanding the underlying reasons for these difficulties and having a collection of strategies for nursery and school staff to use helps reduce stress of change. Providing positive methods of support can also prevent disruptive or acting-out behaviour, provide a settled learning environment for all children, reduce stress for staff, reduce exclusions and build positive and productive relationships which impact on learning and development. Outcomes improve and child resilience develops. As an infant continues to develop and their mobility evolves they start to feel safe enough to explore, confident that the parent or main carer will be available to them in times of stress such as tiredness, hunger, discomfort or fear. The attachment figure represents the secure base enabling the feeling of safety which in turn frees up curiosity to explore and the ability to be open to learning. The child will feel safe and believe that help and support will be on hand if things get too much.

Providing secure healthy attachment and being sensitive to the child’s needs, they will feel more confident and more able to cope with transition and adversity with much greater certainty. The ability of the parent or other primary carer to read the signals of the child and understand and process the anxieties they are experiencing triggered by fear and uncertainty is a significant aspect of the early attachment relationship. Wilfred Bion, in his 1967 book “A theory of thinking in Second Thoughts” linked this experience of being understood to learning and thinking. The “sensitive enough” mother understands the child’s feelings and responds in a way that shows this understanding. This is containment. The child’s overwhelming feelings diminish and become bearable through this experience of being understood. The child learns that the feelings they are experiencing are bearable and can be managed. Within the nursery I have observed Practitioners help children through very difficult and painful transitions. I have sought positive methods of support myself to help children feel safe, secure and relaxed during their transitions. In determining the role in supporting children and their key family members through difficult transitions it is important to always work hard to keep the children at the heart of the nursery’s policies and procedures.

By using real emotional intelligence throughout the process, childcare providers show an increased positive chance of engaging the child in a smooth and secure change. On discussion with the nursery leader in my setting she explained that she tries to think as a child in order to truly empathise and understand how each child is feeling during their transition. Nursery staff in my setting regularly records either in words or image their observations on the child’s development and returns to it when planning, reviewing and amending procedures. Holding onto this image helps all nursery care staff stay close to the fundamental needs of the children in their care. Ideally all of the practitioners involved in supporting transition should be drawn into this process and not solely managers of leaders. The nursery manager has carried out some Home visits and arranged child taster sessions to the nursery with their parents/carers before they start.

This way the child gets to know the staff and the environment in the safety of being with their familiar adult. I have developed a photo and picture album with my key children and show them if they are ever distressed. I have witnessed and experienced where the child will very quickly settle when they see photos of home and has helped them to relax in the nursery environment. I have often encouraged children to bring anything of comfort such as a special teddy, a favourite toy and/or blanket if they’re upset. This has been extremely effective with one of my key children who now becomes really excited coming into nursery and able to show his favourite “Thomas The Tank Engine” toy. Having something familiar in an unfamiliar setting definitely seems to help children feel more secure. When a child is showing any distress or experiencing separation anxiety, the nursery staff will spend time with the child, play with them and talk with them. Having a positive relationship with them helps them feel secure.

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