1Understand what is required for competence in own work role 1.2Explain expectations about own work role as expressed in relevant standards. The early year sector is well regulated and all practitioners, and the setting they work in, must comply with the various standards that in many cases have been set down in law, such as the childcare act 2006 and the health and safety at work act 1974, In my setting I ensure that I meet the standards by having a range of policies and procedures that I must observe. This means that I need to know all of my policies in my setting and understand how they link to my work role. For example I plan at least an hour outside be it park, garden or walk for the children. This is not just good practise but a requirement of the Early Years Foundation Stage. In addition to national standards that have been drawn up. Some organisations also have their own ethos, philosophy or mission, for example a community pre-school, a Montessori nursery or a centre-working with refugee children. practitioners working in such settings will find that their work role will again be influence by the overall aims of the organisation.
Be able to reflect on practice
2.1Explain the importance of reflective practice in continuously improving the quality of service provided. Setting that work well and are effective are usually dynamic and changing environments. This is because year on year, children and their families will arrive with different needs, expectation and interests. I too will be developing as I update my knowledge and skills. This means that effective settings rarely do the same thing year in and year out. They talk to parents, other service users and colleagues and focus their energies on improving how they are working. The process of reflective practice, both for individual staff members and the setting, is essential in this. I as a practitioner must think about which areas, whether they are linked to routine, curricula or polices are working well and which ones I need tweaking or even overhauling. In addition, the national standards and framework may also change and this in turn will impact on hoe a setting should be run.
In order to reflect on your practice, I need to be ready to question what I do and do to think about it rather than simply doing it. It can be helpful to begin by considering different areas of my job role and to look at them one by one. This may mean carefully observing the reactions of children and other to help me think about your effectiveness. In situations where you feel you are doing well. Consider what skills, knowledge or practices are helping me to achieve that success. Where I feel that I have weaknesses, I think about what I need to do in order to improve. Generally, most weaknesses are down to lack of experience or knowledge. Viewed in these terms, I can then develop a new personal development plan or adapt my existing one. The way I approach reflecting on my practice is;
•Be aware of and focus on issues, most settings have small ongoing issues such as where to store buggies, or a staff rota that is not quite working focusing on these rather than accepting them as ‘just are’ problems can help the smooth running of the setting. •Seek alternatives, be ready to look at ideas and then adapt them to work in my setting. •Test ideas,
•Think about consequences,
•Observe and learn from children, observe the reactions of children closely. They are the main service user and so learn about what they want to do and how they react in different situations. •Integrate ideas into your existing practise,
•Question why things are done, for example try out new practices or viewed setting that work in contrasting ways. • View things from different perspectives.
2.3Describe how own values, belief systems and experiences may affect working practice There are a few areas in childcare and education where only one single approach is right. To be able to evaluate your performance means thinking about other possibilities and approaches, even when they are unfamiliar. In other to be able to do this we need to become aware of the value systems and experiences that have shaped our work practice. The way in which we were cared for and educated as children can have an effect, for example on the way in which we deal with children’s behaviour, meal times or setting in. Similarly, if you have worked only in one type of setting, your
experiences to date have only allowed you to see one way of working with children and so you may not be aware of or comfortable with other approaches. This means that it is always good for us to visit other settings and to talk to other practitioners so that we can extend out ‘vision’ of how to work with children and avoid being narrow-minded.
Be able to evaluate own performance
3.1Evaluate own knowledge, performance and understanding against relevant standards Once I have analysed the demands and expectations of my job role, the nest step is to consider what I can already do and which areas I may further need to develop. This learning outcome looks at how I might evaluate my own performance and how I might use feedback to inform me. It is important to think abut what i can do already and which areas i need to develop further. To do this i can ask for feedback from advisers or assessors. I also need to find ways of evaluating myself. Responding to feedback one of the ways in which i can evaluate my current state of knowledge and performance is by asking others for feedback. This is important because it can be hard to be objective about your own performance. Also i may lack skills or knowledge to be aware of what else you should be doing or other ways in which i might work. Feedback may come from a variety of sources, including parent and colleagues as well as early year’s advisers. For this qualification, I may also be given feedback from my assessor Ivana. Feedback works best if i trust the people it comes from and if they feel that they can give me an honest view. It is a skill in itself to be able to listen to feedback carefully without becoming defensive. It is often easy to begin to defend the reasons why I do things, but the key is to remember that the focus is on improving performance.
Be able to agree a personal development plan
4.1Identify sources of support for planning and reviewing own development. I find It is always helpful to have some support when drawing up a development plan. Another person involved from that outset can help me determine some priorities for my plan and give me feedback and may also motivate me. If i was an employee, i may ask my line manager to support me. This can sometimes be carried out as part of an appraisal process during which I will gain feedback from my line manager, and will also tease out areas for further development. Other sources of support may include my assessor or someone who has experience of your job role or an appointment mentor who can give me advice. It is also helpful to look for sources of support that can assist me with the practicalities of implementing my plan. Such as careers guidance, admissions tutor or training co-ordinator. By reviewing my learning needs, interests and development opportunities before i can create a plan, i need to analyse my current skills.
People often possess more skills than they realise. While some skills are job specific and can be used only in certain situations, such as feeding a baby, other are more transferable, such as being able to use a computer. It can therefore be helpful to rate your skills so that you know which ones should be prioritised. For example; Competency (skill, knowledge or experience)Self-rating (1-low, 5-high)EvidenceEnjoyment of using this competency (1-low 5- high) and implicationHow can i develop this? Knowledge and experience of working with children of different ages, with different needs and in different settings3Worked as a child minder for 2 years with children aged 1-8 years.5; I enjoy working with children who have particular needs. I definitely want to work with children. Learn more about children’s learning and behaviour. Have responsibility for a child with particular needs. Observation, planning and record keeping4I fill in activity sheets and checklists, and plan for next activities.5; I really enjoy this and will need it for other jobsFind some more training days.
Be able to use learning opportunities and reflective practice to contribute to personal development
5.1Evaluate how learning activities have affected practice
There are many different ways in which I might go about implementing my personal development plan so as to gain knowledge, experience or further skills. When I’ve tried out different learning activities, it is important to think about how I can implement the learning that I have gained. It is also important to think about which type of learning I have found the most useful, for example some people like home study while others prefer to learn by being taught or tutored. Types of leaning activities;
•Courses, conferences and workshops.
•Observing the way other professionals work (shadowing)
•Full-time and part-time courses leading to a qualification.
•Meeting other professionals
•Internet, articles and books
Evaluate the effectiveness of learning opportunities, once I have completed some professional development, such as training, it is important to consider how i can integrate my new information so that it is reflected in my practice. This may mean looking again at the welfare requirement and the early year’s curriculum that I am working with and thinking about how I need to change my practice. If I was learning a team, or have responsibility for specific areas of a curriculum, it may mean devising an action plan or sharing my information with colleagues. In some cases, small adjustments to the way I work or plan activities might be required, such as changing the layout, while in others it can mean a significant overhaul of policies and procedures. A good example of this is child protection, where, over the past ten years, there have been significant changes to the procedures adopted in settings.