Within every early years setting as a foundation of its practice all practitioners must develop and be mindful of children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED). This one key principle is deemed the central anchor for all practice and outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)(EYFS,2014) which is made up of three documents two are as guidance to practitioners and one is a statutory framework. The world is evolving and so is society a effective practioners can identify there changes and adjust there practice to support a child’s personal emotional and social development, Carl Rodgers 1902-1987 understood this principle and was passionate about children choosing there own destiny. Rodgers states ‘Humans have the capacity for self-healing and personal growth’ (Rodgers,1983). The idea that PSED is so central has intern resulted in further guidance made for early years practitioners such as ‘social and emotional aspects of development’ publication (department for schools and families, 2008)
Holistic development is the process of self- actualisation where a child is allowed to develop, learn and explore through their own processes, attributes and talents within their own time; it is completely individual to each child. Holistic development aims to nurture and produce a fully rounded individual; with the correct amount of scaffolding to support them wholly into adolescent and beyond. It umbrellas a number or arrears that together make the whole round child (holistic); mental, spirituality and growth, emotional and physical. (Marjolein Lips‐Wiersma,2003) For the holistic development to happen and be effective, practitioners will take into consideration and monitor external and internal factors that may effect a child’s PSED. Many things within modern society can have a detrimental or positive impact on children,been able to identify and support these changes makes practioners into invaluable leaders in a child’s development. This importance has been identified by central government and the education authorises in the sense that the foundation stage of education is exactly that the basis and foundation for the rest of that child’s life and academic success, for this they outlined and implemented the early years foundation stage (EYFS) within this is the statutory framework which is the legal legislation all early years settings must follow. within the EYFS there is a recurrent theme of holistic development and children reaching there holistic potential. This term holistic was captioned by Abraham Maslow.
Along with the term holistic development, Maslow has shaped the fundamental key principles of the EYFS with his hierarchy of needs.They EYFS identifies Quality and consistency, Secure foundation, Partnership working, Equality of opportunity as its core elements to be carried through all early years settings
Birth is a factor which in recent years has proved to play a significant role in the development and holistic development of a child. Developmental psychologist Dr Elizabeth Hoy, stated that babies born up to three months early were in ’emotional torment'(hoy, 2011). Firstly from over-stimulus of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where they spend their first weeks, the high UV lighting and loud noises are visibly distressing and in great contrast to the peace of a womb. coupled with the anxious efforts of parents and other adults to get responses from them, Builds a very high pressure and stressful situation. Hoy’s research, led her to follow 183 premature babies into there 7th year of life’s long with 183, full term babies and compared their personal and social development. She identified 3 key areas: the children from the premature control group had 85% greater chance of having a less than optimal academic performance. She also identified that the premature control group compared with there full term peers liked to be socially isolated often playing away from the main group alone. Hoy thirdly found that the premature control group were unable to maintain eye contact for the same about of time when engaging with herself and their researchers. (the impact of low birth rate on child development. Hoy,1999)
However she did look closely at the cases and identified the children who were performing in line with their full term peers. She identified common areas that she states can help overcome the disadvantage of low birth weights; giving the babies peace and quite and establishing Night and day in the NICU. Removing any monitoring machines and placing them outside the NICU bays to limit noise, doing the very minimal medical interventions.
Dr Peter de Chateau findings from his 30 year longitudinal study was revolutionary for neonatal care across the world he identified that when a premature baby was given ‘ Kangeroo” care where a preterm baby is places on the mothers chest or between her breast’s it almost eliminated the stress on the baby. They observed the crying pattern would either stop or would change to follow the pattern of the mothers heartbeat. That a babies core body temperature would increase and the shaking would stop. They also found that it had a positive impact on the mothers mental health, of the mothers and children that experienced regular Kangeroo care their was a 60% reduction in postnatal psychic intervention. This theory can be compared with the findings of Harry Harlow(1959) and his ‘love of monkeys experiment’ that the monkeys preferred the comfort of a cloth monkey than the harsh cold wire monkey that only provides food and no comfort. Many theorists have built on these ideas. Bowlbly,1969 identifies attachments as ‘ an uncompromising innate emotional connection between human and human that will not compromise over time and space ‘( Bowlby, 1969)
Socio-economic factors of a society can have a immense impact on the PSED of the children within its bounds. On a large scale if a society as whole has poor socio- economic development or a sudden unexpected crash like the 2008 recession that had a global impact within Britain, not just for the financial services but for education and budgets cuts to key services such as the National Health service, and government funding for sate benefits. On a smaller scale family’s were hit hard with unemployment raising to 8.3% 2.68m people (the office of national statistics,2016), this is the highest level since 1994. family’s were hit hard since 2008 as the Uk government tries to claw back some money to ease the national debt, family bennifits have been cut, or not raised inline with the inflation of the market and raising cost of living leaving many people and young family’s living below the poverty line.
When a child is brought up in a family experiencing poverty it can cause many impacts on the child from social problems, been unable to keep up with peers by having the latest toys or top clothing brands. A key principle of the EYFS is that every child is unique they are constantly encouraged to learn be resilient, capable and self assured, for this to happen practioners must promote individuality and educate on all levels of society. Too been bullied about there housing or the area in which they live. The Joseph rowntree foundation commissioned a report in July 2016 ‘Falling short: the experiences of families below the Minimum Income Standard’ which identified ‘ More than one in three families in the UK have a financial income below the Minimum Income Standard (MIS).
MIS is a set level that is identified by the British population deems and agrees a household needs as a minimum to live on.'(Hill et,al, 2016) they interviewed 130 family’s on low incomes, from many social set ups; loan parents, same sex parents, unemployed and working. The main finding are that families below MIS; are ‘earning so far below what is needed that they are unable to access the choices and opportunities required to participate fully in society.'(Hill, etal, 2016) the reports highlights that’s society is not supporting families and the government are unaware or ignorant of these daily struggles, forcing family’s into poverty with little scope to bring themselves out of it until the government deems it right to bring this subsection of society inline with the inflation and cost of living rate. According to Eric Ericsson’s stages of psychological development 1963 at 3-6years which is when most children begin nursery they enter the stage of initiative vs guilt which leads to strength developed of purpose. Yet if a child is from a home that is not able to financially support them and they are below the poverty line the guilt may prevail and cause long term social difficulty and psychology impact of feeling inadequate, and worthless. If a child is in a nursery setting at 1-3 years, Autonomy vs Shame & Doubt develops which develops willpower if the child receives 2 year funding which is for family’s on lower incomes or from areas that are deprived. A child may begin to understand they have less than others. According to the stages of psychological development a child must complete all stages to be a fully rounded individual.
For family’s to succeed in society and raise healthy, wholly rounded children with the correct amount of scaffolding who will ultimately be the next generation of society leaders. The parents need to firstly be supported and nurtured. By supporting parents and careers in turn they are better placed and equipped to support the children they raise. Families need stability, but this is undermined by irregular employment and hours,68% of MIS families have been on 0 hour contacts. Detrimental changes in benefits and tax credits, the insecurity in private rented housing and the continuing negative options society chose to have as a norm about individuals on bennifits. These family’s that are living constantly with low income, have to evolve this lives to constantly implant and sick to budgets, which is hard work and a great amount of self discipline. Living with the daily stress of trying to keep on top of finances is emotionally draining, leading to depression and a feeling of worthlessness. it has been well publicised in the media that parents are prioritising meeting their children’s needs and sacrifice their own. 1 in 5 parents admitted to skipping meals to be able to provide for their children.(Hill. Etal, 2016)
Within early years settings practioners should be aware of children who may come from low income family’s and spot early if the child is struggling to integrate socially, or suspect bullying among their peers. Along with teaching every child in their setting about inclusion and respect for others. The good childhood 2016 report states ‘children who receive free school meals are more likely to be bullied’, it’s these situations that practioners need to eliminate, by Implementing simple strategies. Little explore’s nursery schools implemented that all children when they signed up to the school receive a rucksack and tracksuit and training shoes; this allows all children to be on a even platform when in that environment. it also allows the children to feel a sense of belonging, and unique, Abraham Maslow introduced the idea of a unique child which is heavily used throughout the early years foundation stage (EYFS) along with the unique child practioners are aim to ‘facilitate self- initiated, learning and development to free curiosity'(Rodgers,1989) this area is covered in the EYFS and encouraged to practioners to follow and engage the children’s interest.
Ultimately children must feel safe and secure and practioners must make this their key priority when looking after the children along with enabling environments, to ensure no child is left behind. Practioners are the key link to unlocking a child’s early potential and lay the foundations of their education supporting personal social and emotional development is the key to their future. When a child is in a engaging, suportive environment they will flourish into the leaders, workers and future educators of the next generation.
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