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Communication in Early Years Settings

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Childcare
Wordcount: 2656 words Published: 20th Oct 2017

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Communication is vital tool in all early years settings, it creates and developed positive relationships between all involved in looking after young children.

Positive Relationships

Respectful Relationships

In order for a relationship to work there needs to be respect, this be fixated if everyone is treated equal and as an individual. Establishing a warm and welcoming environment is essential in developing respectful relationship.

Albert Bandura believed that children watch the different ways in which individuals behave in their surroundings. Model is the name use to describe the people who are being watched. There are many powerful people that encircle children in society. These can be family members, friends, television characters or people in their school environment. Whether they are male or female, good or bad, the behaviour that these people demonstrate can be copied by children and display at a later date, whether appropriate or not. It may be more likely that a child will copy individuals that they think reflects them similarly, for example, behaviour display by people of the same gender. If a child is rewarded for positive behaviour it is possible that the child will maintain that pattern. It is important to reward a child for positive behaviour as it helps the child to build self-confidence, and to become aware of the difference between negative and positive behaviour. A child may seek endorsement for its behaviour from friends or family member. This endorsement is outside support, however, the emotion of excitement felt about the endorsement is of an inner support. A child desire to be approved of will always display behaviour which it thinks brings approval. Whether the support is negative or positive it’s not of great significance, if the support given outwardly is not equal the needs of the individual. There are lot of people that children may choose to identify with such as, family members, friends, or those on television. These distinct people have standard that a person could desire to have, which give them the incentive to want to identify with them. The result of this is the transformation of the behaviours, convictions, views and principles of the person trying to copy those people.

Bandura, A. (1977). Social Learning Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Meeting Individual Communication Needs

There are other ways to communicate as to verbal communication; using alternative methods will be useful in an early years settings to meet the individual needs of communication of the child(ren), parent and colleagues. Using alternative communication methods also promote diversity and inclusion.

Verbal communication

  • can be used to inform parent about their child's day at the end of the session,
  • in a meeting with colleagues to plan activities
  • Share information and to communicate with children throughout the day and during activities.

Written communication

  • Letters can be send out the parents to inform them about any changes to their child’s setting and provide information keeping them up to date, letters can also be sent out to parents to gain permission to take their children on outings and events.
  • Reports will often be in a written format. In early years setting reports will be written about a child’s safeguarding concerns, development and any incidents.


  • With an advance in technology electronic newsletters will be set out to parents.
  • Email can be sent between colleagues to organise meetings or share information.


  • Telephone communication is used to inform a parent if a child is sick or has had an accident.
  • Staff in an early years setting might use the telephone as form of communication with other professionals or arrange a meeting.

Sign Language

  • sign language is used if the individual has problems with speech, language difficulties or hearing impairments, this is a face to face form of communication
  • Makaton (a version of British Sign Language) is often used in order to communicate with young children. This might include using pictures symbols as well as signing


  • Interpretation is used to communicate with people who do not speak English; this can take be both verbal and written methods to make sure that any messages are passed on correctly.

Relationship within Early Years Setting

There is a range of relationships that are in an early years setting and they all play an important role in the successful learning and development of children

Children's friendship - early year’s settings provides children with a place for social interaction children will develop friendships in their environment. The development of a child's social skills will be a factor of forming a child who as a respected member of adulthood. Child starts to enjoy the company from an early age and become aware of others. Developing friendships helps a child's personal, social, emotional development and confidence; therefore practitioners should encourage and support children while they play to promote sharing and cooperation.

The Key Worker

The Key Worker Relationship

A key worker is a practitioner who is set to the meet the individual needs of a child. Making sure that every child's care is tailored to meet their individual needs; they ensure that the child is settled in the setting and that they have built a relationship with the child and their parents.

For a key worker it is essential that they develop a close and strong relationship with the child.

When in early years setting every child is assigned a key worker, this person will have the main connection with parent and child.

The key worker system is very important for young babies as they are completely dependent on their careers as they will experience anxiety when separated from their parents, key workers should spend time with their key child to develop trust and the child feeling safe and secure.


Psychosocial Crisis

Basic Virtue



Trust vs. mistrust


Infancy (0 to 1 1/2


Autonomy vs. shame


Early Childhood (1 ½ to 3)


Initiative vs. guilt


Play Age (3 to 5)


Industry vs. inferiority


School Age (5 to 12)


Ego identity vs. Role Confusion


Adolescence (12 to 18)


Intimacy vs. isolation


Young Adult (18 to 40)


Generativity vs. stagnation


Adult hood (40 to 65)


Ego integrity vs. despair


Maturity (65)

The importance of children developing trust within the first stage of life.

  1. Trust vs. Mistrust

It is often asked whether the world is a secure environment or filled with unforeseen disaster about to take place. It is said that predicament seems to take place in life first year. Predicament is one of trust or mistrust. During this period the child is unsure regarding the environment they are living in .The child will look for comfort and security from its caregiver cover the feeling of doubt. For a child to develop the feeling of trust, the care given must be of consistency, security and certainty to help them to transfer to another relationship, which will empower them if threats occur. Succeeding at this point can be accomplished by strength and belief. When the feeling of trust is developed, the child can hold on to the belief that if a new predicament arises, there is reassurance that other people will be there to provide help. Fear will be developed if strength and belief have failed, e.g. If the care that is given is inhospitable unstable and unsecure. The child will develop the feeling of mistrust and lack of assurance in their environment, and not having the potential to make an impact in proceedings. The child will take with them, the fundamental feeling of mistrust to another relationship, this will cause them to be anxious and add to uncertainty, and a further sense of mistrust in their environment. Erikson, E. (1959), Theory of Psychology Development.

Roles and Responsibilities of the key worker

The key worker should be planning activities for their key child, they implement these activities during session time, while they are taking part in these activities they observe the child's participation, this promotes the child's learning a development through play, they also carry assessments of individual children's development. As part of a key workers job, they carry out the personal needs of the child and communicate with parents on a regular basis.

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The Ecological system theory says human advancement is caused by various kinds of arrangement in their surroundings. This micro system’s setting is the direction that surrounds our lives. The people in our lives that have direct connection are educators, peers, family and neighbours. All are included in the micro system of which we socialise in. According to the theory, it is unlikely that we are simply recipient of the contact we have when interacting socially with those in the micro system surroundings, but we contribute to the creating of such surroundings. Brofenbrenner, U. (1917-2005).

Effective Communication with Children

It is important for the practitioners to communicate with children in a way that is appropriate such as; getting down to a child's level so they don't feel intimidated, demonstrate body language that is positive and welcoming and using language that is appropriate to a child's age and stage of development.

Partnership with Parents

Parents as Partners

Parents are the people that know their child best, they provide knowledge to a child's particular interest and needs and this can be used to enhance the child's care. The key worker this the first person a parent will get to know, first impressions will be important in order to assure that they have made the right decision, it important to that the key worker is welcoming and friendly to parents, so that you are approachable.

Admission to the Setting

When parents entrust their child to an early years settings, the practitioner should work in partnership with parents to ensure that the information is specific to the child and is shared with all staff members so they are aware of the child's individual needs. Sharing of information about a child's illness, disabilities and allergies will make settling in easier for both the parent and child.

Ways to involve parents within the setting

  • Allows parents to explore the settings appropriately
  • Child can show their parents things they like to play with
  • Parents can see displays and examples of children's work
  • Sharing observation and planning with parents
  • Invite parents to volunteer on outings
  • Encourage parents to support learning and development by attending workshops and making contribution, e.g. from their own background.

This is a social activity that provides parents with the opportunity to interact with practitioners and parents to build self-confidence.

Effective Communication with Parent can be achieved through positive relationships. Ensuring time is allocated to communicate with parent when appropriate. Positive body language is demonstrated, show individual attention to parent and child, give detail and accurate information about a child interest and achievements and ensuring private and confidential matters are dealt with professionally.

Multi-agency Working

A number of professionals, working together with different knowledge and expertise sharing information, and provide a plan to support and benefit the child individual needs.

Time, Communication and Professional background are barriers that can impact multi-agency working. It is best to plan meeting in advance that all involved are aware of the dates and can stick to them. Organizing a convenient time for all Professionals to meet can be very challenging. It is important to take time to listen to others when communicating. There are diverse languages and jargons that link to different Professional background which other professional who take care of children may not be familiar with. There are particular role and training for all professionals involved in the care of children and everyone may have different views and opinions of what is best for the child. It is vital for practitioners to take into account the professional perspective of other, and not always relying on what is familiar. The care and support for the child should take precedence by multi-agency.


It is a legal requirement under The Data Protection Act 1998 to ensure all confidential documents and data must be stored in a secured place. These documents can also be kept in a secured location outside the setting. It is the Providers responsibility to ensure only professional and those who have the right to access secured confidential documents and information about children and staff should view them. It is important that Providers kept documents and get and share report (with parents and carers, and all relevant authority working with children such as, Ofsted, the police and social services as appropriate) for example, to identify if a child has additional need, if there are cause for concern regards to safeguarding or if emergency treatment has to be given to a child. This also ensures that the managing of the setting operates safely and efficiently, and making sure they are meeting the needs of all the children. Providers to ensure they have frequent dialogue flowing both ways with parents/carers and make available their child’s development records and file only. On request, providers should incorporate parents’ and or carers’ comments into children’s record. It is vital for Providers to make sure all staff comprehend the importance of protecting the privacy of the children they are caring for, and to upheld the legal requirements that states how to handle information that apply a child in ways that guarantee confidentiality. Ofsted must have Records readily available to them to access when requested. Data Protection Act (1998).

Reference List

  • Bandura, A. (1977) Social Learning Theory, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • Bronfenbrenner, U. (1917-2005).
  • Data Protection Act (1998).
  • Erikson, E. (1959).Theory of Psychology Development.


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