Children learn continuously in all aspects of life. Children highly depend on adults and their immediate environment as they learn. As children develop, their learning needs change. This requires that the development of children should be suited in a way that it will accommodate their learning needs. At an early age, children develop physically, socially as well as emotionally. This raises the need to establish good environmental conditions that can stimulate smooth learning and emotional development of children at an early age. It is the responsibility of guardians to create an enabling environment that can stimulate learning. The childcare setting determines what the child learns. The childcare setting should be of high quality so as to facilitate learning. The environment of learning and development can be managed in childcare set up in the following ways.
The childcare setting should provide an opportunity for children to explore and learn more about their environment. The caregiving personnel should create many opportunities, which will enable children to engage themselves in activities such as playing simple games. Caregivers should also ensure that children get a chance to interact with fellow children and educators. Research has proven that interaction is one of the most important aspects of human development, and children should not be isolated from others. Interaction plays an essential role in the development of a child. The child develops new skills that are beneficial to social life. Parents have a responsibility to ensure that childcare setting is conducive for the learning needs of children.
Children should be engaged in active play as this helps them develop physically. Children at the younger stages of development cannot learn through the formal setting. As they engage themselves in playing, they learn more about how their bodies function. Children also develop important life aspects such as self-control and confidence.
Caregivers need to understand that children are different. Children have different tastes and preferences. The childcare setting should consider different preferences of children. For example, children have different preferences for playing objects. Caregivers should take a quick note regarding some aspects of the toy, such as colour and size, that the child prefers.
Children at the younger stage often exhibit some degree of individuality. They only think and care about their own welfare. It often becomes extremely hard for children to share objects such as toys. The childcare setting should ensure that there are enough playing objects to cater for all the children. Important consideration needs to be made regarding the types of playing materials needed by the children. It is essential to consider the age of children because children require different play objects according to their development needs. For example, children at the age of 3 may fancy playing with toys while children at old age may prefer drawings.
In order to facilitate the growth and development of children, all the basic needs have to be satisfied. Basic needs include food, shelter, and clothing. The social setting should provide social security for children to facilitate proper development. Meeting the basic needs of children should be taken as a priority. Research proved that learning is a process that requires complex brain functioning, which must be maintained by proper nutrition. Satisfying the basic needs fosters a positive image and self-confidence in children.
Children depend more on their parents and other close relatives in their learning process. Researchers have proved that children imitate the behaviours of older adults. It is essential to ensure that the staffs who take care of the children are people of distinguishable character. This can be useful in nurturing the moral qualities of children. Children should choose their own learning activities. They should be given the freedom to express themselves. Children should be given tasks that they can easily accomplish. As part of the learning process, children need to be motivated. Guardians should congratulate little efforts made by children. Encouraging them increases their morale and they are able to learn better.
The attitude of care providers plays a significant role in child learning and development. Caregivers should have a good attitude towards children. They should understand that children have to learn in stages. They should be patient when children make mistakes and they should be friendly when correcting them. Parents and caregivers should try to teach children a language and they should monitor the progress as the child grows up.
Children at various development stages have different development needs. Child development can be divided into different groups. Many researchers have attempted to explain the development stages of children. Piaget stated in his development theory that the development of a child can be divided into two main distinct stages. The sensorimotor stage, which ranges between birth until the age of 2 years. The other stage is referred to as the preoperational stage, which ranges from 2 years to 7 years. Erickson also illustrates various development stages in his theory.
As children grow up, they experience various developmental issues. Some developmental challenges affect children's psychological development. Developmental issues may include development of deviant behaviours and diseases. Some children tend to adopt deviant behaviour practices such as bullying others. Such children have challenges when interacting with others. Most of the times, such children always face isolation from others because of their behaviours. Such children miss an essential aspect of learning in their life. The care giver should be quick to note such changes in child behaviour and offer necessary assistance.
The main issue of development stages occurs when a child fails to learn what is expected at a particular developmental stage. Researchers proved that a child may fail to learn what is expected at a certain stage. The child may display some behaviour which can be associated with a previous stage of development. Every developmental stage is associated with some distinct characteristics. Though development stages can be distinguished according to various ages, learning in each stage never goes to completion. Erickson stated in his theory of personality that people do not finish their previous stages. Erikson stated that people spend their lives reflecting on their childhood behaviours. The development manager needs to understand various behaviours associated with stages of development. Guardians need to understand that older children can exhibit some characteristics associated with a lower development stage.
At some stages children have problems with learning the language. Children develop differently, and some children tend to learn faster than others. At some point, children at an older age may experience problems while communicating. This may be different from the expectation of the care giver who assumes that children at a certain age should have learnt how to speak clearly. The managing staff needs to allocate more professionals so as to ensure closer contact with the children. The staff should try to identify children with learning problems and give more attention to them. In my own opinion, I would advise managers of the child care centres to group children according to their different age groups. This will enable children to learn and develop better.
In conclusion, the child care environment plays a significant role in the growth and development of a child. The environment needs to be controlled so as to enable smooth learning and development of young children. Parents have a significant role to play in the growth and development of a child. Parents should ensure that the child care setting is of high quality.
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