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Play is one of the main ways in which children learn. It helps to build self worth by giving a child a sense of his or her own abilities and to feel good about themselves. Because it’s fun children often become very absorbed in what they are doing. In turn, this helps them develop the ability to concentrate. Providing children with a range of stimulating resources will help them learn in a number of ways:

  • Sand and water play can be an early introduction to science and maths, eg learning that water is fluid, not solid, and that it can be measured in different sized containers.
  • Playing with dough, drawing and painting pictures, dressing up and playing with dolls can encourage creativity, imagination and expression of feelings.
  • Building blocks, jigsaws and shape sorters can help with recognising different shapes and sizes, putting things in order and developing logic.
  • Playing ball games, dancing, running and climbing all help to develop body movement, strength, flexibility and co-ordination skills.
  • Games help with turn taking, sharing and mixing with others.
  • Singing and playing simple musicial instruments help to develop rhythm, listening and hearing.

It's important that learning is fun at this age. It needs to be about doing things with them that they like. They might find unusual ways of doing things - for a toddler, building blocks aren't just for making towers, and paint can be used without a brush! Show them how things work, but if they want to experiment let them.

Don't push your child too hard. Children develop in their own ways and in their own time. Try not to compare them to other children. You can also encourage communication and language , by reading to and with them. Look at the pictures together; this will help younger children make sense of the words.

It's also good to talk to them a lot, about everyday things while you are cooking or cleaning. This will give you a chance to teach them how things work and they will be able to ask you questions. Get ready for lots of questions, especially “why”

Observation, planning and recording your child's progress

At Filey Childcare we believe that careful planning is required to ensure that play is of a high quality.

A Key Person (member of staff) is assigned to your child to ensure that they are engaging in the right kind of activities and have a friendly person to support them. This helps to plan future experiences and opportunities to build your child's knowledge, skills and abilities which will lead to new learning and development.

Observations of each child are evaluated and linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This allows for every child's individual development to be monitored and their progress recorded in their individual Learning Journal. This is a record of your child's interests, significant achievements and development throughout their time with us and we encourage you to access your child's journal at any time. Planning for your child will consist of:

Small and Large Observations

These can be significant moments that have been observed of the play and experiences your child engages in and noted either at nursery or within the home environment. The Key Person, other team members, parents, grandparents or anyone else in contact with your child can contribute.

Photographs and examples of work

These will help to highlight what has been observed and what your child enjoys in the nursery showing us where their learning is progressing.

Individual learning interest sheets (for planning)

These focus on your child's particular interests based on the observations made by the Key Person and yourselves.

It is this information that helps the Key Person to plan experiences that support the interests and future individual learning of your child.

The 'Key Person' approach to nursery childcare

The Key Person approach gives every child the reassurance to feel secure and cared for, helping them to become familiar with the nursery environment and to feel confident and safe within it.

We recognise every child's individuality, efforts and achievements and believe that relationships between adults and children are crucial for the child's happiness and security.

The Key Person meets the needs of each child in their care and responds sensitively to their feelings, ideas and behaviour.

The Key Person will offer security, reassurance and continuity, and they will usually be the one to feed, change and soothe your child.

They are in the best position to understand your child's individual needs and to share information with you about your child's experiences in nursery.

The Key Person will help each of their children to develop relationships with other members of staff and children.

They will observe them in their play so that they can plan future opportunities and experiences that best meet their needs and interests.

Parent Partnerships

We believe that parents and carers of children at Filey Childcare are the primary educators of their children and should be centrally involved in their child's experiences and development.

We realise that it is imperative we gain the trust and confidence of you, the parent. We want you to be happy with what we do and how we do it.

We also pride ourselves in understanding the importance of instilling confidence and enthusiasm in your child from an early age.

Each child has a Learning profile which will be a record of your child's interests, significant achievements and development throughout their time with us.

We welcome parental contributions (this would include all significant people involved with your child) and we encourage parents to access their own child's profile at any time.

Effective communication means there is a two way flow of information, knowledge and expertise between parents and staff.

Staff are available daily to give feedback about your child's day and to share significant events with you.

Every interaction with you is based on a caring, professional relationship and respectful acknowledgement of the feelings of you as parents and those of your children.

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