As a childcare practitioner, you’ll already be familiar with development in children moving through different stages. However, as children learn and develop at different rates, a personalised approach to supporting every child should always be maintained.

When looking at development of children, this can be broken down into the four themes of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

A unique child

Every child in your setting should be treated as an individual. You should listen to the child and observe them in as many different situations as you can. It is also helpful to listen to parents and collection information about the child from them. Once you have the complete picture, you can think about how you can support the child in a way which best suits their needs.

Positive relationships

This theme recognises the importance and value of the relationships a child has with others. Providing children with a warm and loving environment and the support of an allocated key person will foster a sense of belonging.  From this foundation, children can learn to be strong and independent.

Enabling environments

Providing an enabling environment for the child means that they have access to spaces which allow them rich opportunities to play and learn. Having a setting with plenty of stimulating resources will support a child’s development and help them to explore and make sense of their world.

Learning and development

We know that children learn in different ways and at their own pace. It is the responsibility of childcare practitioners to ensure that they provide challenging and fun opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development. This will allow children to be active learners, think critically and solve problems.

Every setting will have different ways of meeting the needs of their children, through exploring the four themes highlighted in the EYFS. Child development is a process which is not automatic; it can be supported through giving children opportunities to interact in positive relationships and experience enabling environments.

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