Relationship building with children in the early years setting: the perspective of early years practitioners.
The bond between a child and adult who is special to them is central to a child’s well-being and development (Bowlby, 1980/2000). This thesis examines and outlines the fin dings from a research study carried out to explore the importance of relationship-building with children. The aim of the study is to explore the childcare practitioners view on their role in relationship-building with children in their practice. The objectives were as follows: To explore the potential benefits of the Key Person Approach in a childcare setting in terms of building relationships with children. This objective also reviewed the benefits when forming relationships with children. Second objective was to identify the obstacles on a day to day basis around implementing relationships into the childcare practitioners practice. Lastly, to explore how childcare practitioners facilitate transitions from home to childcare for children and parents. There was one stage to data collection in this study, two focus groups in two different childcare services, which collected qualitative data. The practitioners were considered to have a vast amount of knowledge and experience in the subject around relationship building. The study revealed a variety of views representing important strategies practitioners use on a daily basis relating to the topic -relationship building. In general practitioners felt building relationships with children from a early age benefited them for their future development. It was emphasised that relationships for children will benefit them in many ways for example: confidence in exploration, mental health, risk taking, self-regulation, social ability improves and many more. More importantly the practitioners opinion on the Key Person Approach was identified both childcare facilities had different views on the strategy.Moreover, smooth transitions are vital for children when forming relationships. The practitioners that were questioned linked the importance of practitioners, children and parents working together to aid the child through the transition. However, it was evident that practitioners face barriers when forming relationships with children in the childcare setting. For example practitioners mentioned disability and administration was the main concern. However, as the practitioners recommended implementing new interventions are essential when building relationships with children. Secondly another recommendation was training. This training will ensure all practitioners bring the highest amount of their knowledge and their supports to the children.
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