There are so many factors that play a role to enhance a child’s development or, at times, hinder it. As a child care worker, your passion is supporting children to develop healthily.
While you can create a range of positive learning and development experiences when children are in your care, a child’s home life is something you cannot control. It can, however, impact their development.
A happy home environment can enhance a child’s development in many ways. Here are just a few:
- Improved language and communication skills
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved emotional wellbeing
According to ACECQA, studies have shown that children have the best chance of reaching their full potential when their family and education and care service are working together. You can’t go home each day with children to ensure their home environment ticks all the right boxes, but there are things you can do to help.
Here’s what you can do to give families the tools to create a happy home life that will enhance a child’s development and give them the best start.
Collaborative relationships with parents and families
Child care workers, try to get to know each family and share insights about their children with them on pick up or drop off. Work with parents to show them that you are invested in their child’s wellbeing and development. Suggest activities the children may benefit from or excite parents with news of the things their child or children may be learning.
Learning that carries through to home
Building on the previous suggestion, you can enhance a child’s literacy by sending a book home with a child from time to time to read with parents. Try sending home beautiful pictures that children have painted or drawn to show parents how proud children are when they create artwork. Encourage children to talk about their home lives and what they enjoy there. Aim to extend learning through from the child care setting to the child’s home.
Activities that are free and fun
Keeping activities free ensures children’s socio-economic circumstances don’t affect their learning opportunities and development. Walks to wetlands and parks can make great excursions, and they don’t cost a thing. Try visiting the local library or going on picnics. Best of all, free activities that children love gives families inspiration too.
Keep children safe
Hopefully, this won’t happen but if you come across signs of abuse or neglect in a child, make sure you report it to your room leader or centre director and find out the next steps to keep the child safe from harm.
Working in child care gives you the chance to really change children’s lives for the better and create a wonderful future for our youngest generation. Now that’s a meaningful career.