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The early years for any child include the most formative years of their life. Events and activities occurring during this period greatly help to shape how these children turn out in the future in regard to several aspects of their lives. A bright and promising future for the entire country lies in the investments made by all stakeholders in ensuring and improving the well being of their youngest citizens. While the government allocates large sums of money as investments, practitioners and parents’ commitment is equally important. Parents ought to be informed of the importance of such a program and the benefits it has to offer in the development of their children in different areas of their growth. Practitioners, on the other hand, need to be constantly informed of the new trends and the latest research outcomes such that their impact on the children is more significant, relevant and up to date. This paper, therefore, seeks to highlight on what the early year’s provision means as well as its importance while also seeking to enlighten more on the Children Act 2006.
Early year’s provision
The purpose of education, beyond excelling in examinations, should be to have a larger impact in developing and shaping children to become critical thinkers, leaders, communicators, readers, and writers. Caring for children and provision of education during their foundation years only the best is acceptable and good enough (Robb 1). This is an entitlement and a right for all children. Any action going against this for whatever reason is an infringement on their basic rights. Practical evidence observed on the impact of early year’s provision indicates that high-quality and effective provision has significant effectual outcomes on the children’s emotional, social, and cognitive development as well as a crucial factor in enhancing outcomes for the children and their families. Further, it helps to identify the diverse abilities in performance for different children. Every child is a unique being and as such, they possess different abilities to grasp and retain new concepts, they also have different talents and are abled differently in different areas. The early year’s provision thus provides each child with the much attention they need and help them improve gradually while capitalizing on their strength to improve their weak points.
Children in the early year’s provision program have an earlier influence on their perspective of different things according to their cultures, genders, class, personal interests among other considerable factors. As such the early year’s provision demands that practitioners (teachers) have an adequate and high-level knowledge on a considerable number of subjects as well as a clear understanding on different ways of teaching these subjects to the children in ways that every child maximally benefits despite their differences (National education union). Also, the teachers need to be adequately equipped with pedagogic knowledge that is teaching via structural interactions and play as a way of supporting and challenging efficient and effective learning. Lastly, knowledge regarding the children’s prior attitude to learning and ease of understanding as well as their family background as these aspects form a crucial background to the child’s development.
Quality matters in everything, more so in the education sector. However, this quality can only be achieved and thus have long-lasting effects if at all other crucial factors are well in line. These include the child’s health, good maternal mental health, parenting styles, as well as conducive home learning environment (Department of Education 5). Parents involved in the program note remarkable differences in their children who are participants of the provision. Although many parents access this service for different reasons such as economic and educational reasons, the benefits obtained are inevitable both to the children and the parent
Childcare Act 2006
The Childcare Act legislation is one of its kinds, a pioneer exclusively concerned with issues regarding a child’s early years and childcare. The sole purpose of the act was to make a transformative change in the childcare and early years services for the benefit of the generations ahead. The Act clearly outlines the new duties for the Local Authorities pertaining to improving the five Every Child Matters outcomes for all the pre-school Children as well as minimize and reduce inequalities in these outcomes, securing sufficient and effective childcare services for all working parents, and finally providing better parental information services. The Act comprises of different sections describing different requirements. Sections 39-48, however, outlines the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which relates to the delivery of high-quality education and care for all the children below the age of five years (London Borough of Redbridge).
PVI and State contribution in Early years
There are several stakeholders involved in the early years provision, the private and voluntary individuals as well as the state. Each has a distinct role to offer. The state ensures that the program is efficiently funded with an annual budget of 5.2 billion Euros, which was further revised to 6.4 billion Euros annually for efficiency and effectiveness as well as to ensure high quality. There are different forms of childcare, especially in the private and voluntary sectors. This includes childminders, day nurseries, nanny/home caregivers, independent schools, maintained nursery schools, pre-schools and, playgroups as well as private independent schools (Family Information service). They consist of privately owned institutions as well as volunteers whose purpose is to provide a safe learning and engaging environment for the children. They also consist of unregistered and registered care centers although ultimately they are concerned with efficient child development.
Department for Education and Department of Health. Families in the Foundation Years.Evidence Pack, 2011, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/262397/DFE-00214-2011.pdf. Accessed 5th Nov 2018
Family Information Service. Different types of Childcare, https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/pdf/Different%20types%20of%20Childcare.pdf. Accessed 5th Nov 2018.
London Borough of Redbridge. Childcare Act 2006, 2016, https://find.redbridge.gov.uk/kb5/redbridge/fsd/service.page?id=QsMnLkyYcwM. Accessed 5th Nov 2018.
National Education Union. Early years provision across the UK, 2013, https://www.atl.org.uk/policy-and-campaigns/policy-posts/early-years-provision-across-uk. Accessed 5th Nov 2018.
Robb Sue. Delivering quality Provision in the Early Years, 2018, https://www.teachearlyyears.com/nursery-management/view/delivering-quality-provision-in-the-early-years. Accessed 5th Nov 2018.
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