The needs of the early years client group can be categorised
into three groups: Health, Developmental and Social Care needs. Each of the
early years services should be working towards meeting these needs to help
children flourish and reach their full potential.
Health needs are the things we need in order to stay
physically healthy. For example, warmth, a balanced diet, shelter, protection
from harm, good hygiene, sleep and exercise are all things which contribute to
the physical wellbeing of an individual. This is achieved by a systematic
method of identifying the unmet health and healthcare needs of a population and
making changes to meet those unmet needs. Some of the ways in which health
needs are implemented in my placement are as follows:
Children are taught about healthy eating. This
is part of the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) Statutory Framework which is
part of the Childcare Act 2006. “The EYFS sets standards for learning,
development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and
Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS.” (Foundation
Years website). This is done in various ways. For example, the children are
involved in helping to plan or prepare their meals. There is a vegetable patch
in the outdoor play area which all the children participate in growing because
they would be more intrigued to try the food as they are a part of producing
it. All elements of a balanced diet are incorporated into the children’s meals.
Visits to local farms take place to help the children understand where food
comes from and to develop a sense of care for what they eat, a bowl of freshly
chopped fruits is provided for the children while they are playing outdoors.
The bowl is on a table that is an appropriate height for the children so the
fruits are easily accessible to them. They are also provided with constant
access to drinking water. The staff are not allowed to eat unhealthy things in
front of the children when eating their own lunch as the children would feel
tempted to eat these too and it would defeat the purpose of teaching them about
healthy eating. To avoid this, the staff either eat their lunch in a separate
room or eat the spare portions that are left over from the children’s meals.
Personal hygiene is also promoted in the nursery
as the toilet facilities consists of age appropriate toilets and sinks.
Children are provided with assistance with going to the toilet and washing
their hands if they are still in the process of learning how to do so. There
are posters displayed above the sink on the children’s eye level showing a
simple step by step guide on how to wash hands efficiently. The staff also
promotes personal hygiene by reminding the children to wash their hands before
they sit around the table to eat and providing a box of tissues alongside the
fruit and water to clean their nose if needed.
Physical activity is an important aspect
of a child’s health development in order to maintain a healthy weight. Children
have to be taught from an early age to keep active so they are more likely to
continue with healthy habits in the long term. The majority of the day in the
nursery is spent in the outdoor play area but there is also scheduled times to
be spent indoors so all the children have an opportunity to spend time in their
preferred learning environment.