There are many different factors that will affect the lives of children and young people. One of these factors is Social, such as personal choice. This could make an impact on a child’s life because parents may choose to live a certain way that varies from the “norm”. For example families with same sex parents. This could affect a child’s social life and their education as other children might not see this as normal and they may not want to communicate and socialise with children living in this type of environment. An economic factor that could affect a child’s life is poverty. This could impact a child’s life as a family living on a low income might not be able to provide for their children as hoped. Accommodation may be poor which can have an effect on the mental and physical health of children and their parents. A cultural factor that could affect a child’s life is religious beliefs and ethnic beliefs. Religious beliefs may exclude children from settings or mean that they attend specific settings. Ethnic beliefs could affect the dietary needs of children which could affect them at school and also the way they choose to dress according to religion, this could result in some children having to wear a headscarf for example. This could also affect them at school because they would look different from other children and it could cause a divide within the social groups of the classroom.
This can result from low income, unemployment, parental separation, illness or disability, addictions. Children may suffer malnutrition or a poor diet as a result of their parents being unable to afford good quality food. This could result in lack of concentration or poor performance at school. They could also suffer other health related issues. They may be the subject of bullying as a result of their clothing or because they do not have the latest ‘must have’ accessories. They will probably miss out on further education due to the costs involved, or as a result of the need to find employment to help support the family. One of the side effects of poverty is poor housing. People on low income are often depend on local authority housing. This may result in overcrowding, for example being housed in a home with insufficient bedrooms. This means the child has no privacy, or personal space. They may struggle with homework and course work because of the lack of a space in which to complete it. The housing provided may be of a poor quality – suffering damp or be in disrepair. This could have a detrimental effect on the child’s health – causing asthma or frequent colds and coughs. It will probably be in a less desirable area or could be in an area with social disorder problems. This may result in the children becoming isolated, as their parents may be fearful of letting them out to play or they may themselves become involved in anti-social behaviour and criminal activities.
Personal choices made as a child and young adult effect nearly every aspect of life. From education to family planning. Poor choices can lead to poverty and few opportunities, while good choices can open up a world of possibilities. Family experience as a child can very much play a role, but young adults are fully capable of taking responsibility for the life choices they make.
There are five positive outcomes that practitioners should be striving to achieve. These outcomes are:
Enjoy and achieve
Make a positive contribution
Achieve economic well being
It is important that children who are living in poverty have the same opportunities as their peers as they are less likely to achieve high grades at school. This could lead to unemployment later in life. The local authorities aim to develop services to support children and their families when they are living in poverty. It is important to design services for 16-18 year olds who are not in employment, training and education. If there are no services in place this could lead to unemployment later in life, teenage pregnancies and poor physical health. All these factors could lead to low income in the future
Active participation is important for children and young people to make decisions that affect their own lives. It is important in any childcare setting that there is a great amount of resources provided in order to help children create their own play, in every childcare setting children should be involved in observations, this will help them to learn their own expectations of behaviour and the goals they should be achieving. To help improve services children and young peoples views should be taken into account to help them feel respected and valued when it comes to decision making.
Every child is different and all have different needs and abilities, it is out job as a childcare practitioner to help and support children and young people in making personal choices and experiences. For example children ages 2-3 who are in nursery may become agitated easily and have tantrums when interacting with other children, this can be resolved by an adult teaching them how to share. Children ages 3-4 in pre-school may need support in making their own healthy choices regarding food and how to develop a positive attitude towards healthy eating. Children aged 5+ in primary school may need support in learning to keep themselves safe for example learning them how important it is not to talk to stranger’s ant the outcomes it may have if they do. Children in middle school aged 10-11 may need support as they approach puberty and also may need support in how to look after their own personal hygiene.
Some children and young people may have disabilities or certain needs which have to be taken into account when they are in a childcare setting. Children with disabilities have a wide range of impairments including “hidden ones”. A disability that could impact a child’s life could be a hearing impairment. This could affect a child from learning in school and communicating with their peers and their childcare providers. This impairment could stop children from achieving their full potential in life and also affect their emotional well being. To help children with this impairment extra help could be provided in school for example a special needs teacher. The teacher could help the child to communicate in other ways such as sign language and using picture cards. With this help the child and their childcare provider can focus on what the child can achieve rather on what the child cant. This would help to make it a positive environment for the child to learn in and make it easier for them to meet their goals.
It is important to have a positive attitude towards disability and specific requirements. In a childcare setting is it possible to reduce the impact of a disability to help the person to make their own choices and achieve to their full potential. Children should not be seen as having special needs as their needs are the same as every other child. It is possible for us to meet a child’s needs in different ways if we recognise that they have specific requirements. As a childcare practitioner we should have positive attitudes towards providing the correct requirements for disabled children. We should be ready to learn new skills for example sign language as this can help us to communicate with a child who has an impairment and this could help the child to develop further.
The medical model views a disability as something to be cured. There are many ways of adapting a disabled person to fit the non disabled world through medical intervention. When a medical label is placed on a disabled person they are often seen as their impairment rather than the individual. The social model is a constructive approach to disability. This model focuses our thoughts on addressing the impairments to help the person achieve their full potential. The social model has a different view on how the society should change for the disabled rather than the disabled changing for society.
The support which a disabled child may need will be tailored to fit that child, this will depend on the impact their impairment has on their lives. For example a child with a hearing impairment may need to use hearing aids. A child born with a cleft palate may need speech and language therapy. A child with Down’s syndrome may be given learning support in a specific setting.
Equality- opportunities to develop and learn, while the Childs physical and emotional safety and well being are protected
Diversity- acknowledgement of and respect for the Childs individuality.
Inclusion- access to appropriate settings and the experiences they offer for children.
Promoting positive outcomes for children all depends on equality, diversity and inclusion. Positive images could promote this. You can provide a positive image of a wide range of people for example: black, female and the disabled can take on active and responsible roles in society, also males can take on caring and domestic roles. This helps children to develop a strong attitude about their own future. It gives them a positive idea on what they can achieve in life and the influence they can have in society no matter what their ethnicity, gender, cultural, social background or disability.