Developing a Challenging Environment for Children

Modified: 21st Nov 2017
Wordcount: 2116 words

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  • Noshaba Jadoon


Q1: Explain how to organise a safe but challenging environment for children?

The environment plays a major role in supporting children’s learning and development. While organizing a safe and challenging environment for children following factor should be consider:

Health and safety;

First and most important factor while setting environment to be considered is the health and safety of the environment, for health and safety the EY statutory frame work provides regulation. These regulations must be following while setting the environment.

Curriculum and layout of the room;

It includes role play area, a PC area, literacy and numeracy area, reading area, messy play area.

Material objects;

Material objects consist of all toys and resources that are used for children.

Material objects that are used for children must be suitable for their age and stage of development. Toys and resources should be organized according to the height of the children to access and explore, by always providing a choice of toys, rather than force children to play with a particular toy of practitioner choice, especially for babies and younger children who are less mobile. The EY. Emphases children independence and encourages child-initiated play and active learning.

Early years setting provides separate setting according to the age of the children i-e from birth to year three and three to five etc.

Birth to three: Babies learn through their senses and they enjoy taking toys to their mouths, also they enjoy reaching out for toys and grasping them, therefore interesting toys or objects should be placed with in their access to explore. Practitioners should ensure that materials object and toys for this age group are appropriate. Furniture is secured to prevent it from falling onto the children as their movement and body control develop, they become very mobile.

Three to five: Children’s imaginations and bodies control develop in this age group, and role-play areas can help children to take on different roles. For example, an area of the room can be transformed into a scenario for the children to play and explore, like post office ,fruits and vegetable shops, kitchen ,car park area etc.

The outdoor environment provides equal opportunities for learning and development. Advantages of outdoor playing result into promotion of healthy lifestyles, as they get the chance to exercise, run around, climb on and off equipment, jumping, balance, learn about their body and exert energy, also develop socially, intellectually, physically, emotionally by making friends, sharing with them and taking care of them. Children begin to learn how to take care of other children. Therefore resources and toys that are used for children must be suitable for their age and stage of development.

According to EY, Outdoor play opportunities also depend on children age:

0-12 months

Outdoor environment provides fresh air, more exploring and practising physical skills. Due to limited mobility in this age group practitioner can take soft play mats and resources.

12-24 months

As this age group children are more mobile so equipment such as slides, climbing frames and ride on toys will help children to develop their physical skills. Practitioner should encourage children to get responsibility of environment around them, for example plants and flowers. Children can take part in planting fruit and vegetable seeds and get responsibility to take of them.


Children should continue to be given responsibility about their environment, growing their own seeds of fruit and vegetables and taking care of them by watering plants and seeds.

As physical skills and body control increase therefore toys that involve balance of the body should introduce to help them to refine their skills, like scoters or larger frames. Children should be encourage to investigate objects that how they are work.

36-60 months

Children in this age group have good body control and refine skills, so opportunities for climbing, running, jumping and balancing of their body should be continue. As physical skills and body control increase there for toys that involve balance of the body should introduce to help them to refine their skills, like scoters or larger frames. Children should be encourage to investigate objects that how they are work.

Social and emotional environment;

The emotional environment extends to the feelings and emotions of the children. When children are able to express their feeling they are more confident to explore and investigate. Practitioners should give them chance to talk and express their feelings.

Children belong to wider social network like ethnicity, religions and family history or back ground skins colour, practitioner should recognise the importance of the values and give them respect. It is responsibility of practitioner to help children to understand about different cultures and religions. Therefore social and emotional environment mean value and respect for everyone, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, skin colure, family back ground etc.

Q2: Explain the practitioners’ role within the wider, multi-agency environment.

If practitioner has any concern about any area of child’s development, or it is believed that child requires additional support then other professional can be involved as a source of advice for welfare of children and their families. Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children. Early help means providing support as soon as problems arise or identified, therefore key worker will help to identified children and their families who can get benefit from early help.

Following professionals can be involved with in early years setting:

1: General practitioner, when child is ill

2: Health visitor. They support children and their families from birth to five. They provide health and lifestyle support to parents.

3: Paediatiatrician. They support children and their families from 24 weeks of pregnancy to18 years, especially when a child is diagnosed with disability or illness.

4: Social worker provides help, support and safe guarding of the children.

5: Dentist provide care for children teeth

6: Physiotherapist support children motor skills and mobility. They provide specialised care for children with disabilities etc.

7: Speech and language therapist provide information for effective communication.

8: Emergency services it include police officer, fire fighters ,paramedics may visit school time to time to help children understand about these services.

The practitioner will play an important role within this team to support and following care plans set out by other professionals and attending regular meeting to discuss the progress of child.

Q3: Describe the regulatory requirements that must be followed when organising an environment.

Laws and legislation

The health and safety at work Act 1974 provides guidelines that protect everyone within the workplace. However health and safety implementation is over all responsibility of employer. Practitioners are also responsible for ensuring health and safety with in the workplace is observed. For health and safety the EY statutory frame work provides regulation these regulation must be follow while organizing the environment.

Staff ratios and qualifications;

The EY Sets out the minimum requirement for staff ratios and qualifications. Failure to meet this requirement could cause an accidents or injuries because it is difficult for staff members to care for and supervise a large number of the group. Well trained and qualified staff that work well as a team is required for best possible care of the children.

Size of the room;

The EY also sets out minimum requirement for space depending on the age of children that is how many children can be present in any one room at one time and number of the staff to ensure the safety of the children.

Children under two

  • Children from birth to two years require 3.5 square meter per child.
  • For every three children, there must be at least one member of staff.
  • At least one practitioner must be qualified to a recognised level three childcare qualification and be experienced in working with babies and children under two.
  • At least half of the remaining staff members must be qualified to at least a recognised, level two childcare qualification.
  • At least half of the staff members must have training specifically for working with babies and young children below the age of two.

Children under two to three

Children of this age group require 2.3 square meter space per children

One member of staff for 8 children

One practitioner must be qualified to level three.

Half of remaining staff members must be qualified to level two.

Children aged three to five

They required 2.3 square meter space per child

One member of staff for 8 children

One practitioner must be qualified to level three.

Half of remaining staff members must be qualified to level two.

Q4: Evaluate how effective the environment is in meeting children’s needs

Playing is one of the effective ways of teaching. Children learn through play and exploring their environment. Effective environment plays vital role in meeting individual age group children needs.

According to (EY Development Matters document) ‘children learn and develop well in enabling environment, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and is a strong partnership between practitioner and parents and carers’. The early years foundation stage (EYFS) requires early year’s practitioner to review children progress and share a summary with parents or career. It also can be used as a guide about whether a child is showing typical development for their age or any delay or ahead for their age.

According to statutory frame work for the early years foundation stage (EYFS) ‘children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates’.

Practitioner must consider the individual needs, interest, and stage of development of each child. There are seven areas of learning and development:

Communication and language: emphases to speak and listen in a range of situation and express themselves with confidence and skill. Children follow instructions. They can use past, present, future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or going to be happened in future.

Physical development involves moving and handling. Children should show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They can handle equipment’s and tools effectively including pencil for writing.

Personal, social and emotional development helps children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others. They learn how to develop social skills, they play co-operatively taking turns with each other, they show sensitivity to other’s needs and felling, form positive relationship with adults and other children. They learn how to manage their own feelings. The can manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs including dressing and going to toilets independently and to have self-confidence and self-awareness.

Literacy, they are able to link sound and letters and to begin read and write.

Mathematics, they improve their skills in counting, they can count up to twenty, they can do simple addition and subtraction, and able to recognized shapes.

Understanding the world,

Arts and design should involve providing opportunities to share their thought, concepts and feeling through a variety of ways in art music dance role-play.


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