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Observational Child Study Assignment

Info: 9657 words (39 pages) Dissertation
Published: 8th Jul 2021

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Tagged: Childcare

Observational child study assignment

Introduction

For this assignment in child development, I plan to carry out 5 observations during the month of October, the child I have chosen to observe attends the childcare centre I am currently placed to do my work experience. Before starting this assignment, I sought permission from the centers manager, my 2 room supervisors and the target child’s parents to carry out my observations and explained how no personal information or identifying information will ever be used in the observations and the rights of the child will be respected always. I also explained to the parents how at any time they can request to view the observations I plan to do on their child.

I am hoping that by carrying out these observations I can reach a better understanding and record the developmental progress of the target child in the 5 areas of P.I.L.E.S. it will also give me a better insight into his likes and dislikes and identify any developmental needs Target child may have. Also, to see if the child is progressing, and help with the planning of activates, routines, or any other programs that are being used within the setting.

Other reasons for doing this study is to report any findings to the Childs parents and other professionals within the setting. This is very important as most parents like to be informed on their Childs progress in preschool. It also shows the parent that the child is being looked after professionally and that the child is being treated as an individual while being left in the care of the preschool.

Child profile

The child I’ve chosen is a 3 and half year-old girl, she has brown hair and hazel colored eyes, she is the youngest of 4 siblings and the only girl. Her mother and father are separated and although she lives with her mother she spends every weekend with her dad. This doesn’t seem to affect her as she seems to be a happy well-adjusted child.  Both katies parent are very approachable and engage with staff on a weekly basis regarding how katies weeks has been and they seem very open an honest when approached by the staff if they are any concerns about katies behavior or mood.

She is very energetic, social and chatty and gets along with all the children in the setting. She is rarely in bad form and is very gentle in her play and how she interacts with both adults and kids throughout the day Katie has been toilet trained since she was 23 months old and is confident and competent when using the toilet.

Both parent work full time and Katie attends the center 4 days a week from 9 to 5.30. this time she splits between 2 rooms, junior playschool (Ecce) room in the morning from 9 to 1 and senior toddler room in the afternoon from 1 to 5.30. she seems very happy at the center as she is always smiling and is very enthusiastic in daily activities. Sometimes however she can seem preoccupied with chatting to the adults and engaging with the adults at the setting rather than her peers.

I chose to use this particular child for my study because she is in between milestones for her age. She is very outgoing and has a lot of social skills. She can interact very well with all the children in the setting, and they feel very comfortable in her company. Katie is also a very emotional child and feels for any child who is upset if any of the children get upset while at the setting Katie will always try and comfort them. Katie is around children throughout the day each day and it shows in his personality and the way she interacts with her peers. Katie is well adjusted to creche and the routine in class, she knows when it’s time for her next activity, and also what the leader will say if one of his class mates is naughty or acts with bad manners. Because of all this myself and my supervisor feel Katie is the perfect child for me to do this assignment on.

Permission letter

14th October 2018

Dear parent

I am currently doing a CE scheme at the creche your daughter attends, as part of my training I am studying for my level 6 in early childcare education
At present I am studying child development. As part of this module I am required to carry out 5 observations on 1 individual child. And would like you observe Katie with your permission.

The aim of this project is to devise & evaluate an integrated description of a child (0 – 7 years) and their developmental needs and interests based on 5 observations.
As your child is in my care in this setting, I hope you can give your consent, so I can observe her as part of my case study. No personal information will be used in the observations or will your child be identified in my observations. These observations will be available for you to see if you request to do so. If you require any further information from me or have any questions regarding the observations, please feel free to contact me Thank you.
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Observation Techniques

The observations I plan to do on Katie are as follows:

Physical = checklist

Intellectual = narrative techniques.

Language – narrative techniques.

Social = event sample techniques.

Emotional = time sample

I will use a Checklist to assess the physical development of the Target Childs fine and gross motor skills example: using balancing skills skipping, running, using hand -eye co-ordination and using fine finger movements. According to Tassoni and Beith (1999 page 91) checklists are quick and simple to use and can be referred to later to check the progress of children. I will also use the narrative technique to assess the Childs cognitive and language development, for example: cognitive= concentration, using a doll for a baby, thinking carefully and using memory, language= nonverbal language, thinking out loud and describing an object or event. This method is useful because it provides a rich source of documentation for charting developmental growth, as it records everything a child is saying and doing.

The reason for the choosing these techniques are, they are easy to understand and read by both parents and staff in the setting also they give a clear picture of how the child is developing in all his areas. The techniques I have chosen can also show what areas of development the child need help with to reach his milestones.
Some theorists I intend to use to help me to understand the child’s stages of development are as follows :  Erik Erikson , Sigmund Freud, jean Piaget, john Bowbly and  Kohlberg . I feel these theorists will give me a great in site in to child’s development and are also greatly linked to each area of P.I.L.E.S

Physical observation

Observation on physical development

Date:  12th October 2018.

Time: 12:05pm to 1.25pm.

People present: room leader, 2 childcare workers, 2 students and 14 children.

Setting description: the observation took place in the setting I am currently doing my work experience in, it is a large city centre facility which caters for children from 5 months old to senior preschool. They also have an afterschool programme for primary school children. There are 12 childcare staff, 5 senior room leaders, 8 students from various colleges, a chef, 2 janitors a full time cleaner and office staff at present. The creche is divided into 5 rooms, baby room, toddler room, senior toddler room, ecce room and ecce junior room, both the ecce rooms double as afterschool room in the afternoon as the ecce sessions finish at 12. The facility opens weekdays from 9-5.30pm throughout the year.

Description of the child the target child I have chosen to observe is a 3.5-year-old girl. she attends the setting from 9-5 4 days a week splitting her time between the junior ecce room session in the morning and the afternoon senior toddler session from 1 to 5.30 4 days per week. Target child likes all things musical and enjoys the different activities laid on for her throughout her time in the setting.

Room and setting: The observation took place in the large senior toddler room and the outdoor area as I choose a time where the children move from outdoor to indoor area as I felt it would give me a chance to observe each area of physical development. the room itself is large and has different play areas set out and many different toys which are easily accessible to the children. The outdoor are is a large secure courtyard type area with a kitchen area a seating area with slides and a small climbing frame.

Technique and aim: the technique I’ve chosen for this observation on physical development is a checklist type, I feel it is a good choice as it is quick and easy to use and also easy to read back over when evaluating. My aim with this observation is to observe the target Childs physical development to make sure she is meeting the milestones for her age and report any concerns I have through observing to my supervisor.

Physical developmental checklist

Physical activity Date Yes no Not observed
Gross motor skills        
jumping   x    
Running   x    
Climbing   x    
Walking up/down stairs   x    
Throwing ball   x    
Kicking a ball   x    
fine motor skills        
Using finger puppets       x
Wash and dry hands   x    
Holding spoon   x    
Grapho motor skills        
Colouring with crayon   x    
Drawing circle with crayon     x  
Visual motor skills        
Stacking Lego   x    
Stringing beads     x  
Hand eye co-ordination        
Using scissors to cut page in half     x  
         

Evaluation

The aim of this evaluation was to study the physical, gross and fine motor development of the target child, I feel I achieved this aim, as I observed nearly all but one of the skills set out in the checklist. I feel TC had good capability in all areas of her physical development for her age and is reaching all physical developmental milestones for her age in both gross and fine motor skills even though she wasn’t completely competent with some of the finer motor skills areas such as grapho and her hand eye coordination I feel with practice and such activities encouraged she will master these tasks with ease. at this moment I do not think there is any reason for concern as Children learn how to perform gross (or large) motor skills such as walking before they learn to perform fine (or small) motor skills such as drawing. I observed TC on a number of different activities to see if her fine and gross motor skills were within the developmental norm for her age.  Tc was well able to do four of the activities on the checklist for gross motor skills, she was able to throw a large ball, walk and run forward, jump from a large step, According to Beaver et al (2002 pg. 74) “children aged 3 years Can walk forward, sideways and backwards and can throw a large ball”.

The target child also completed 4 of the skills listed in the checklist for fine motor skills.  She was able to stack the Legos one on top of the other and take it apart again, wash and dry her hands with help, use a spoon without spilling and hold and use a pencil using her pincher grasp.  All these activities fit in with TC’s physical development but also with her Language development as when TC was eating her lunch and, in the bathroom, washing her hands she was talking and communicating with her classmates and when she asked the teacher could she help her to wash her hands. As studied by theorist Vygotsky (1896-1934) finding showed that children learn from each other through interaction and communication.

As its been proven Physical development influences both cognitive development and social-emotional development, I feel the use of the outside area even on rainy days is essential for the child’s overall development as it has the space for running, climbing, jumping and will further aid the development of her gross motor skills. As the children aren’t constricted by routine of the classroom, they also develop their social and cognitive skills by making up games and engaging in imaginative play using the objects in the yard to represent other things, such as using the tires as their car and the crates as beds I now feel I can relate to Piagets theory where  children from the age of 2 -7 go through what he referred to as the pre-operational stage, and while at this stage of development according to Piaget  child will start to engage in pretend thinking, using one object to represent a

Reflection and recommendations

On reflection I can see while I was nervous about starting this observation, the checklist was really useful and easy to use and read through later and I feel although I’m aware of may theorists on cd I struggled a bit to link theory to practice but hope I have done a competent enough attempt at this. I feel even though the playschool room is big with lots to keep the children occupied throughout the day, I feel my target child would benefit from more outdoor playtime, as it widely proven, the more physical a child is the more cognitive responsive they are. Also, if there were more activities laid around the room for the child to access at free play time, that would encourage the development of her fine motor skill, maybe some colliders with sting. Dropping games… connect four, even though the rules of the game might not be adhered to, the physical action of dropping the piece in to the slot would aid the development of Tc’s hand eye coordination.

Intellectual observation

Date: 7th October 2018

Time: 10.35am – 10.55.am

People Present: 2 childcare workers, 2 students and 8 children

Setting description: the observation took place in the setting I am currently doing my work experience in, it is a large city centre facility which caters for children from 5 months old to senior preschool. They also have an afterschool programme for primary school children. There are 12 childcare staff, 5 senior room leaders, 8 students from various colleges, a chef, 2 janitors a full time cleaner and office staff at present. The creche is divided into 5 rooms, baby room, toddler room, senior toddler room, ecce room and ecce junior room, both the ecce rooms double as afterschool room in the afternoon as the ecce sessions finish at 12. The facility opens weekdays from 9-5.30pm throughout the year.

Description of the child the target child I have chosen to observe is a 3.5-year-old girl. she attends the setting from 9-5 4 days a week splitting her time between the junior ecce room session in the morning and the afternoon senior toddler session from 1 to 5.30 4 days per week. Target child likes all things musical and enjoys the different activities laid on for her throughout her time in the setting.

Room setting: the observation took place in the junior ECCE room, which is a large bright room, with a home corner, dress up area, reading/chill out area and wash up area, it has tables and chairs position down the centre of the room for the 12 children it carters for. The children were about to do some activities laid out at different tables by the adults in the room.

Observation technique and aim: the area of development I am observing is cognitive so for this observation I have chosen the narrative. This technique allows for detailed observation as it will record everything the child is saying and doing, which I feel will hep in the overall aim of the observation. The aim being to observe the target child and assess her cognitive development to see if she is reaching the set-out milestones for her age group.

Narrative observation on cognitive development

Observation begins. The target child is sitting at the arts and crafts area. She is picking up an orange crayon and says ‘’me use orange first ‘’, she begins to draw a large circle on a blank page. She is putting the orange crayon back in the box, now she is picking up a brown crayon and is telling me it is brown. she is looking at his page and now he is drawing two small circles in the large circle with her right hand. TC is putting down the brown crayon and now she the target child is looking at the colors in the box and she says me going to pick pink next. she is coloring the top of the large circle with the pink crayon using strokes over and back. TC is looking at the materials on the table, she is picking up a large tub of glitter. Now she is sprinkling the glitter onto her picture, shaking the tub with both her hands. TC says places the glitter back on the table and walks toward the middle of the room where a childcare worker is putting down large shapes on the floor in different colors. TC says” my play? “CW1, says 2sure lets do our colors and shapes”. TC is smiling and CW1 is laying colored shapes out on the floor CW1 is now asking TC to jump on the green triangle. she is looking at the shapes, she jumps on the green triangle.  A1 now asks TC to jump on the purple circle, she is looking around the floor, TC jumps on the yellow circle, CW2 says “no let’s try again, can you show me which one is purple? It’s the same color as the berries we played with yesterday at the nature table. TC is looking around, TC is smiling and jumps on the purple circle.  CW1 and CW2 are both clapping and telling TC, she did very well TC is smiling at me and sits down.

TC is doing a matching puzzle. She picks up a puzzle piece with a picture of a lion on it, TC is holding up the piece and is saying “rarrrrr rarrrr look a rarrrr “. She is looking at the other pieces she is picking up a piece with a lion on it, she is now matching them together , she  is picking up another piece it has a giraffe on it, she is looking around the table at the other pieces, she puts down that piece and picks up another piece it has a picture of a monkey, she is looking around she picks up a piece with a monkey on it she puts them together.  Target child turns and walks to the table beside her, “my help you?” she says to the C1 , C1 turns and hands TC some puzzle pieces TC is picking up a piece with a blue and white towel on it, she is looking at the piece in her hand  now she is looking at the table, she picks up the piece with the bar of soap on it and is now matching them together. she looks at C1 and smiles, she is saying to C1‘’ me the winner.  Observation ends.

Evaluation

THE aim of my observation was to study and observe the target child’s cognitive ability and development,  although there was a lot going on in the room at the time, I feel the observation went according to plan and I got a good overall picture of the target child’s cognitive ability, and through this I can see she is reaching all the milestones for her age, as cognitive development  covers memory, problem solving, reasoning and learning I feel the range of activities I observed the target child doing, covered all of these areas from the child sorting through the puzzle pieces to find the right piece to knowing her primary colors  and  shapes when looking through the crayons and when asked  to jump from the different colored shapes. According to Tassoni and Beith (2002 pg. 201) a child age 3-4 should be able to matches one to one e.g. a cup with each saucer.  And I feel the target child demonstrated this by matching the puzzle pieces together. While the target child failed at first to correctly pick out the purple circle, with some encouragement from the childcare worker she eventually succeeded, which can be linked to Len Vygotsky’s scaffolding theory, where a child cannot accomplish something alone but can with the help, guidance and encouragement of an MKO or more knowledgeable other. When target child was sorting through the puzzle pieces I observed her picking up one piece with a lion on it and referring to it as a rarrrr rarrrr this too is in line with the milestones for her cognitive development , as according to Piagets theory of cognitive development, between the ages of 2-7 the preoperational stage a child will use symbolic thinking which means they will use words and images to represent objects  as raarrr rarrrrr to symbolize a lion , another example is when a child will call a dog a woof , woof.

Recommendations

Although I feel the room setting is meeting most of the cognitive needs of the children as with everything there is always room for improvement, the reading zone has many books for the children most are old and have been read many times, and although the children love story time, or looking at the pictures in the books themselves , having new books which could be put out on the shelf in rotation every couple of weeks, would capture the interest of the children and encourage more use of the reading zone which I turn promotes cognitive development. Also having a permanent nature table in the room, not just at autumn time, which could include nature-based stories and arts and crafts, that could include materials collected by the children at outside playtime, this would encourage them to explore their environment.

Reflections

This was the one observation I most worried most about as there are so many other distractions within the room setting, I was worried it would be impossible to observe the target child closely enough. But after talking to my supervisor regarding my worries, together we planned a time of day to carry out the observation when the kids are mostly busy with different interesting activities which would mean I would be barely noticed by them. I feel in doing this it eased my nerves and enabled me to carry out the narrative observation with relative ease. the room in which the observation was carried out is set out in such a way that the children have easy access to lots of different toys and puzzles which encourage cognitive development, and the workers within the room are really good at knowing when to take a step back and let the children figure it out for themselves but equally good at knowing when to offer guidance and encouragement when they see a child struggle with a task. While watching the target child closely I was able to observe and link various actions to the theorists I have been learning about throughout the child development module.

Language observation

Date: 16th of October 2018

Time: 3.10pm- 3.18pm

People present: supervisor, 1 childcare worker, 1 student and 8 children.

Setting description: the observation took place in the setting I am currently doing my work experience in, it is a large city centre facility which caters for children from 5 months old to senior preschool. They also have an afterschool programme for primary school children. There are 12 childcare staff, 5 senior room leaders, 8 students from various colleges, a chef, 2 janitors a full time cleaner and office staff at present. The creche is divided into 5 rooms, baby room, toddler room, senior toddler room, ecce room and ecce junior room, both the ecce rooms double as afterschool room in the afternoon as the ecce sessions finish at 12. The facility opens weekdays from 9-5.30pm throughout the year.

Child description: the target child I have chosen to observe is a 3.5-year-old girl. she attends the setting from 9-5 4 days a week splitting her time between the junior ecce room session in the morning and the afternoon senior toddler session from 1 to 5.30 4 days per week. Target child likes all things musical and enjoys the different activities laid on for her throughout her time in the setting.

Room & setting: the room in which this observation took place is the large senior toddler room which the target child attends in the afternoons, the room is a bright large room with the various play areas, dress up, kitchen, buggy corner, home corner and tables and chairs set out to one side of the room leaving a large amount of space I the middle of the room for the children to play. The time I have chosen, is when the children are doing an art activity where there is a lot of one to one conversations between the children and adults in the room.

Technique and aim: the technique I will use is the precoded, I am using this because after reading all the different techniques used to observe in childcare I feel this one is best for language as they only record what is said by the target child and others around them, and it provides a lot of information relating to the child’s language skills. The aim is to get a clear picture of the target child’s language development and record if there are any cause for concerns.

Language observation

Pre-coded

                                                           Pre-coded1 min.

Target child is sitting at the table with 7 other children, waiting for A1 to start the activity. TC-A “my like cards” A -TC “ yes and you are very good at knowing all the different animals”

TC-A “my sitting at the table” A-TC “ yes I know you are, good girl”

 2 min. A is holding up a flashcard . A-SG “what animal is this?” TC-A1 “ a rhino, see hims horn” A-TC “good girl, it is a rhino”
3 min. A holds up another card  C1-SG “it’s a tat” TC -C1 “ meow moew im a cat” the group laugh.
4 min. TC – A “ My hold your cards?”
A- TC ‘’ no thank you I want them in front of me”
TC-A ‘’okay mark no allowed touch them too’’

 

A-TC “ Nobody’s holding them only the teacher”

5 min. A-SG “ can anyone tell me what this is” C2-A  “that’s a pig , a pink pig” A- C2 ‘’that’s excellent well done , what sound does the pig make?”.

 

TC-A “Oink oink I’m peppa pig oink oink”

6 min. TC -A “ My wanna see the duckies “ A-TC “sit down on your chair and we will see what is coming next” TC-C1 “ you want see the duckies? Wack wack “

 

A – SG “What sound do the duck say?” SG-A “quack, quack”

7 min. TC leaves the table

 

TC-A “ my want drink, my want beaker”

A-TC “ come back to the table and when we finish our activity I will get you your beaker”

TC goes back to the table.

8 min. A-TC “where is your beaker?” TC-A “in bag look” TC takes A’s hand and leads her to the door where her bag is hanging on a hook. A hands TC her beaker. TC-A “thank you” A-TC “ you are welcome”

Codes: TC- Target Child.
A – Adult.
C1 – Child.

C2- child.
SG- Small Group.

Evaluation

The aim of this observation was to observe target child’s language development and to records later on any concerns regarding his development arising from this observation. Language development is the process by which children come to understand and communicate language during early childhood. From birth up to the age of five, children develop language at a very rapid pace. The stages of language development are usually the same for all children but the age and the pace at which a child reaches each milestone of language development vary greatly from child to child. As target child is 3 a child of her age between 3 and 4 usually will be able to, understand most of what they hear, converse, use 3 to 6 word sentences, ask questions, have 900 to 1,000-word vocabularies, with verbs starting to predominate, and use pronouns correctly.

From my observation I can see TC can understand when people are speaking to her, when told to come back to the table and wait for the activity to finish, she does so and waits, also when asked where her beaker was, she was able to show the adult it was in her bag. She also showed her ability to converse when asking the other child “ you want to see duckies? Even though she uses My for I when speaking I don’t feel this is any cause for concern as her understanding of language is good and she is able to ask and be understood when she wants a particular need met, like asking for a drink and specifically asking for the drink from her Beaker.

The adult involved constantly interacts with the child and this I feel not only encourages a response from the target child but also plenty of opportunity for the child to practice her language skills. The use of the flash cards not only helps develop the children’s language skill, but it also encourages social interaction which in turn promotes language development. B.F Skinner theorized that language acquisition is dictated by our environment and the positive or negative reinforcement we receive from it. The adult praising the child and telling her she is a good girl when they get the animal right could be linked to this.

Another theorist Jean Piaget, although he studied cognitive development he often spoke about the link between cognitive development and language, according to Piagets stages of cognitive development between the ages of 2 and 7 a child goes through the preoperational stage. The defining feature of this stage, in Piaget’s view, is egocentricity. He said the child seems to talk constantly, but much of what he says does not need to be said out loud. For instance, the child might describe what he is doing even though others can easily see what he is doing. He shows no awareness of the possibility that others have a viewpoint of their own. Piaget sees little distinction at this stage of development between talking with others and thinking aloud. I think Tc demonstrated this at the start of the observation while telling the adult she was sitting at the table even though the adult could see this herself. I feel this observation showed the target child to be on track with her language development and I have no cause for concern.

Recommendations

while the target Childs speech isn’t delayed, and I found no cause for concern from this observation, I did observe the child mix u her pronouns, using my instead of I “my like duckies”. I would recommend the adults in the room correct the Childs grammar (recasting). This will enable the child to use the correct pronoun while speaking and forming sentences. Also, I would recommend more music time aid the children’s language development as most Young children love music and movement. When they listen to lively songs, like “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” they learn about the world around them and the rhythm of language.

Reflection

On reflection this observation was the least I was worried about doing as I knew the time I and activity I has chosen to observe would be perfect for language development as all the children enjoy flashcards and naming all the animals on the cards, and also the sounds the animals make, so I knew there would be lots of talking and interaction going on within the group. The theorists I found a lot harder as there is so many theories on language development I found myself getting overwhelmed with the amount of information I was reading. I would hope I still managed to link in the theories to my observation well enough to be understood.

Emotional observation

Date: 22nd to the 26th October 2018.

Time: from 9.14 onwards for 5 days of the week chosen.

People present: varied from day to day.

Setting description: the observation took place in the setting I am currently doing my work experience in, it is a large city centre facility which caters for children from 5 months old to senior preschool. They also have an afterschool programme for primary school children. There are 12 childcare staff, 5 senior room leaders, 8 students from various colleges, a chef, 2 janitors a full time cleaner and office staff at present. The creche is divided into 5 rooms, baby room, toddler room, senior toddler room, ecce room and ecce junior room, both the ecce rooms double as afterschool room in the afternoon as the ecce sessions finish at 12. The facility opens weekdays from 9-5.30pm throughout the year.

Child description: the target child I have chosen to observe is a 3.5-year-old girl. she attends the setting from 9-5 4 days a week splitting her time between the junior ecce room session in the morning and the afternoon senior toddler session from 1 to 5.30 4 days per week. Target child likes all things musical and enjoys the different activities laid on for her throughout her time in the setting.

Room & setting: the room in which this observation took place is the large senior toddler room which the target child attends in the afternoons, the room is a bright large room with the various play areas, dress up, kitchen, buggy corner, home corner and tables and chairs set out to one side of the room leaving a large amount of space I the middle of the room for the children to play. The time I have chosen, is when the children are doing an art activity where there is a lot of one to one conversations between the children and adults in the room. The event I have chosen to observe is drop-off time each morning, when the parent/ care giver of the child drops them to the setting each morning.

Technique and aim: today I plan to observe the target child’s social development, I have chosen to use is an event sample observation as I feel it will allow to identify any triggers causing inappropriate or negative behaviors and it also allows for that to be record and investigated if needs be, and a solution drawn up to help the child overcome any behaviors which a maybe a cause of concern.

Event sample for emotional development

Day 1
Monday Antecedent 
What happens to cause behavior :
Target arrives at the setting at 9.15 am to start the morning ECCE session  , she  runs up and down the hallway while waiting to be left inside the room, TC’s mum tells her to stop running and come stand by her side, target child is doesn’t seem happy .

Behavior 
How the child reacts:
the door is opened  to let the child in. I ask  ‘’why she is upset’’ ? she turns away . The mum tell the child to go in to the setting , target child walks in she takes a seat at the table and does not join in with his classmates for welcome time.

Consequence 
What happens to reinforce behavior :
I take TC’s hand and sit on the floor with her for welcome time. I ask her to tell me one of our setting rules for the day. She does not answer. I then ask her to help me to put the floor cushions away, she stands up and takes a cushion , I say ‘’thank you ‘’ to her.  then goes and joins her classmate. she is smiling and seems happier now.

Day 2
Tuesday Antecedent 
What happens to cause behavior :
Target Child is late coming in to the setting this morning, her mum doesn’t come in but leaves her at the door with a kiss and TC runs over to the house area she is smiling and seems to be great form this morning. She yells ’’  look at my new pony’’ it is  red, ‘’ very good l answer , can I mind it for you so it wont get lost?’’  ‘’no mine me keep it‘. TC walks over and sits with his classmates.

Behavior 
How the child reacts:
I ask TC  once again for the pony, she  don’t look up from the table. I walk away and let her  carry on playing with his classmates.

Consequence 
What happens to reinforce behavior :
Target child shouts for me ’’ teacher you  have me pony now, me wont lose it’’
I tell the child she is the best for giving me the toy to look after, she smiles and says “yes me a good girl”.

Day 3
Wednesday Antecedent 
What happens to cause behavior :
the target child arrives with her dad  this morning, , I open the door to them Tc says good bye to her dad and walks in to the setting.

Behavior 
How the child reacts:
target child  is very quite this morning , I ask her is every thing ok, she reply’s  “ me is tired” . I ask her  would he like to sit on the sofa and read a book for a little while. TC sits down and starts to cry.

Consequence 
What happens to reinforce behaviour :
I comfort the child l and ask ’’ why she  is upset this morning?’’ she  says she just wants her mammy, I tell her not to be upset that mammy will be here to pick her up  just after circle time this morning. Target child’s  classmate is standing next to him. She gives her a hug and the target child  stops crying, the classmate says “ mammy back soon”  I ask would they both like some books to read, and hand them 2 books which they sit and look at for 10 minutes or so, this seems to calm the child and she doesn’t seem upset for the rest of the morning.

Day 4
Thursday  Antecedent 
What happens to cause behaviour :
Repeat of yesterday.
Behavior
How the child reacts:
Care assistant holds TC’s hand while she  decides what area she would like to play at. She is very quiet and looks sad, care assistant sits down, and the TC sits on her lap She takes a piece of play dough and throws it on the floor. The care worker tells the child she mustn’t do that, she asks her to pick up the play dough, TC does what she is asked.

Consequence 
What happens to reinforce behaviour:
Care assistant tell the target child she is a good girl for picking up the play dough, she also talks to her about the rules of the setting.  TC is now sitting on a chair next to the care worker, chatting about her new puppy marshal, she seems a lot happier now and is smiling.

Day 5
Friday   Antecedent 
Target child is absent from the setting today.

Evaluation

The aim of my observation was to observe the target child’s emotional development and compare that development to the milestones set out for her age. The target child  seems to enjoy her  time in the setting , as she is always smiling and seems to be happy and comfortable for the most part of her time here, but every morning when she arrives she looks a little sad and withdrawn for a short period of time, my supervisor and I thought this would be a good time to observe to try to identify triggers if any and come up with my supervisor a plan to help the target child through this emotional time for her. By doing this observation I noticed the pattern of the child being upset when her parent dropped her off in the morning, but once she was comforted by either a care worker or another child she seemed happy, and no other incidents occurred during the days I was observing. From doing the event sample I found that TC seemed more settled when his mom dropped him to pre-school every morning rather than dad. Both mornings of the observations when she was dropped in by her dad she would tend to stay very quiet and unsettled for some time throughout the morning, when I had spoken to parents about this the mum explained that before getting to the creche each morning they will stop at the shop close by the shop for a treat. She does this because she feels guilty about leaving TC for such long periods of time each day, it can be 6 or 7 that evening before getting home again with the child. And although she knows TC is happy at the setting the child has expressed to her on numerous occasions that she misses her when she leaves for work.

After hearing from the mother and looking at the observation again I began to see the incident where TC refuse to hand over the pony differently, as it was a toy she had brought from home she could be associating it with the comfort feeling she associated with her mother or her home. As the theorist D.W. WINNICOTT studies show us to see the importance of the teddy bear and other comforters that children seem to need to carry about with them. He called these transitional objects. He believed that children need such objects to help them through the times when they begin to realise that they are a separate person. The teddy might stand for the mother when she leaves the baby in the cot; it is a symbol of the mother who will return. It helps children through being alone or feeling sad. Naturally, the child might enjoy the teddy’s company more when the mother is there. This reinforces the value of the teddy as a transitional object when the mother is absent. It was easy to see that the target child although not a naturally defiant child and for the most part she would be described as a very easy going and 3 year old, It was clear to see she struggled with her emotions when being left at the setting and being being unable to communicate these feelings they were evident in some of her behaviors , from refusing to join in with the group, to throwing the playdough on the floor, both behaviors would be seen as out of character for this particular child.

Its obvious the child doesn’t like being separated from her parents at drop off time, but once reassured that her mother will return for her she seems to settle. This brought to mind one theory on attachment by psychologist Mary Ainsworth who following on from john Bowlby’s earlier attachment theory, Ainsworth described three major styles of attachment: secure attachment, ambivalent-insecure attachment, and avoidant-insecure attachment.  Secure attachment is marked by distress when separated from caregivers and joy when the caregiver returns. I feel the target child demonstrated signs of this when she became upset after her mother left but seemed to settle after being told her mother would return.

Recommendations

From looking back on this observation and looking back over some of the theory’s out there regarding emotional development  I am going to suggest to the child’s mother that instead of taking the child to the shop each morning for sweets that maybe giving her a teddy or special toy from home to take in with her each day, the children in the setting love to bring toys from home with them as they feel some comfort in this , also they love to show and tell their toy at circle time. It can be very easy for a child of TCs age to associate a behavior with a reaction from a parent, it might be that the target child feels rewarded with sweet treats for feeling anxious about being separated from her mother, or by expressing that she will miss her. I feel giving her a toy to take with her instead of buying her a treat will help the Childs transition from home into the setting each morning. Also, I feel at circle time the use of feelings cards on a daily basis might help the child recognize her emotions and be more able to express when she is felling sad, upset, angry and so on. When TC threw the play dough on the floor is was out of character and an obvious result of how she was felling, I feel encouraging the child to recongnise and put a label on feelings will she will be better able to express herself with words rather than negative behaviors when overcome with an emotion.

Reflection

this area of development was the one area I found a little hard to get my head around, and I found I over thought this observation so much that I put it off on 2 occasions as I wasn’t sure what to look for or how to try link it to theory, but after taking a day or 2 to sit back and revise all the information I had at hand on emotional development milestones and looking at various books and talking to my supervisors, I felt comfortable enough with my understanding or emotional development to do the observation, and I surprised myself as when I read back over the observation I started to see past some of the behaviors from the child and link them and  incident back to emotions the child might be feeling and then to some of the studies I had read up on from theorists , Winnicott especially .

Social observation

Date: 9th October 2018

Time: 3:00pm- 4:00pm

People present: supervisor, 1 childcare worker, 1 student and 8 children

Setting description: the observation took place in the setting I am currently doing my work experience in, it is a large city centre facility which caters for children from 5 months old to senior preschool. They also have an afterschool programme for primary school children. There are 12 childcare staff, 5 senior room leaders, 8 students from various colleges, a chef, 2 janitors a full time cleaner and office staff at present. The creche is divided into 5 rooms, baby room, toddler room, senior toddler room, ecce room and ecce junior room, both the ecce rooms double as afterschool room in the afternoon as the ecce sessions finish at 12. The facility opens weekdays from 9-5.30pm throughout the year.

Child description: the target child I have chosen to observe is a 3.5-year-old girl. she attends the setting from 9-5 4 days a week splitting her time between the junior ecce room session in the morning and the afternoon senior toddler session from 1 to 5.30 4 days per week. Target child likes all things musical and enjoys the different activities laid on for her throughout her time in the setting.

Room and setting: the observation took place in the junior ECCE room, which is a large bright room, with a home corner, dress up area, reading/chill out area and wash up area, it has tables and chairs position down the centre of the room for the 12 children it carters for. The children were just starting their morning hour of free play.

Technique and aim: the technique I’ve chosen to use for this social observation is a time sample. I have chosen this technique because time sampling gives a good general picture of a Childs activities and interactions and it can be completed while the other staff get on with their work so there will not be any interruptions to the child or the classroom routine. The aim of this observation is to observe target child’s social development and record any cause for concern and report them to my supervisor. As it has been has noticed by staff that the target child sometimes shy’s away from playing with other kids in order to chat to the adults in the room instead.

Time sample observation for social development

Time Solitary Engaging with other child/children Talking to/sitting with       adult.
3.00pm   x  
3.05pm     x
3.10pm     x
3.15pm x    
3.20pm   x  
3.25pm     x
3.30pm x    
3.35pm   x  
3.40pm                  x
3.45pm     x
3.50pm   x  
3.55pm   x  
4.00pm   x  
       
Total times each behaviour observed. 2 6 5

Evaluation

The aim of this observation was to observe the target Childs social development through watching her over a 1-hour period and recording her activities every 5 minutes. Although the room was quite busy as the children were engaging in free play for the hour, I managed to record at each time interval. Out of the 13 times I recorded, the child was playing alone for 2 of these, playing with other children 6 and chatting or sitting with an adult in the room for 5. It had been noted before that the target child seems to follow the adults in the room more o than playing with her peers. I don’t feel it is any cause for concern as she is naturally an inquisitive child and likes to know what is going on, why it’s happening, what’s coming next, and where things go. While talking to the adults she is constantly asking questions about the goings on around her, but when told to go and play, she will do so without fuss. Its seems that the target child simply enjoys interacting with the adults and she is always smiling when doing so. One theorist on social development was Erik Erikson, he developed an 8-stage theory and believed a person’s personality developed in a predetermined order and builds on each previous stage, he called this the epigenetic principle. Stage 3 of his theory was initiative versus guilt, and it covered the 3 -5 age group, part of his theory is that at this stage a Childs thirst for knowledge grows and it leads to them asking many questions, Erikson believed if a parent/ care giver treated the Childs constant questions as a nuisance or trivial the child may feel like a nuisance or feel guilty for bothering the adult. Too much guilt can lead to a child becoming slow to interact with others. As the target Childs interactions with the adults are always positive and her questions always answered in a positive way I don’t feel her following the adults in the room and sitting with them is any cause for concern as her social development isn’t being held back by this.

The observation showed her interacting/playing with her peers at 6 of the 5 intervals I observed, and each time TC seemed to be enjoying these interactions as she was smiling or laughing each time. During the time I spent observing TC with her peers I watched as she tried to unfold a dolls buggy and struggling to make it stay upright, as she does this the boy she is playing with at the time takes the buggy and shows her which bar to press to make the buggy stand, the target child does as the boy shows her and shouts “I did it” with a smile on her face when it works. I feel this can be linked back to Vygotsky’s social development theory, which included 3 concepts he Role of Social Interaction in Cognitive Development, the More Knowledgeable Other and the Zone of Proximal Development. The MKO is someone with a better understand, or more capable of a task so can use this knowledge to help the child. I feel that the boy helping target child with the unfolding of the buggy could be referred to as an MKO as he used his knowledge to show TC how to perform the task. Overall, I feel the child is within the social developmental norms for her age group/

Recommendations

As the target child splits her time at the setting into 2 different sessions during the day, which means 2 different groups of children to socially interact with and although this never seems to affect her, I feel having circle time at the start of the afternoon session would benefit the child as it would be a great way of marking the start of the new session with new. Circle time not only allows children to share their thoughts and ideas with classmates .it also helps learn the need for turn taking and introduces each child individually to the group. This I feel would not only help TC but also the other kids with the blending of the 2 groups daily. Also playing games that require children to work in pairs or small groups. Like, Row, Row, Row Your Boat: Sit children facing each other with legs crossed and holding hands. Have them rock back and forth as they sing. Allow children to select a partner or select children to work together to promote new friendships. Let the children that struggle with friendships to choose first.

Reflection

Before doing this observation, I would have been in agreeance with the thinking the child wanting to chat and spend time with adults as somewhat of a concern, but as I observed more closely I realised she not only played with her peers as slightly more than being with the rooms adults, she also interacted differently with both groups. Her time spent with the adults mostly involved asking questions or watching how they done things or put things way. Compared t her time with the other children where she played with the toys and made up little games with them. The target child seemed to enjoy both interactions as she smiled and laughed when engaging in them. After the observation and my evaluation was done I realised the target child was meeting all the developmental milestones for her age and I had no cause for concern.

References

Tassoni, Penny & Beith, Kate (2002) Diploma In Childcare & Education, Heinemann, Oxford.

Beaver, Marian, Brewster, Jo, Jones, Pauline, Keene, Anne, Neaum, Sally, Tallack, Jill, (2001) Babies and Young Children, Diploma in Childcare & Education, Cheltenham: Nelson Tharnes.

Tassoni, Penny & Beith, Kate (1999), Nursery Nursing, A guide to work in Early Years, Heinemann, Oxford.

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Childcare relates simply to the care of children, typically by a nanny, childminder, creche or nursery. Childcare is often needed to ensure care for children when parents are working or have other essential commitments.

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