The benefit of a home-based childcare to the child is that it allows him to receive personalized care and attention even in the absence of parents or immediate family. With home-based childcare, children will learn to interact with a different setting as well rather than the common parent-child relationship. It opens the child to a setup involving a person who is not part of the family. The benefit of home-based childcare to parents is that it gives them a hand in taking care of the children without the hassle, at less or just the same price.
This saves them precious time and money, and allows them to go about their day assured that their children are in good hands. The benefit of home-based childcare to the practitioner is that it allows her to balance a childcare career with the other aspects of her life such as school of other work and family. It is also easier to take care of children at the comfort of one’s own home where everything that a child may need throughout the caring period is easily accessible. I meet the individual needs of each child in a home-based setting by having the tools that I need and knowing that they are available when I need them.
Strength and Area for Development One strength of the home-based childcare service is the security of the business. As long as I am giving good service that can satisfy clients, parents will never hesitate to get the my services. Oftentimes, satisfied clients even refer good service to friends and family. This keeps the business growing. Apart from the financial aspect, the security of the industry also gives practitioners like me a sense of independence because of the setting of the job and the flexibility it has. One area for development in the home-based childcare service, however, is the non-social nature of the job.
While it is easy to say that we should keep in touch with other professionals, and that networks and child care groups are widely available for membership and camaraderie, home-based childcare service can be a demanding job. We will often find less time to attend social functions while balancing child care work and their personal life. Because the job is confined at home, it is easy for the us to lose touch with other people, and be exclusive to a network of people which will include us in the neighborhood, family, our parent clientele, and the children being cared for.
When we are given the chance to socialize with people, we can grow in the profession and learn more new things that can benefit us and our clients compared to being confined with our stock knowledge in our immediate surrounding. The workload poses another concern as it is an important aspect for us to be able to manage our time more effectively and make room for social interactions. Improving the Area for Development The identified area for development can be improved by proper time management. We should be able to set a time in a week or in a month to mingle socially with other practitioners or with a chosen group or network.
Announcements for assemblies usually come ahead of time and we should arrange a time to attend these as soon as they spot these opportunities. Likewise, we should set a day off to free ourselves from the pressure of the job we are doing everyday and to unwind from the stress. This will make us more effective childcare givers. When there is barely a vacancy and the demand for the service is on a steep rise, we should start asking for help and hire co-practitioners to assist her in caring for the children.
This will not only keep the child-practitioner ratio low, it will also free the practitioner’s hand in many chores and tasks. However, according to Rolfe, et al. (2003) recruitment and retention of workers have been a problem for many practitioner-providers. Thus, an effective selection, appraisal, and development strategy should also be implemented to help practitioners improve this identified are of development. Implementing Childcare Policies Health and safety is important for the clients.
Practitioners should ensure that healthy food are prepared and given to the children. Hazards should also be eliminated, and the home should be kept as child-friendly as possible: Doors should have safety latches, wall sockets should have rubber covers, pot handles should be turned in, matches and chemicals should be out of the children’s reach, and stairs should have handrails. Bathrooms should also have anti-slip mats and children should be accompanied at the bathroom at all times specially when using the tub or the shower as this may lead to drowning or scalding.
At all times, the practitioner should also keep an eye on each children under her care to ensure that nothing wrong can happen. In the garden, running, biking, and other activities can be allowed but protective gear should be provided such as headgear and knee and elbow pads. It is also important to tell children not to talk to strangers, not to go out of the house’s premises, and to approach any of the care givers if they feel something is not right. Health and safety also involves dealing with the behavioral issues of other children. No form of violence should be acceptable.
Restraint and patience is necessary yet the practitioner should be firm on her ground and handle the child’s behavior properly, correcting it according to a method that is understandable by the child. Parents should likewise be enjoined in this task. Practitioners should discuss policies and issues with parents, and have everything written down for further discussion with the children. When children being cared for are of reading age, they may be given the written policies themselves for review. I meet the individual needs of the child by making sure that their attitudes and behaviors are individually attended to.
This way, they will not be confused by any generalizations. This is due to the fact that every child behaves because of different needs. Enabling Children to Protect Themselves It is important to enable children to protect themselves because parents and childcare practitioners are not always beside them to guard them and protect them. It is important that children are told about their rights and responsibilities, even at a young age. Children should learn to respond appropriately to events that may not be readily familiar to them, and to say no when they feel that they are being asked to do something that they do not feel is right.
This way, even in the absence of elders such as their parents and their childcare practitioners, they can take care of themselves. By teaching them the importance of protecting themselves at a young age, they will know their value and will imbibe the essence of protecting themselves until the time that they grow older. Protecting themselves is also important regardless of gender. Not only boys fall victims to bullying, and girls are not only the ones who experience abuse. Both boys and girls can be bullied and abused in many forms imaginable, and it is every parent’s nightmare for their children to fall in these traps.
Most parents are already on guard of these things. In saying so, practitioners should continue on the education. Also, even if most parents are concerned with their children’s security and does everything to protect their children, practitioners should take into consideration that there are parents who do not have time or proper knowledge for such health and safety education and so the role of the practitioner becomes doubly necessary. In doing so it is important to consider that level of understanding of each child.
Every child has different levels of understanding, and practitioners should be able to identify how to cope with these varying levels so that proper education in protecting themselves can be given. The efforts of the childcare practitioner should also be made in sync with the efforts given by the parents in educating their children. Practitioners may discuss what efforts the parents have done so far, and how well the child has perceived the efforts. From there the child may be interviewed on how well they think they can protect themselves. Role-playing and scenario discussions will be helpful at this point.
After the practitioner have gauged what the child knows about protecting himself so far, that is the time that she can intervene and suggest more ways on how the child can further protect himself, as well as correct any misunderstood facts that he may have acquired. This way, the practitioner will not only vaguely discuss why protecting oneself is important, she can also stress how protecting oneself can be done in may different ways. When a child is older, such as an age which is capable of learning self-defense, the idea should also be brought up. However, the availability of professional help in this area should be stressed.
Importance of Working with Other Professionals The importance of working with other professionals in the interest of the child is also evident in developing techniques that can help the practitioner care for each children, as well as deliver service that is identified with and satisfies the requirements provided by law. The United Kingdom provides for certain regulations and requirements that has to be followed by childcare practitioners, and childcare workers should keep themselves informed of these as well as ensure that they satisfy those requirements and follow those regulations to avoid legal accountabilities.
Also, other childcare practitioners can help each other by sharing their knowledge and capabilities with one another. While practitioners follow a standard procedure in caring for children, each of them have innate knowledge on childcare and child rearing that other may not know of. By establishing open communication with other childcare workers, childcare practitioners will develop their know-how on the career that they have chosen. Likewise, communication between practitioners will improve the consistency of care giving in children within their vicinity, contributing to the standardization of childcare practice in the area.
Ultimately, the children being cared for will benefit on the additional knowledge that their caregivers get from their interaction with other professionals. By informally meeting with other practitioners as well as with other professionals who may help practitioners in developing their childcare careers, a support group is subconsciously being formed. Without their knowledge, they are already organizing a network that helps each of them achieve their potentials and improve on their crafts.
This, according to Quality Improvement Project (2007), an initiative of SureStart, improves the quality of service in child care—both collectively and individually. Working with other professionals also benefits each practitioner in a way that it improves their sense of well-being on the job. As holders of a home-based job and as stated a while ago, home-based childcare practitioners may lose the social skills and the ability to relate socially confidently, being confined with children at home most of the time.
By being active and joining and communicating with other adults who share the same interest, passion, and work with them, they are able to assess themselves, freely express themselves, and create a homogenous network where each practitioner will be able to be themselves. Role of a Reflective Practitioner The role of a reflective practitioner is important in offering high-quality service to parents and their children. While the role of a childcare practitioner can be demanding, she should allow herself to take a time out, even just for some minutes a day, to reflect on herself, her job, and her personal life.
This will help her relieve any unattended stress—in a layman’s word, it will keep her sane. A time for reflection is not necessarily something religious nor should it be mistaken for a time to pray although this will be a great help. Majorly though, practitioner can use this time to assess herself and be aware of her current needs and wants, and what are the possibilities for her to achieve them. For instance, will it be possible to take a break this week? If not, when will that be possible? This is also the time for the practitioner to assess how well, or how bad, she is doing her childcare practice.
Are there things that she is not supposed to say or do that she blurted out or suddenly did but regretted later on? What were the triggers? How can she avoid doing them again? It is important that the practitioner resolve issues concerning her care of children right away. Likewise, self-assessment shall lead to self-development and practitioners should not delay in doing so. They should make sure that they continuously improve on their craft and develop the areas which they feel needs improvement. This is also an opportunity to find time to communicate and socialize with other professionals in child care.
It will be a good idea to look at the internet for suggestions on groups within the area, as well as local periodicals for events that may be of interest and significance to childcare practitioners. This gives them time to explore the field of childcare, even in the home-based setting of their job. On the other hand, reflection should have its boundaries. Being reflective can affect one’s work time management and attitude, which should not be. Practitioners may also feel overwhelmed by too much reflection of their already overwhelming careers.
Being a reflective practitioner can be a good thing as one can assess oneself through reflection and readily improve on areas of development. However, being reflective should not interfere with one’s role of taking care of the children. Reflecting is different from daydreaming, and as much as possible should be kept at a time when not caring for children as it tends to keep practitioners of their focus. While at times it will be a necessity to reflect at things as one does them, the practitioner should ensure that it should always be the child first.
Mastermind your business marketing. 2005. Retrieved May 8, 2007, from http://www. ncma. org. uk/download/mastermind_marketing. pdf Quality improvement project. 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2007, from http://www. surestart. gov. uk/improvingquality/guidance/investorsinchildren/ Rolfe, H. , et al. 2003. Recruitment and retention of childcare, early years and play workers: Research study. Retrieved May 8, 2007, from http://www. surestart. gov. uk/_doc/P0000570. pdf Stop bullying!. 2005. Retrieved May 8, 2007, from http://www. kidscape. org. uk/assets/downloads/ksstopbullying. pdf