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Effectiveness, challenges and reflection for practitioners

Practitioners are effective when they:

  • support babies and children to have a positive self-image
  • encourage children to recognise their own unique qualities and the characteristics they share with other children
  • recognise that babies' and children's attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by feedback from others
  • start from children's strengths, interests and learning preferences by observing, listening and tuning in to each child as an individual
  • find out how children play at home and value different approaches to play
  • react when children exclude each other because of race, by supporting the excluded child and addressing these issues with all the children. Practitioners can help children to challenge stereotypes themselves by discussing the children's views with them using Persona Dolls and stories
  • make time to get to know and learn from each other
  • actively promote equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that all children and families feel included, safe and valued.

Challenges and dilemmas

Work to meet the following challenges.

  • Remember that children learn from everything they experience, including stereotypes and prejudice.
  • Understand that our behaviours towards children can impact negatively as well as positively on their self-esteem.
  • Treat all children and babies with equal care, concern and tenderness when family expectations and behaviours can be very different from your own.
  • Make time to listen to children and give them space to express their feelings individually in all types of setting.

Reflecting on practice

The following questions can help spur reflection on how you and other practitioners are meeting EYFS principles.

  • Are practitioners aware of how babies and children are affected by their behaviour?
  • How is each child's individual development supported by the setting? Are resources and displays full of positive images that acknowledge and celebrate diversity?
  • Think about each child in the group. Consider their:
    • unique development
    • individual interests
    • communication styles
    • learning styles.