Child Development and Child Psychology
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The Importance of Training and Professional Development to those involved with Children

Most people think that everyone has the natural, innate skills to care and look after children. Most people think that looking after children is an easy option, not something that needs to be worked at, nor needing a high level of commitment, knowledge and intelligence. Childcarers do not have a high status in our busy society, and neither do others working with children on a daily basis - they are expected to know instinctively what to do to provide the best learning and support for the children.

Imagine if you could not read, yet everyone expected you to do so on a daily basis without any teaching and support. If you were resourceful and intelligent, you would probably struggle through and cope, but it would be stressful and demanding, leaving you feeling inadequate, and you would make many mistakes along the way. If this is the case for reading, you can quadruple it for learning to look after children. Caring for children, meeting all of their development and learning needs as well as their physical care, being up to date with changes in childcare regulations and child development theory, being able to stay confident and relaxed in the midst of some of the most demanding children's behaviour, managing the children's activities and environment so that everyone is happy, knowing what to do in an emergency - these are a few of the areas that you are expected to miraculously "know". Not "knowing" can make being with children stressful and exhausting, as well as having a very negative impact on the children's health and well-being, and their development and learning.

Having the appropriate training and knowledge enables you to be in control and manage any situations that arise, because you are confident and capable, can analyse and plan what needs to be done, and can reflect and adapt to any occasion that arises. This makes children feel happy and contented, and they will enjoy spending time with you.

Children who begin their education and development in an environment that is vibrant, purposeful, challenging and supportive stand the best chance of developing into confident and successful learners. Effective environments (domestic and professional) are created over time as the result of you thinking about children's learning and development, and planning how to support and promote it. Your own training that you embark upon will enable you to give children in your care and education the very best possible start in their development and learning, establishing solid foundations on which children can build, ensuring that they continue to flourish throughout their school years and beyond.

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Child Development and Child Psychology