Healthcare Hero: My Skills and Abilities as a Future Practitioner

In my essay, I will discuss my personal beliefs and values in regard to thinking about and choosing my work placement, the skills and abilities that I think are necessary for practitioners in early years setting and finally, how important it is to reflect while participating in practice.

Beliefs and Values

In my perspective the belief and value that is most important is inclusion. According to Fesuer ‘Inclusion in education means that all children in an educational play, learn and work together at their respective developmental levels, in co-operation with each other, within a shared curriculum. Inclusion means working together as a collective’. Inclusion to me is all about children feeling as if they are indeed part of a group and not apart, promoting, appreciating all diversity that is present in the early childhood setting, checking up if a child is not present in the early childhood setting on a particular day and the practitioners were not notified and also practitioners work in partnership with each other , parents , guardians and carers as each group is equally responsible for the development of the child. This is stated in Aistear 2009 ‘Identity and belonging is about children developing a positive sense of who they are and feeling that they are valued and respected as part of a family and a community’. Inclusion helps children to make friends, we know that all friendships come with their challenges and as a result these challenges then helps to prepare children for the struggles that they will have in the future. Inclusion also helps children to able to understand their peers and themselves in a positive way. It is also proven that children receive higher academic achievements due to inclusion in their early childhood setting. Finally, as for their families, inclusion causes families to form a positive relationship with other families that are from a different background and also have different parenting experiences, allows families to feel part of a community, creates emotions such as empathy as they gage an understanding of other families journeys, it lowers the feeling of loneliness or isolation and inclusion may promote families to provide each other with parenting information if they are struggling with a situation.

I belief that it is important to provide children with the best health and well-being that is possible. The World Health Organisation defines health as ‘an evolving human resource that helps children and adults adapt to the challenges of everyday life, resist infection, cope with adversity, feel a sense of personal well-being and interact with their surroundings in ways that promote successful development’.

Nutrition influences how a child develops physically and mentally and how they grow throughout their life. It is the early years practitioner's responsibility to promote health and well-being in their setting, but it is also the parent's responsibility to promote health and well-being at home. According to Siolta, ‘Within an early childhood service, it is the shared responsibility of all adults to ensure that children are kept safe and healthy. Parents and children have a right to expect that those responsible will ensure that the environment, equipment, activities and materials will be suitable and monitored for safety’. In the early childhood setting, I think it is important to carry out activities based off nutrition and well-being. This can then educate children in a fun way about healthy eating and educate their parents off how important it is.

Overall the beliefs and values that are important to me are inclusion and health and well-being.

Skills and Abilities

Knowledge is a very important skill that is required for practice in my opinion. Practitioners should have knowledge about their role with working with children, parents and other practitioners. Regarding children, practitioners should know all about child development and learning. According to Rogoff ‘Learning is seen as the process by which children change, as a result of taking part in an activity’. This highlights how much thought must be put into the activities while planning a workshop for the children in their setting. It is also important for the practitioner to know that they are a number of experiences of learning for a child, for example, a child can learn through messy play, sensory play, Montessori and outdoor play. Regarding child development, it is important for the early years practitioner to have knowledge of all the different stages of development and how they affect the child. It is also important to have knowledge about the needs of the child. Maslow created a hierarchy of needs for the child. This displays the children's needs that ranges from a level of importance from bottom with less importance and top as the most important. At the bottom is ‘Biological and Physical needs’ which are the basic needs that is required for the child i. e. water, shelter, and food, ‘Safety needs’ which is protection, security, order and law, ‘Belongingness and Love needs’ which are relationships, family and affection, ‘Esteem needs’ which are having a sense of achievement, status and having a good reputation and finally the last and most important need is ‘self-actualisation’ which is growth and fulfilment.

Finally, it is important for practitioners to have knowledge of the rights of the child. According to UNICEF Ireland ‘Children’s rights are the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children everywhere are entitled to as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’. The Child has a right to be able to learn through education, have a voice, play, be able to reach medical care, be protected from abuse and have a high standard of living. The practitioner should know the rights of the child as it is their role to ensure that their rights are protected in practice.

To summarise a very important skill to have as a practitioner is knowledge. They should have knowledge of children's learning and development, children's needs and rights.

In my opinion Communication is a very important skill to have as an early childhood practitioner. As an early childhood practitioner, you must talk to parents regarding their children. It may be about their behaviour, their development or any issues that they are having in the early childhood setting. I think it is important for the practitioner to be able to communicate on an equal level with parents as they are as equally important in the child's learning and development as well as their practitioner. Regarding children, communication benefits children as it ‘gives feedback to children on their learning and development as part of his/her daily interactions with them’ and also causes them to ‘make decisions that build on past experiences and supports new learning and development’. Communication also involves children as it causes them to interact with their peers, their parents and their practitioners as children are constantly asking questions, ‘sharing thoughts and ideas’.

To summarise, Communication is a very important skill for the practitioner to have as it helps to involve the families by practitioners talking to them regarding their child's learning and development and it helps children to participate in practice.

Relevance of Engaging in Reflective Practice

In my opinion, reflection is highly relevant in early childhood practice. Siolta state that ‘Reflective practice requires that the individual practitioner engages in thought processes that make her/him aware, in a critical way, of her/his everyday activities with a view to continuously improving and refining practice’. Reflection can benefit the practitioner as it can help them improve personal skills and gain more knowledge.

This can be done by creating a journal and at the end of an activity and asking themselves how they felt at the start of the activity and comparing to the feeling that they felt at the end of the activity, asking themselves did they communicate the activity well, were all the children participating and did all the children look happy. This can then help them improve their practice and help the practitioner develop more as a person.


To conclude my essay, the beliefs and values that I think are necessary in relation to thinking about and choosing work placement are ‘Inclusion’ and ‘health and well-being'. Inclusion is important to me as it is crucial for children to feel as if they belong as part of a group. It is important to include families as it causes families to form a positive relationship with other families, forming a community. Health and well-being are also an important belief and value as it promotes the child's physical and mental development.

The skills and abilities that I think are important in relation to thinking about and choosing work placement are knowledge and communication. It is important to have knowledge on children's needs, rights, learning and development as it is the practitioner's role to promote these factors. It is also important to have good communication as the practitioner has to interact with families and children in the setting.

Finally, Reflection is very relevant in practice as it aids the practitioner to develop their skills and abilities and as a person.

10 October 2020
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