Unit 4227-001 Introduction to Communication in Children’s Settings
How Kids Around the Clock Manchester Communicate
By Elizabeth Cummings
At Kids Around the Clock, Manchester and Oldham our settings are graded “Outstanding” by Ofsted, to receive this high standard of grading communication is very important. We communicate in so many ways, some of these are:
All the above give us a platform in which to communicate with parents/carers and be available for them to communicate with us. It is paramount for parent/carer relationships to be able to communicate freely and effectively so that parents/carers are kept well informed about their child’s day, their development and their needs and interests.
Opening up communication channels allows parents/carers to feel more comfortable and are likely to come to their key person for advise if something is bothering them, it is important when speaking to parents/carers, colleagues, and even children that you gage their body language and be mindful that in some circumstances you may have to change the way that you speak or sound in order to keep the conversation on an even keel. Sometimes parents/carers can become upset over matters that are out of your control, you have to learn as a practitioner how to help the parent/carer understand and how to stay calm to avoid confrontation and make sure that the parent/carer is happy with the services they are receiving.
When working in a setting, you will often come across children and or parents/carers who have English as an additional language, or in fact do not speak English at all. This circumstances can often present themselves as challenging, you need to be able to use and read body language, think of different ways of communicating, something that I find very useful when communicating with new parents is google translate, parents/carers are often happy that we can take the time on a one to one basis in order for them to be able to communicate calmly and fully about their needs and wishes.
On Registration, our parents/carers complete a starting points baseline which lets us know what their home language is and what their second language is, we always advise parents to speak freely in their home language at home in able to promote understanding, the English will be learnt at nursery. We ask what Religion they follow and how we can best support them and their culture while the children are at nursery.
At Kids Around the Clock we complete a language screen which is called the WellComm, if a child scores low then they are referred for Speech and Language Therapy. We work with the parents/carers to help encourage language and provide activities which they can complete at home, when a child does not speak much English, the parent is invited to conduct the screen in their home language.
There are many barriers to communications, these could be that the individuals are English as additional language, they could have a Speech and Language delay or even Educational Needs or Disability. In each instance there are lots of ways in which to encourage communication, from pictures, sign language, translation and objects of reference. Getting to know parents and carers and the children will also help you and them to communicate effectively.
When communicating with parents and carers it is important that you keep in mind confidentiality, you must not talk to a parent carer about any other child or staff member due to confidentiality, you must not have a conversation with another staff member unless they need to know the information you are sharing, during safeguarding concerns the information you share is done so with the strictest confidentiality and you must not talk to anyone outside the need to know basis. If you are unsure about anything always speak to your manager or your safeguarding lead.
Communication and language is a Prime area of Learning meaning without it children will struggle to move onto the next section of there development, every effort must be made to enable children and families to communicate.