Early Learning Goals

It is acknowledged that a significantly high proportion of learning takes place from birth to age 6. The Government has identified two stages of development, Birth to three matters and the Foundation Stage

Birth to three matters

This is a government initiative that was launched last year and covers the age group prior to the ‘Foundation stage’ (age 3 to 6). ‘Birth to three’ has 4 areas and within each of these is another 4 areas and the aim is to encourage all areas of child development in this age group. To briefly summarise the areas are:-

 A Strong Child

This covers being strong, capable, confident and self assured.

A Skilful Communicator

This covers being a sociable/effective communicator, confidently listening and understanding/ being understood.

A Competent Learner

This covers connecting ideas, responding imaginatively, creatively and understanding marks/symbols

A Healthy Child

This covers emotional stability, physical well-being, being safe and protected and making choices.  

As my ratio of children is so low and I have a more ‘home’ environment than say a nursery, a lot of the material content I automatically do. For example :-  regularly tell the children what things are and what we are doing to encourage speech, allowing them to make choice, giving lots of praise and encouragement, encouraging independence, one to one attention/cuddles etc. However as they move on in their development the more structured activities will change.

Foundation stage

The period from age 3 to the end of the reception year is described as the foundation stage and covers the following:

My advantage as a childminder is that I am only looking after a very small number of children and therefore am able to give all children in my care individual attention. I believe this is very important to enable me to encourage children to be happy and confident away from home. 

My home is very relaxed but I do build in play that covers all the above areas.

 I am happy to work with parents in helping them develop their children and aim to achieve this in an environment geared towards each individual child's ability.

Learning is not perceived by the child as 'formal' education as this is achieved through structured creative play.  For example, I have a number of dressing up outfits which develops role playing, social interaction and knowledge and understanding of other people (fireman, nurse etc.). I have lots of fun worksheets for colouring in that cover numbers, shapes, pencil control, letters, spot the difference etc.

© Linda Hyde 2005