C6: Explain how child development theories are used in practice when planning to support children’s care needs. C6: To be a successful practitioner you need to find ways of linking what you have been taught with what you do. This means turning the theory into practice. A good starting point to is to observe children and reflect upon what you are seeing in terms of developmental theory. The table below gives some examples of ways in which you might see that theory links to practice. Area of development| How theory links to practice| Physical Development| Compare children’s gross and fine motor skills.

You might notice that a child can run easily but finds it hard to draw or cut neatly on a line. | Intellectual development| Look out for signs of egocentrism in children under 7 years; children assume that other people’s world is the same as theirs, for example ‘Is your mummy coming to get you? ’| Communication and language development| Listen out for virtuous errors with nursery and school aged children, for example ‘He has got five sheeps’ or ‘You wented swimming’. Children use grammatical rules they have absorbed but apply them to everything. Social, emotional and behavioral development | Look out for signs of attachment, for example parents who need to give their children a last kiss before they leave them or who remind them to wave goodbye. Children also show their attachment to their parents by running over to them at the end of the session. You might also hear children talking about what they do at home with their parents. | Tassoni P 2007 (page 369) John Bowlby was a psychoanalyst and believed that mental health and behavioral problems could be attributed to early childhood.

Bowlby’s evolutionary theory of attachment suggests that children come into the world biologically pre-programmed to form attachments with others, because this will help them to survive. Abraham Maslow argued that humans have a range of needs. He organised these needs into what he thought was the priority order, with basics such as food, water and shelter coming before more sophisticated needs such as stimulation and curiosity. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is represented by using a pyramid, shown below on figure

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1. It shows the importance of meeting the needs of children. Figure 1:- It’s important to actively plan to meet children’s needs because there is otherwise a real danger that some children’s needs might be overlooked. For example, if a child was struggling with their reading and writing then it could be because they are dyslexic or it might not be as serious as that and they might just need a little bit of extra help and attention. So practitioners in settings need to prioritise planning to meet children’s needs to avoid the chance of it becoming over looked.


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