Supporting the Physical and Psychological Development of Children Essay

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Introduction For professional carers, it is important to know and understand what is meant by child development and what is required to support it. There are five main areas of development: physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social (MCI Module 2, undated). These areas are closely linked and influence each other. In this essay I will focus on defining and identifying the physical and psychological needs of young children. I will also discuss how carers/educators acknowledge these needs and meet them in an early years settings. Finally I will explain how these needs relate to United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Physical needs A physical need is something our body requires to grow and mature. These needs are vital for the body to grow in size, weight, and height. These needs relate directly to the development of gross and fine motor skills as well as the maturation of the brain and nervous system (Cortvriend, in Macleod-Brudenell & Kay, 2008). Physical needs include diet, shelter, rest and sleep, clothing, exercise, health and hygiene, safety, and emotional bonds. A full time nursery should be designed to meet the physical needs of the child. The environment, both indoor and outdoor, should be organized to offer freedom and space to move around. ”... the role of the environment is to prepare the child physically with maximum safety, the maximum opportunities for movement and exploration, together with maximum encouragement by the adult” (MCI Module 4, undated, p5). Ventilation systems should provide circulation of clear, fresh air and help keep the room a comfortable temperature. Sufficient lighting and child sized furniture is essential. Other facilities, such as clean toilet, a quiet resting area, and space for each child’s belongings, should be provided. Learning materials should be interesting, stimulating and allow for

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