Explain what constitutes the physical and psychological needs of a three year old child. Explain how these needs can ideally be met in a childcare setting.

Topics: Childhood, Developmental psychology, Self-esteem Pages: 7 (2227 words) Published: January 7, 2014
Children have needs that need to be fulfilled to remain healthy. The WHO definition of health is a “state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity” (MCI undated c pp1). This essay will look at how Early child care settings can fulfil specific physical needs of exercise, rest, nutrition and health and safety of a three year old. It will also look at how settings can fulfil the psychological needs of a three year old including attachment, self esteem, self worth and friendship. Lastly the essay will look at how the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (EYFS), 2012 can be implemented in order to maintain the health and safety of a setting.

The basic physical needs of a human are defined by as; nutritious food to eat, shelter from the environment, clean air to breath, and clean water to drink (MCI undated c pp2). To allow for a healthy development more complex physical needs such as; opportunities for active movement, or exercise, the need for regular rest and sleep, and the protection from illness and danger must also be considered (MCI undated c pp2).

At three years of age a child needs plenty of active play; outdoors, dancing, or group games; where they can practise moving their bodies in a range of ways (BAECE 2012). They also need the chance to be able to manipulate different equipment; pencils, scissors, and puzzles; to develop their fine motor skills (BAECE 2012). Because young children tend to only have short bursts of energy it is important to be aware that they may require rest in the form of quiet activities or even a short nap (BAECE 2012).

A child at age three requires a well balanced diet with the correct mix of nutrients to help the body, grow, repair itself and fight off disease (MCI undated c Ch4). Children are learning about basic hygiene; taking care of themselves, toileting, hand washing, and the basics of dressing themselves (BAECE 2012).

For a carer to fulfil the physical needs of a child they need to prepare both an indoor and outdoor environment in which a child can move freely around and choose simulating activities without fear for their safety (MCI undated b pp5). Carers must ensure they either schedule time for children to undergo physical activity. Carers should support children by acknowledging any attempt at physical development whether successful or not and encourage children to develop their physical skills at a pace they are comfortable with (MCI undated b pp5). In allowing children to move freely around the environment the setting needs to be free of any danger and carers need to undertake regular risk assessments to ensure this (BAECE 2012).

A carer must provide an environment in which children are able to care for themselves safely. An example of this is access to child sized bathrooms and sinks (BAECE 2012). Carers should model and teach children when and how to use equipment correctly then encourage children to take responsibility for their own needs (MCI undated b pp5). Carers should talk about how and why we look after our bodies, highlighting consequences for not doing so (BAECE 2012). Carers should also ensure that classrooms are correctly ventilated and that all children have sufficient fresh air and wear appropriate clothing to allow for comfort during physical activities (MCI undated c pp10).

To fulfil the nutritional needs of children a carer needs to be aware of what makes up a healthy diet. To do this carers should be aware of the main nutrient groups and should endeavour to include food from each group when plaining meals and snacks (MCI undated c pp 36-44). Carers should also be aware of any allergies, intolerances, and cultural or religious dietary restrictions within the children in their care and be able to plan healthy meals and snacks around these (Macleod-Brudenell, L & Kay, J. 2008 pp243-247 ). The EYFS (DfE 2012) encourage making meal time a social experience; an opportunity...
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