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Explain how the following early years settings reflects the scope and purpose of the sector

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The early years sector in the United Kingdom is quite complex, and unlike many European countries it was not developed by government policy with specific aims but came about in response to families’ requirements which were based on changing economical and social factors.

In the second half of the twentieth century public expenditure on early year’s provision focused on families with social needs and difficulties. Local authority day nurseries catered mainly for children who were at risk from harm mainly in deprived areas. There was early years provision available in the private sector in the form of childminders, nannies and private nurseries. During the 1960s the playgroup movement developed, where parents set up and run provision for their own children to learn through play in village halls and other community facilities. This was originally the way the pre-school i work at was formed and it is still held in a village hall today.

Families requirements for their children vary, as some parents want care for their children so that they can return to work and some parents want to stay with their children while they socialise. Some parents want their children in settings which offer services aimed at learning, some parents want their children to be in a home based environment and some families cannot afford to pay fees for provision. This is why the early years sector has various forms of provision to meet the needs of families. This provision includes – Nurseries, childminders, pre-schools, crèches, children’s centres and parent and toddler groups. Over the past ten to fifteen years the early years sector has been at the forefront of government agenda and there have been huge changes in response to social and economic developments.

Montessori school

A Montessori education is an approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori and characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development. Although a range of practices exists under the name “Montessori”, the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and the American Montessori Society (AMS) cite these elements as essential:

Mixed age classrooms, with classrooms for children ages 2½ or 3 to 6 years old by far the most common Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options Uninterrupted blocks of work time, ideally three hours

A constructivist or “discovery” model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction Specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators Freedom of movement within the classroom

A trained Montessori teacher

In addition, many Montessori schools design their programs with reference to Montessori’s model of human development from her published works, and use pedagogy, lessons, and materials introduced in teacher training derived from courses presented by Montessori during her lifetime.

The values and principles of the early years sector is to keep a child safe and healthy and to care for them in every way possible. the parents like this because then they are getting feedback from the practioner at the end of the day and can join in with the practitioners at the workplace


The welfare of the child and young person is paramount
Workers contribute to children’s care, learning and development and safeguarding and this is reflected in every aspect of practice and service provision Workers work with parents and families who are partners in the care, learning and development and safeguarding of their children, recognising they are the child’s first and most enduring carers and educators.


The needs, rights and views of the child are at the centre of all practice and provision Individuality, difference and diversity are valued and celebrated Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice are actively promoted Children’s health and well-being are actively promoted

Children’s personal and physical safety is safeguarded, whilst allowing for risk and challenge as appropriate to the capabilities of the child Self-esteem and resilience are recognised as essential to every child’s development Confidentiality and agreements about confidential information are respected as appropriate unless a child’s protection and well-being are at stake Professional knowledge, skills and values are shared appropriately in order to enrich the experience of children more widely Best practice requires a continuous search for improvement and self-awareness of how workers are perceived by others. Staff working at higher levels should have an awareness of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

School Nursery and Children’s Playgroups

There are many different types of childcare provision, these include: Mother and toddler groups, which are a place where the toddler can socialise with other children their age, whilst the mother or father can stay and learn more ways to look after them, chat to other parents and help with the childs development. Pre-schools tend to be a private nursery, one that is paid for by the parent, they do not have compulsory hours of attendance and the child doesn’t have a primary school place already. Day care is for children from the age of 3 months to 5 years, they have different classes for children of different ages and the parents can drop of the child and pick them up when they wish. Some parents only take the child in for one or two hours a day so that they have some interaction with other children and have new experiences. A crèche is a drop in centre style childcare provision, the parents do not pay a monthly fee they only pay when they need it, crèche’s are in many different places such as gyms, shopping centres and colleges, in these areas the children are looked after whilst the parents can work out, shop or study. A playgroup is an organised group providing care and socialisation for children under five.

Playgroups are less formal than the pre-school education of nursery schools. They do not provide full-time care, operating for only a few hours a day during school term time, often in the mornings only. They are staffed by nursery nurses or volunteers, not by nursery teachers, and are run by private individuals or charities, rather than by the state or companies. In the United Kingdom the traditional territory of the playgroup has been encroached on by the expansion of more formal nursery education, and playgroups often now cater only for two and three year olds before they move onto a nursery school. Over the same period there has been an increase in the state supervision of playgroups.

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