Caring for children during the COVID-19 situation

With the constant chatter and news coverage of Coronavirus, children across the country are hearing (and overhearing) worrying information that could have a detrimental impact on their wellbeing.

Children can find it hard to understand and talk about their feelings and, right now, may be feeling just as anxious as the adults around them. We need to look out for signs and symptoms of anxiety in children, such as problems with concentration and sleeping, excessive worrying, loss of confidence and appetite, stomach cramps, and feeling sick. Whilst it’s important to encourage children to share their concerns about what’s happening at the moment, we should be careful not to add to their worries and think about how we’re talking to other adults about Coronavirus in front of them.

That is not to say we shouldn’t be talking to the children we care for about the virus. We need to explain the situation as best we can without speculating or repeating false information, stress the importance of handwashing and hygiene without scaring them, and use language that is appropriate for their age and stage of development.

Vivette, one of our Directors here at Laser and a former manager of a number of large day nurseries, has shared her tips and advice for those of us who are caring for children at this time:

• Stay calm and lend your calm to others; be the long deep breath that brings the stress down a notch or two

• Children do not need to be made constantly aware of people’s fears and the possible hospitalisation and death that will occur for some, but by no means all, of those who get this virus

• We all MUST make sure children know how to wash their hands, and to keep their hands away from their faces. Many of us will have been teaching our children this long before the Coronavirus so we should continue doing so with extra vigilance. We should avoid punishing them if they forget or telling them the ‘bad things’ that could happen if they don’t do it.

• We are being advised not to touch our faces, but that is a natural response to pain, distress, or shock. It calms us down and we know that babies in the womb touching their faces is a sign of healthy development. It’s estimated that we naturally touch our faces around 18-30 times a day without thinking.

• We need to help children and adults find something else to do with their hands and reward good hygiene practices. Puzzles, board games, cooking, music, crafting, and water play are all good ways to encourage children to use their hands and distract them from touching their faces. When children arrive somewhere, get them to wash their hands and reward them, when they blow their nose or cough into a tissue, praise them. Sing washing songs to encourage them to wash their hands and make it fun.

• Our immune system is compromised when we are in a prolonged state of stress so let’s trust the advice we’re given and follow it, shield ourselves and children from the constant repetition of news in our homes, and focus on healthy habits, healthy eating, and exercise to stay strong. We should be sure to get outside as much as we safely can, even if it is just going for a walk or playing with the children in the garden. Exercise releases endorphins and we should be sure children are still being physically active and not being shut in doors with no fresh air all day.

• It’s easy to focus on the negative news stories, but there are positives stories out here too. We should teach children to look for the heroes and helpers, and the kind and loving people who go out of their way to protect and support those who need it.

• Talk about the nurses, the doctors, the ambulance drivers, the neighbours who shop for an elderly or sick person, the relatives who are helping tired parents with childcare, or the carers for their unwell partners or children.

• Serious traumatic events always uncover life’s everyday heroes. Share news stories like the shop owners who are giving away ‘coronavirus kits’ to elderly customers , or the balcony singing in solidarity in Italy

• It’s also important to help your children to be little local heroes. Perhaps they can make a card for a lonely or isolated elderly person in the area, face time or phone their elderly relatives or those stuck abroad. Let’s all try out best to be local heroes and be good role models for each other and the children around us.

If you would like to learn more about how settings can support wellbeing, why not take our new short course on Wellbeing in the early years. If you would like to understand how infections and viruses are spread, with specific information for nurseries and schools, you can take our short course on Causes and spread of infections.

We are currently offering 50% off all of our short courses to help people who are stuck at home and want to use this time to build their skills, knowledge, and confidence online. Just use code L4S3R-50 at checkout.

Apprenticeship Week 2020 (Interview)

As part of Apprenticeship Week 2020, we interviewed Shazia, an apprentice who has experienced Laser’s various products and services. Here is what she had to say:

What apprenticeship are you currently doing, and when are you due to complete this?

I am currently doing a Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship and my estimated end date is 17th August 2020.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I wanted to gain a qualification and get work experience at the same time. So, doing an apprenticeship was the right choice for me.

How are you finding the Laser E-Portfolio system?

The E-Portfolio is easy to use and very user friendly. I am able to upload work with ease, check for feedback, sign off my assessment plans and contact my assessor, all on the same platform. 

You mentioned that it’s used friendly. Please elaborate.

All the sections in the E-Portfolio are clearly labeled which makes it easier to navigate. The user interface is also very simple which makes it clear and straightforward to use.       

What are the benefits of the Laser E-Portfolio to you as an Apprentice? 

Firstly, the e-portfolio is easily accessible. I am able to log in and access my portfolio on various devices. 

Secondly, when working on assignments, I am able go back and view the resources at any time.

And thirdly, I am able to log and keep an entry of all the off-the-job training that I’ve carried out, which can be seen by my employer and my training provider.

What benefits can you see the E-Portfolio having to your employer and training provider?

My training provider and my employer are able to track my progress, and see my work plans and progress reviews. 

How beneficial are the Laser Lessons to your Apprenticeship?

The Laser Lessons have played a big role in my apprenticeship as I have used them a lot for my assignments. The lessons include all the information that I need to pass my units. 

What do you like most about them?

I like how the lessons are separated into different sections, which allows me to go through each section at my own pace. I also don’t have to spend a lot of time researching for information, as good reading links have been provided in the “Reading” and “Extended Learning” section. Lastly, I like how the information in the presentation is easy to understand, informative and the way examples have been used to help us understand. 

Have you completed any short courses with us? If yes, please state the course titles. 

I have completed the following short courses:

  • Time management 
  • Conflict management skills
  • Communication skills
  • Equality and diversity
  • Health and safety
  • Handling problems and complaints
  • Customer service skills
  • Digital skills
  • Health and safety: ICT

Who identified the need for you to complete the short courses?

My employer. I did most of these short courses during my induction which helped me focus and put my mind back into learning mode.

How have they benefited you during your Apprenticeship?

I have been able to learn a lot from doing short courses. They have helped me develop in my role and the way I manage my tasks. 

Do you feel what you have learnt from the Laser Lessons and Short Courses, will benefit you outside of your Apprenticeship?

Yes, everything that I have learnt as a part of my qualification and whilst doing the short courses has played a big role in my understanding of working in a business environment. 

And lastly, what was your experience of using the full Laser range?

Overall, I have had a great experience with the Laser products. I didn’t have any difficulties or problems whatsoever during the time that I used them, and the customer support was also excellent. 

Thank you for your time Shazia, and best of luck with the remainder of your Apprenticeship!

To find out more about our E-Portfolio, Lessons, and CPD Short Courses please give us a call on +44 (0)1753 584 112 or email info@lasersys.co.uk

Laser Short Courses 2019 CPD short courses update

CPD Short Courses Update

Our content team continue to work closely with subject specialists to create new Laser CPD courses, and last year our courses were nominated for two awards.

Skills, knowledge, and confidence delivered online.

Laser Short Courses awards nominations
Laser Short Courses awards nominations

New courses for 2019

Developing learning resources Laser Short Courses teaching CPD course.

Developing learning resources (Teaching)

This course will help teachers and teaching assistants to create, find, and adapt learning resources for different learning styles and needs. Learn about copyright for education and sharing resources online. Explore digital technology in the classroom and creating sustainable resources. Know how to prepare for different learning needs, such as EAL and SEN.

Dyslexia Laser Short Courses teaching CPD course.

Dyslexia (Childcare and Teaching)

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty and dyslexic learners face problems when processing words into meaningful information, but that doesn’t mean it’s a barrier to being skilled and achieving well in education. With about 10% of the UK population with some degree of dyslexia, it’s likely you will be supporting dyslexic learners. Learn how the condition affects children and young people, signs and symptoms, the importance of early identification, and teaching strategies. This course is suitable for early years practitioners and educators in primary school, secondary school, and further education.

Dyspraxia Laser Short Courses CPD course.

Dyspraxia (Childcare and Teaching)

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), also known as Dyspraxia, is a lifelong condition affecting movement coordinating. It’s a common motor disorder, with approx. 5% of children in the UK having some degree of dyspraxia, and it often isn’t diagnosed until adulthood. Learn about the disorder, symptoms and early identification, the assessment process, and how to support dyspraxics in a learning environment.

Invigilating tests and exams Laser Short courses CPD course.

Invigilating tests and examinations (Teaching)

The key role of an invigilator is to ensure the integrity of the examination process. Learn about the roles and responsibilities of an invigilator, the requirements of the Joint Council for Qualifications , access arrangements, and what to do if malpractice is suspected.

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) Laser Short Courses CPD course.

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) (Care)

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) is the process through which various agencies work together to protect the public by managing the risks posed by violent and sexual offenders living in the community. Working in care, you may be providing support to offenders and be included in their risk management plans. MAPPA is a part of safeguarding and this course will help you understand the process and aims, and what to do if you have concerns.

Working in partnership Laser Short Courses teaching CPD course.

Working in partnership (Teaching and Childcare)

Many people are involved in the care a child receives. Primary carers, childcare practitioners, and other professionals should be working in partnership to support a child’s learning and development. Understand the importance of partnership, barriers to effective teamwork and communication, and how to work with external agencies and professionals.

The role of the SENCo Laser Short Courses childcare CPD course.

The role of the SENCo (Childcare)

This short course is suitable for a SENCo in an early years setting, or a practitioner who is working towards the role. Learn about the role and responsibilities of the SENCo, early identification and intervention, strategies for supporting children and their families, and the guidance and legislation relevant to SEND. This course is also suitable for childminders and parents/carers who want to learn more about special education provision in England.