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.

Laser Short Courses Dyspraxia

NEW Dyspraxia CPD Short Course

Did you know 5% of children in the UK having some degree of dyspraxia, and it often isn’t diagnosed until adulthood?

Our new CPD short course discusses Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), also known as Dyspraxia, and the affects of the lifelong condition on 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.

Through the course you will learn about the disorder, symptoms and early identification, the assessment process, and how to support dyspraxics in a learning environment. Those working with children will benefit from understanding more about how their disorder affects their every day life and how practitioners can assist them.

More courses you may be interested in:

Dyslexia

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Asperger Syndrome

National Apprenticeship Week 2019 Laser Learning Early Years Childcare

National Apprenticeship Week 2019 – Choosing an apprenticeship in Childcare

National Apprenticeship Week runs from 4 – 8 March and is a time to celebrate the legacy of apprenticeships, while also taking the opportunity to inform young people and businesses about the positive impacts apprenticeships could have for them.

Our team of educators and writers believe strongly in the importance of lifelong learning and apprenticeships. This is why we work hard to create the best possible online learning resources for colleges and training providers to use as part of their blended teaching and learning approach for their learners.

Why choose an apprenticeship in Childcare?

Many of our staff at Laser Systems have a background in early years childcare. Therefore, as a team we are passionate about delivering the best possible training to those who want to begin a career in childcare, and an apprenticeship is a fantastic first step for anyone considering working with children.

Working with children is an incredibly rewarding career path, and it’s also a lot of hard work! As an early years practitioner, you are responsible for the daily care of babies and children, which also means you have a impact on each individual child’s development.

You might consider starting and apprenticeship in childcare if you enjoy looking after children, have experience taking care of young children, and want to learn about how to provide the best possible environment for children to grow, learn, and develop.

What will you learn?

An example of a qualification you might complete as part of an apprenticeship is the NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator), though our learning resources are relevant to the standards for a wide variety of awarding organisations.

Throughout your apprenticeship, your on the job learning will help you develop the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively care for babies and children while taking into consideration their individual needs. You will develop the skills to support each child’s health and well-being, gain a knowledge and understanding of legislation, frameworks and professional practice, and build the skills to promote play, development and learning for school readiness.

How will you learn?

As an apprentice you learn ‘on the job’ which means you gain hands-on experience from day one. This gives you the advantage of gaining invaluable experience from colleagues and managers in a real work environment. It also means you earn a salary while working towards achieving your qualification, and in most cases your apprenticeship costs are covered by Government funding.

To achieve your qualification you will need to produce work to show you are competent in each of the qualification criteria, which means you will successfully pass each unit. You will also need to successfully complete a longitudinal study, and show you are competent in your work environment.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you are asked to produced a written piece of work for each of the criteria as there are many different ways to collect evidence for your portfolio. You may also take part in a professional discussion with your trainer, produce reflective accounts, take part in group discussions, produce videos to show your competence, and be assessed via observation in the workplace.

If you are completing a qualification with a training provider or college who use our Laser e-portfolio and/or Laser Lessons resources, you will be supported by a trainer who will guide you through your qualification, set your workplans, and mark your work. They are the person you can contact whenever you have a question about your coursework or need advice about your learning journey.

Your trainer will conduct teaching sessions with you and you can then use the Laser Lessons resources to continue your study during your allocated learning time.

Here’s an example of a good practice example video included with Laser Lessons resources and filmed specifically for this qualification:

As our resources are online you can access them with an internet connection anywhere and at any time. If you are using the Laser e-portfolio you can also upload work, read feedback comments, and email your trainer at any time.

What roles can you go on to work in?

You can go on to work with children aged 0 -5 in a variety of environments including nurseries, pre-schools, reception class, and children’s centres. You can also go on to specialise in specific areas of childcare such as training to support children with special educational needs, or to set up your own childcare service.

There are also higher levels of qualification you can achieve at levels 4, 5, and 6 which can aid you to move into manager positions or to further specialise your knowledge and skills to work with children in your desired environment.

More about our Laser Lessons resources

Laser Lessons resources are written by subject specialists with vocational experience in their chosen area. Each lesson follows our unique Laser format, giving each learner:

  • A filmed tutorial with a professional presenter and accompanying text for those with hearing difficulties
  • Selected reading available in PDF format and also from trusted websites
  • A presentation to give further explanation of a specific topic
  • Good practice example videos, including videos scripted by Laser Systems for Canal Wharf Studios to cover specific criteria
  • An interactive quiz to test knowledge gained
  • Evidence opportunities which allow the learner to produce work towards their course
  • Extended learning materials for those who want to develop their skills and knowledge even further
  • A think and challenge activity which asks the learner to put the knowledge they have gained towards a real-life scenario

If you’re considering applying for an apprenticeship, look for local apprenticeship vacancies on the Find an Apprenticeship website.

If you are a training provider, college, or business who would like to more about using the Laser e-portfolio and Laser Lessons resources to deliver apprenticeship teaching and learning, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Music for All FREE Laser CPD Teaching Short Course

Music for All NEW Free Short Course

We’re delighted to introduce our new short course, Music for All.

This short course is a free addition for those with an account on Laser Short courses and is a teaching short course guiding you step-by-step to establish a ‘Music for all’ initiative in your school.

The course includes template documentation to put together a presentation that will introduce the approach to your governors and the senior leadership team, to introduce parents and children to the idea and to share with staff how it could be used to raise attainment and improve behaviour and well-being. The course will guide you through the process of finding staff and structuring and organising lessons.

You will be able to watch a short documentary filmed at Langley Hall which explains their ‘Music for all’ approach and the children’s resulting activities. We hope that this will inspire you to adopt a similar approach in your school.

Finally, the course will give you the opportunity to think through the questions and challenges you will face in adopting a ‘Music for all’ initiative at your school and being prepared for this by having counter arguments to hand and practical solutions to problems that will be presented as reasons why it might not work in your school, setting, or environment.

Find out more about Music for All or see a full list of available short courses.

Laser Learning support Safer Internet Day 2019

Safer Internet Day 2019

Tuesday 5th February 2019 is Safer Internet Day.

Safer Internet Day 2019 will take place on Tuesday 5th February with the theme ‘Together for a better internet‘.

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of schools and organisations join together to raise awareness of online safety issues and run events and activities right across the UK.

Educating children and young people about being safe on the internet, how to recognise threats, and where they can go to for additional support is an important task in today’s society. Ensuring the online world is a safe space is an integral part of ensuring the well-being of the young people in our care.

Laser Learning support Safer Internet Day 2019

You can equip yourself with the skills and knowledge to protect young people by completing our online CPD short course Keeping Children Safe on the Internet. Internet usage has increased enormously, but so have reports of the safeguarding issues linked to abuses of internet communication. This course will introduce you to some of the risks and dangers, and how to deal with them – including where to report online concerns and risks.

This short course is endorsed by the awarding organisation, CACHE.

Find out more about Safer Internet Day 2019 and get involved! www.saferinternetday.org.uk #SaferInternetDay2019