The three main care values:
1. Promotoing equality and diversity.
2. Promoting individual rights and beliefs.
3. Maintaining confidentiality.
Care values of the early years settings.
1. The welfare of the child - the welfare of the child is of paramount importance (as stated in the paramountacy principle), children must be listened to and their opinions and concerns treated seriously. A child must never be slapped, shaken, humiliated, belittled or isolated.
2. The safety of the child - early years workers have a responsibility to contribute to the protection of children by protecting them from abuse or expoitation, and have a duty to report any suspicions of abuse, neglect, or ill treatment to their relevant line manager. Work practice should help prevent accidents and emergencies of children (for example, emergency procedures should be put in place, including records being kept).
3. Working in partnership with parents and families - care workers must not try and take the role of the parents away from the mother and father or carers, and parents and families must be listened to as experts of their own children and be kept updated and informed about their child's development. Family traditions must be respected, and every effort be made to comply with the parent's wishes. (for example, providing children with a learning book and holding parent information evenings).
4. Children's learning and development.
Development and learning in these earliest years lays the foundations for abilities, characteristics and skills in later life, therefore early years are crucial for learning and development. Children should be offered a range of experiences and activities that support all aspects of their development (for example, social and intellectual) and the choice of experiences and activities (in other words, the curriculum) should depend on an accurate assessment of the stage of development reached by the child, following observation and discussion with their families. These activities should be both child-initiated and adult-planned by the curriculum. Written records must be kept of children's progress and these records should be shared with parents and used to inform planning.
5. Equality of opportunity - each child is a unique individual and so children should not be treated "all the same", yet each child should be offered equality of opportunities to learn and develop, and so work towards their potential. This may mean that some children need different support in order to have equality of opportunity in learning and developing, for example they may require a learning support assistant, in order to access the curriculum. It is essential to avoid stereotyping children because stereotypes act as barriers to equality of access to opportunity, and instead workers must demonstrate their valuing of children's racial and other personal characteristics in order to help them develop self-esteem.
Early years workers must not discriminate against any child, family or groups of society and must acknowledge and address any personal beliefs or opinions which prevent them from respecting the value systems of other people, because children must be provided with accurate information to help them avoid prejudice and expressions of prejudice from children or adults must be challenged. Early year workers have an important role in ensuring greater harmony amongst various groups in our society for future generations, and thus workers must comply with legislations and the policies of their work setting relating to discrimination.
7. Valuing/celebrating diversity - the contributions made to this society by a variety of cultural groups should be viewed in a positive light and information about varying traditions, customs and festivals should be presented as a source of pleasures and enjoyment to all children, including those children who live in areas where there are few members of minority ethnic groups. No one culture should be represented as superior to any other because pride in one's own culture and social background does not require condemnation of that of other people. Children should also be helped to develop a sense of their own identity within their racial, cultural and social groups as well as having the opportunity to learn about cultures different from their own.
8. Maintaining confidentiality.
Information about children and families must never be shared with others without the permission of the family, and the only exception to this is where a child has been abused or is at risk from abuse when agreed guidelines must be followed, such as the children's act. Early year workers must adhere to their work setting's confidentiality policy and this includes information about other workers which must also be kept confidential. Information must only be shared between professionals (early year workers) and companies/organisations involved in the care of the child on a 'need to know' basis in order to improve the quality of care that the child receives if this is completely necessary to their treatment.
9. Working with other professionals - advice and support should be sought from other professionals in the best interests of children and families and information shared with them, subject to the principle of confidentiality. Valuing the comments and actions of others is essential to maintaining harmony and reducing potential conflict, and for those in management, treating all staff equally is imperative to ensure productive working relationships and establishing the professional development needs of staff and helping them to meet these needs is also important within a management role.
10. The reflective practitioner.
Professionals should use any opportunity offered to reflect on their practice and principles and make conclusions from this on how to develop and extend the quality of their practice within their job role. Seeking advice and support to help resolve queries or problems should be seen as a form of strength and professionalism, and workers should update their knowledge and understanding of current policy, legislation and their practice, to ensure that policy is linked with their practice and that they are fulfilling their job role to for the best interest of the service users, the children.