To establish and maintain a safe and healthy learning environment for our children as an early childhood educator is one of the most important things that I can do. My main priority is to ensure that I am well prepared with the proper certification and education. Ensuring that the location that I have selected for my students to learn and play is safe to attend. Gathering the proper health information concerning each child and developing a well-rounded nutritional plan that take their medical need into consideration is also an important way to build a safe leaning environment. Lastly, creating a learning environment that is fun, bright and open will allow my children to develop even further in their current and long term educational endeavors.
Having a safe place for my children to learn can only be achieved by getting educated and certified, removing or reducing safety risk, and having a regularly practiced emergency safety plan in place. Children in the early childhood setting often face risks such as lead poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning, choking, suffocation, Shaken Baby Syndrome, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and more. The knowledge I gain from learning about these hazards not only teaches me what symptom to look for in a child but also provide me with strategies, tools and resources that can be used to prevent them from causing injury and death. Incorporating safe practice in the classroom through lessons and positive association while encouraging parent to reinforce those same practices at home creates consistency and develop lifelong habits. Creating and practicing emergency plans with the student, their parents and staff keeps everyone safe by reducing panic and the amount of time needed to get to a safe zone.
The health of a child is very important to their ability to learn. Conducting daily wellness check allow me to ensure that the child is clean, alert, and healthy. Gathering the children’s medical profile allows us to ensure that the children medical need is being taken care of by their household and gives me insight into any medical issues that I must make staff aware of such as allergies or instructions for taking medication. Keeping track of my student’s medical profile shows me what immunization the child has or lacks. Having this information allows me to reduce the chance of communicable illness from spreading among the children due to lack of immunization. I will encourage parent to keep sick children at home to prevent other children from get sick. Resources to assist parents with their child medical need will also be provided to new parents and parents who are falling behind on their child’s medical journey. Before a child enters my care, it is important that I have and maintain a strong understanding of how to use medicals skills, such as CPR, first aid, administering an EpiPen and knowing when to call 911. Another aspect of health that is important is the development of a nutritionally balanced menu that also take allergies into account. Under my care children will receive breakfast, lunch and a snack and a daily basis. Lesson plans and establishing “Around the World Day” will be utilized to introduce new foods such as fruits, vegetables, drinks and more to the children. Parent will be encouraged to bring “Allergy Sensitive” food from their culture on Around the World Day to be shared in the classroom. While monthly menus will be share with parents to reinforce new food introductions and encourage to development of healthy eating habits at home. Parent will be given a “No Go Food List” listing all the food that are not allowed in the facility due to allergies and ways to prevent the spread of food contaminants.
To create a positive learning environment, I will introduce new activities and spaces such as a shallow ball pit for mobile infants or play kitchen for toddlers and preschoolers. During the day children will be separated into smaller groups for lesson. For example, group a could be learning science while group b could be engaging in art or music exploration. Larger group activities such science, cooking or dancing will allow children to work together, ask question and have discussion which build social skills and team works. As the children’s curiosity grows, the environment will adapt to allow for exploration, challenges, and the practice of new skills. The learning spaces I intend to create can be placed in one of two categorizes; a quiet space or a play space. Naturally, quiet areas will be separated from noisy play areas. My learning environment will be sectioned off into the following spaces; cubby/meeting arena, art/ dramatic play, math/science, writing/language arts & technology, an Infant station/changing area, dance & movement, kitchen & dining, rest room and sleeping area.
Knowing what the safety risks are inside and outside of the classroom and developing safe practices to reduce the chances of those risk affecting the children in my care is my responsibility as an educator. Making sure that my children medial record and immunization is up to date plays an important role in keeping my children safe and healthy. It also impacts my ability to develop a well-balanced nutritional meal free of allergen. Lastly, creating a learning environment that is bright, fun and open allow the children to grow and express themselves in a productive and safe environment.