Child Health Essay

1922 words - 8 pages

This essay will look at the physical and psychological needs of a three year old child. All children have needs and these needs will change over a child’s lifetime. The Oxford English Dictionary describes a “need” as something that is a requirement, “because it is essential or very important rather than just desirable” (OED, 1989, v. 1.). Both the physical and psychological development of a three year old child will be examined in order to determine what needs are required for this development to take place. Ways in which childcare settings can meet these varied needs will also be discussed. Finally examples will be given of what the consequences might be for a child whose basic ...view middle of the document...

Gross motor skills are linked to broader cognitive development and are therefore a vitally important part of physical development. These skills can be learnt through a variety of physical movements such as running and jumping and playing with a ball. Provision should also be made for the development of fine motor skills. Art activities such as drawing, painting and modelling can all help with the development of fine motor skills. The use of cutlery, especially whilst eating as a group, is also something which is not only beneficial to physical development but also to social and emotional development as well. Internal physical needs would be those such as sleep, food and nutrition. These needs can be met by allowing children to have a nap during the day if required and making sure that meals or snacks provided in a childcare setting are healthy and well balanced with the correct amount of vitamins and nutrients needed for growth and energy. Children should be encouraged early on to live as healthily as possible. The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (Department for Education, 2012, p 5) states that children should “be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food”. Language acquisition is also a significant part of physical development and it has a big impact on social development too. Language allows a child to understand and express their emotions and communicate their thoughts and ideas. At three years old a child’s vocabulary is exploding. Their words become clearer and their sentences start to become longer. A child will now begin to talk about outside interests away from the home such as friends, nursery and outings. This explosion into language needs to be supported as much as possible. Circle time, story telling and role play are all activities that will provide opportunities to encourage speech and language development in a school setting. For some children, English will not be their first language. In these cases the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (Department for Education, 2012, p 6) recommends that "providers must take reasonable steps to provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning". If a child’s basic physical needs are not met they will become anxious, tired, irritable and undernourished. They will have little interest in exploring their environment, or becoming independent, and will ultimately be unable to develop fully. Physical development allows a child to be able to discover and investigate their environment which in turn has an effect on their behaviour and emotional and social development.
A child’s psychological needs involve the development of social and emotional skills. In the early years of childhood children develop ideals, opinions, aspirations and perceptions that help shape their later lives. Childcare settings are central in providing an...

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