Provision and Progress for Two Year Olds

Books

Chris Dukes & Maggie Smith

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    Acknowledgements

    To our wonderful children

    Nina and Libby, Jess and Tom

    No longer two years old but still our joy and our inspiration

    Acknowledgments

    Our thanks go to the staff, parents and children of the Kate Greenaway Nursery School in Islington, who allowed us to visit and take such wonderful photographs.

    Also to Jude Bowen at SAGE for her support, encouragement and belief in us.

    About the Authors

    Chris Dukes is a qualified teacher with over 20 years’ experience. She has worked in various London primary schools as a class teacher and also as a member of the Senior Management Team. Chris has a master's degree in special needs and through her later role as a special needs co-ordinator (SENCO) and support teacher, many years’ experience of working with children with additional needs. Chris has worked closely, mentoring, advising and supervising staff teams to work with young children as well as with other education and health professionals. She currently works part time as an area SENCO supporting special needs co-ordinators and managers in a range of early year's settings. Chris is also one-half of ‘earlymatters’ training and consultancy, is co-author of the ‘Hands on Guides’ series of books and writes for various early years’ publications.

    Maggie Smith began her career as a nursery teacher in Birmingham. She has worked as a peripatetic teacher for an under-5s English as an additional language (EAL) team and went on to become the Foundation Stage manager of an early years unit in inner London. Maggie helped to set up an innovative unit for young children with behavioural difficulties and has also worked supporting families of children with special needs. She has taught on early years BTEC and CACHE courses at a college of higher education. Maggie currently works part time as an area SENCO supporting special needs co-ordinators and managers in a range of early year's settings. She is also one half of ‘earlymatters’ training and consultancy, is co-author of the ‘Hands on Guides’ series of books and writes for various early years’ publications.

    Preface: Terrific Two Year Olds!

    In this book we aim to celebrate the terrific twos and we hope to shed light on how practitioners can provide even the youngest children with both the nurture and the stimulation needed to fill a year of life with growth, wonder and awe.

    The increased number of babies and younger children in early year's settings has brought to the fore front the realisation that two year olds have their own unique set of needs. Two year olds call for large amounts of personal attention from empathetic, patient and supportive adults. Two years olds have a natural curiosity, a desire to explore and an appetite for independence. Practitioners can make the most of this zest for learning by providing a supportive, safe yet challenging environment which guides and channels such enthusiasm. A place where care and the early years curriculum is intertwined to provide a seamless and holistic environment where young children feel safe, secure and loved, and where parents instinctively know that practitioners have their child constantly in mind.

    The book opens by recognising that positive relationships lie at the heart of all successful settings and that parents and practitioners working together from the beginning will give young children the best possible start to their learning journey.

    Photo 0.1 A quiet space to look at a favourite book

    It outlines how young children learn and how best to create a warm, nurturing and exciting learning environment. It goes on to provide practitioners with information and advice on appropriate expectations for development in the three prime areas of learning, as well as pointing practitioners towards opportunities which encourage young children to flourish. Two chapters are devoted to the personal, social and emotional development of two year olds, in recognition of the importance of this area. Lastly, consideration is given to checking children's progress and meeting children's individual needs. At the end of each chapter there are some starting points for further reflection and suggestions for further reading.

    We hope that you will share our passion for the terrific twos and all the many joys and challenges they bring!


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