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Day Care of the Three-Year-Old Children in South Africa Essay


The Development of a Three-Year-Old Child

Because of the fact that the early stages of the child’s development are of the utmost importance for his or her further development, it must be the main concern of the parents and the educational system to help the child to obtain the basis that is necessary for the further development and growth, both mental and psychological.

It must be understood and taken as the guideline for the tactics of the upbringing. The system of knowledge that a child creates as he reaches the age of three is the basis for his or her future development, thus it is of utmost importance to give the child the necessary knowledge and to bring it to a structure that is supposed to make the frame for the skills and abilities which the child is going to develop in the nearest future.

Thus, it has to be understood that at this stage the child is experiencing certain difficulties in accommodating to the world, which means that the child finally begins to feel an element of the mankind. At this moment, the child feels that there are certain needs and wants which need to be satisfied. Both physical and psychological, they make the child behave in a specific way, according to what h or she is experiencing the lack in.

The Physical Needs of a Three-Year-Old Child

Because of the fact that at the age of three most children are starting to walk and begin to explore the environment that they live in with even greater enthusiasm, it is obvious that their prior need at the current stage is physical activities of all kinds, including running, jumping, and the rest.

The urge to exercise their physical abilities increases at this stage of a child’s development grows to colossal level. Although the level of physical activeness depends on the temperament of a child, it is still a well-known fact that three years is the age when a child starts being more active and even too active.

With regard to the above-mentioned fact, it must be understood that the children at the age of three also need due care and attention. Taking account of the danger that the world can pose to a three-year old child, parents, teachers and all the people that have something to do with the childcare must take the necessary measures of precaution so that children could not be harmed or injured. It is a sad fact that nowadays a lot of children suffer from the careless attitude.

According to the UNICEF South Africa Annual Report, “To be a child in South Africa is to walk a fragile path to adulthood. The country is home to nearly 19 million children, many of whom are vulnerable.”[1] The situation that the children in South Africa are facing now is almost critical, with very little improvement during the pas few decades. Whether the children’s needs will a met during the upbringing process is therefore crucial.

Nevertheless, the facts of careless attitude towards children and heir needs remains a sad fact of the nowadays reality. Because of the fact that the child’s rights campaign has been started rather recently, the changes that have been applied so far have brought very little result:

Children’s rights to protection from abuse, violence and exploitation is one of the most challenging areas of South Africa’s development. Violence against children remains pervasive, child labour is prevalent and child trafficking is a major concern.[2]

The abovementioned allows to suppose that the campaign that is aiming at the child’s rights protection still needs improvement and some time so that it could be adjusted to the South African Environment. It is desirable that the children care should be upgraded to the European level, but at the current stage it seems impossible. The statistic data also shows that the care of the newborn children leaves much to be desired:

A perturbing statistic is that 22 per cent of under-five deaths happen in the first month of life – the neonatal period – mainly as a result of poor quality of newborn care.[3]

However, it cannot be denied that there have been some improvements made throughout 2009, which has also been noted din the report. Although the current situation in South Africa is challenging for the people who are trying to improve child’s care, it is still highly credible that the changes are going to follow soon.

The Psychological Needs of a Three-Year-Old Child

Since the Convention on the Rights of the Child is ”the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights – civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights”[4], it presupposes that children’s needs are to be met in any case. The violation of these rights and needs triggers the legal accountability for the results of the rights violation.

Therefore, children’s psychological needs are to be taken into consideration as well. Although there are certain doubts of whether a child of three has already become a personality or whether he or she has not gained consciousness yet, it is clear that the child already possesses certain system of knowledge about the environment. Accordingly, he or she can express specific psychological needs that must be met.

Among the most important things that a three-year-old child needs is the feeling of psychological safety. The state of psychological safety can be achieved with help of the adults by protecting his or her rights and providing him or her safe environment that a child needs. Even elder children need the safety that the adults can give them, and whether they receive it or not will determine etheir future attitude towards life and people:

In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not.[5]

However, the principle that prevails over the above-mentioned points and that is not to be violated is that a child has to obtain the rights to live and to receive everything that is needed to grow into a physically and mentally healthy, successful man or woman. At the current moment striving for the children to obtain a better future is the main concern of the African child care organizations. Since the future of the African children is endangered, everything possible has to be done to prevent the undesirable results.

Day Care Setting in South Africa

Along with numerous countries, South Africa is the one where the facility of children daycare has been widespread for quite a long time. In spite if the fact that there have been certain traditions and rules set from the very beginning, the whole system still needs improvement, for the scientists and psychologists have recently suggested new ideas for the early childhood development programs.

According to the UNICEF National Integrated Plan for Early Childhood Development adopted in 2009,

Governments are increasingly acknowledging the need for social policy that supports the development of young children. Increased research is leading to new findings and more stakeholders advocating for effective support are behind this emerging pattern.[6]

In accordance with the needs and wants of the children in South Africa, there should be some measures applied to the current system of children care, especially children daycare. Unless there are some improvements on the daycare system in South Africa, there is a threat that children can be deprived of an important element of upbringing, which will result in their future adult life. This dangerous situation has to be dealt with.

The Way in Which the Needs of the Children Can Be Met

Regarding the studies that have been conducted inn the field of child care and the rights of children, it should be said that numerous ways of enhancing the level of child care have been suggested. Although they still need improvement and further development, the existing ways are still efficient to provide the South African children with the necessary environment that they demand.

Among the methods that have been suggested so far, the most impressive one is the play method. Suggested by Fraser Brown and Chris Taylor, it was supposed to have a stunning effect on children’s development:

In 2006 I carried out a piece of action research on an adventure playground to explore what happens when you input the playwork approach directly in a play setting and directly with children at play. The work involved the children telling me about their accidents and dramatic survival of incidents that had happened in the week, and they naturally risk assessed by looking how those might be turned into even more fun and exciting events![7]

The idea of using the game approach and the techniques which create the atmosphere of playing to teach children the necessary skills and develop specific abilities are not quite a novelty, yet such techniques serve the purpose of teaching children rather well. Such methods have the advantage of making even a shy child participate in the activity. Moreover, the child acquires a lot of additional knowledge during the game.

Planning the Day Organization

It must be kept in mind that time must be calculated well to make the new methods of meeting the children’s needs, both physical and psychological, work efficiently. If the timing of the children activities has been miscalculated, the new methods will work zero effect.

Thus, the children care process must be well-thought and follow a precise time structure. As it has been noticed wisely by Macleod-Brudenell, “Time is precious, it can easily get out of control and your time can disappear. Time can never be regained so you need to control it by planning and organizing it.”[8]

Along with the efficient timing, there are other means to help children to develop their psychological and physiological abilities. Those methods are especially important in case a child has some physical and sensory impairment.[9] They emphasize the necessity to include specific elements that help the child to regain the control over the situation and feel more relaxed and avert their attention from the physical imperfection of theirs.

What Montessori called “the emotional and social needs of a child”[10], that is, the child’s need to be in an emotionally safe environment and that he or she is accepted by society, is vitally important. Whether a child can adjust to the environment or not depends on the techniques that have been used during the educational process. In case something goes wrong, it will be hard or even impossible to correct the mistake.

Thus, one must use the methods of upbringing carefully and think them through well, so that the child’s psychological health would not be damaged.

The method of equal opportunities[11] suggested by Montessori must be mentioned as well. This method prevents such conflict situations as neglecting the religion, culture and traditions of the children from another countries and race. The method of equal opportunities forms the idea of equality in child’s consciousness.

Conclusion

It is needless to say that the development of a child at the age of three is very important for his or her further social and personal life. The knowledge that a child absorbs at this time makes three pillars in which his or her further life will be based. Thus, the people who are responsible for his or her upbringing are responsible not only for the child’s life, but also for his or her life as an adult.

Creating the environment that will help the child to develop the necessary skills and abilities is of crucial importance, and the new methods must be used to help the child to become a member of the society and grow up into a healthy and reliable adult person. It is even more important for South Africa, where the problem of child care is still on the agenda.

Reference List

Macleod-Brudenell, I. M., J. Kay, V. Cortvriend, E. Hallet and M. Hershaw, Advanced Early Years: For Foundation Degrees and Levels 4/5. Second Edition, Harlow, Heinemann, 2008.

Montessori, M. Childcare and Health – Module 5. London: MCI, undated.

Montessori, M. Child Development – Module 2. London: MCI, undated.

Montessori, M. Contemporary Issues – Module 4. London: MCI, undated.

UNICEF. . 2004. Web.

UNICEF. . 2008. Web.

UNICEF. South Africa 2009 Annual Report. 2009. Web.

Footnotes

  1. UNICEF. South Africa 2009 Annual Report. 2009
  2. UNICEF. South Africa 2009 Annual Report. 2009
  3. UNICEF. South Africa 2009 Annual Report. 2009
  4. UNICEF. Convention on the Rights of a Child. 2004
  5. UNICEF. Convention on the Rights of a Child. 2004
  6. UNICEF. National Integrated Plan for Early Childhood Development. 2008
  7. Macleod-Brudenell, I. M., J. Kay, V. Cortvriend, E. Hallet and M. Hershaw. Advanced Early Years: For Foundation Degrees and Levels 4/5. Second Edition, Harlow: Heinemann, 2008, p.
  8. Macleod-Brudenell, I. M., J. Kay, V. Cortvriend, E. Hallet and M. Hershaw. Advanced Early Years: For Foundation Degrees and Levels 4/5. Second Edition, Harlow: Heinemann, 2008, p. 3
  9. Montessori, M. Child Development – Module 2. London: MCI
  10. Montessori, M. Childcare and Health – Module 5. London: MCI
  11. Montessori, M. Contemporary Issues – Module 4. London: MCI
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IvyPanda. (2019, July 5). Day Care of the Three-Year-Old Children in South Africa. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/day-care-of-the-three-year-old-children-in-south-africa/

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"Day Care of the Three-Year-Old Children in South Africa." IvyPanda, 5 July 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/day-care-of-the-three-year-old-children-in-south-africa/.

1. IvyPanda. "Day Care of the Three-Year-Old Children in South Africa." July 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/day-care-of-the-three-year-old-children-in-south-africa/.


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IvyPanda. "Day Care of the Three-Year-Old Children in South Africa." July 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/day-care-of-the-three-year-old-children-in-south-africa/.

References

IvyPanda. 2019. "Day Care of the Three-Year-Old Children in South Africa." July 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/day-care-of-the-three-year-old-children-in-south-africa/.

References

IvyPanda. (2019) 'Day Care of the Three-Year-Old Children in South Africa'. 5 July.

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