By Mary Tynan
Before a child is even born, we communicate with them. We rub our tummies, talk, and even sing to them. According to experts, these actions will help the child by creating a feeling of security. As soon as the baby is born, we communicate through our expression, touch, body language and sound. Even in these very early stages of a child’s life, how we communicate with them will have a lasting impact.
Effective communication skills are essential for a child’s overall holistic development. These skills will influence how they engage with others, express themselves and make sense of the world around them. Children need others to support them to develop both good language and communication skills thus laying good foundations for the child as they grow.
Aistear, the early childhood curriculum framework in Ireland highlights the importance of communication to the child’s early learning and development. Childminders have an important role as they model communication and language skills. They demonstrate good listening skills, create an environment that is respectful and encourage positive interactions. Childminders support communication and language development right throughout their day, mealtime, playtime, while on outings etc. Being aware of the child’s ability, understanding what they are communicating, giving them an opportunity to talk and respond, allowing them to share ideas and feelings are just a number of ways in which to enhance the child’s overall development.
Aistear’s theme of communicating sets out guidelines and suggestions to help you to create an environment that will support children’s communication abilities. To access Aistear’s framework and the theme of communicating please click here.