I took early retirement to look after my grandchildren. I decided to make the most of this, so I enrolled on a Childcare & Development Diploma course with Oxford Learning College that I could study part time around looking after the children.
Even though I had brought up my own children many years ago, I felt that society had changed so much that I should look further into childcare in the current climate.
The amount of information this course provided was way above and beyond my expectations. It started with the early development of the foetus and how it grows in the womb. I learned about the early tests that babies undergo as well as some of the causes of congenital abnormalities how these are related to genetics.
This in turn helped me understand the comprehensive units on anatomy and physiology, before moving on to the growing child and their development throughout the years, as well as the tests and vaccines that they should undergo.
The major childhood illnesses were also covered in this course, from measles to mumps, chickenpox to whooping cough, and meningitis to ADHD and Scarlet fever. As well as learning how to spot these illnesses, their treatment was also explained.
The nutrition of a healthy child is also discussed within the course and shown by charts which provide all the necessary information regarding fats, vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates that a healthy child needs to grow and mature.
Also covered in the course was language and speech in development. Children learn from sights and sounds in and around their world – from the course I learnt the average vocabulary for children at certain ages or stages in their lives. This has been invaluable for me when teaching my young grandchildren to communicate.
One of the most interesting units for myself in this course was that of cognitive behaviour. As cognitive processes take place within the brain, they result as actions, feelings, thoughts and behaviour patterns. Also covered in this section is how external sources such as hearing, vision, touch, smell and taste not only develop but subsequently influence the child’s behaviour.
Children obviously learn through play, and towards the end of the course different play activities, the child’s response to those play activities are covered looked at in detail. Also covered is the role of adults in the play environment, ideal play environments and instruments and equipment which can be used as stimuli.
The Childcare and Development course finishes off by looking at working with children in nursery, pre-school and playgroups as well as that of the role of nursery assistants, teaching assistants and health and safety as well as first aid.
I have found this course to be invaluable for me personally, as a grandmother looking after my young grandchildren, and I would recommend it to anyone who is a parent, or in the same position as myself or full-time nursery nurse, or are thinking of going in to childcare as a profession.
After studying this course, and learning about cognitive behaviour, I have since enrolled on to the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Diploma course which I am also enjoying immensely.
Edna Ruby – Student of Oxford Learning College.