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How the setting develops independence and resilience in the younger children so effectively and successfully

Practitioners create a supportive and effective environment where children feel safe to explore and experiment.

Toddler picking chestnuts in a park

Information about the setting

Little Acorns at Christ the Word is operated by Denbighshire County Council and was established in September 2019 working in partnership with Little Acorns at the Oak Tree Integrated Children’s Centre in Rhyl. It cares for up to 69 children at any one time and offers parents and their families quality, affordable childcare within the school’s faith ethos. It provides care for children from the age of 2 to 12 years and in some circumstances beyond – providing consistency and stability up to and throughout their school years.

Context and background to the effective or innovative practice

Little Acorns at Christ the Word believes that nurturing independence and resilience from a young age is crucial for children’s growth and development. By implementing strategies consistently and purposefully, it has seen the youngest children blossom into independent and resilient individuals, ready to face the challenges that come their way. The setting is dedicated to continuing to foster these qualities in the children, knowing that it will set them up for success in the future. 

Practitioners want all the children to be able to fulfil their learning potential and they work hard to create a safe, warm, and welcoming environment where children can make friends and learn successfully through play. Practitioners believe that children’s well-being is supported by their ability to be independent and resilient. This gives them a feeling of self-control and develops their self-esteem and confidence.

Description of nature of strategy or activity

Some of the key strategies that foster independence and resilience in the children: 

  • Encouraging decision-making: Practitioners provide opportunities for children to make their own choices throughout the day, whether it's choosing an activity, selecting a snack, or deciding where to play. By empowering them to make these decisions, practitioners help them build confidence in their abilities and learn to take ownership of their choices.
  • Promoting Problem-Solving Skills: Practitioners create a supportive and effective environment where children feel safe to explore and experiment. When they encounter challenges or obstacles, practitioners encourage them to think of solutions independently or with their peers. This not only teaches them to be resilient in the face of difficulties but also develops their problem-solving skills. 
  • Building Self-Help Skills: Practitioners encourage children to put on their own coats, wipe their own noses, wash their hands carefully, pour their own drink at snack time and tidy away after themselves. They actively encourage children to take on age-appropriate tasks independently. By developing these self-help skills, children gain a sense of accomplishment and learn that they are capable of taking care of themselves. 
  • Celebrating Effort and Persistence: Staff praise the children for their efforts and perseverance, rather than just concentrating on the end result. By recognising their hard work and determination, they help instil a growth mind-set in the children, teaching them that mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow.

What impact has this work had on provision and children’s standards?

The impact of these strategies has been significant. Practitioners see the children demonstrating consistent independence and developing self-help skills without much adult intervention. They observe children working collaboratively with their peers and supporting each other, demonstrating their newfound confidence and abilities. 

How have you shared your good practice?

Practitioners share good practices with other childcare providers within the local authority through setting visits, meetings and training. They aim to inspire and support other childcare settings to nurture independence and resilience in their youngest children.