Wicklow County Childcare Committee’s Childcare Professionals Day continues to go from strength to strength. The event, which focuses on a theme from Aistear and features guest speakers and workshops from a variety of backgrounds and focused on the Aistear theme of Communicating. Providers turned out in force again to the beautiful setting of Glendalough Hotel.
Once everyone had treated themselves to tea and scones, the day’s learning was kicked off by a visit from Dr Glenda Walsh from Queen’s University, Belfast who presented on Playfulness and Interactions with Children. Dr Walsh gave examples on how to enhance play by avoiding delineation of materials – for example, rather than having a designated ‘water tray’ – why not incorporate some real water into the ‘home corner’ – and the need to avoid what she described as ‘junk play’ – play that does not challenge children to learn.
Maria Dollard then gave an amazing and heartfelt talk on what is like to be a parent interacting with a childcare setting, particularly where the child may have a disabilty. Maria spoke of the frustration of being treated as ‘other’, of the pressures and frustrations encountered as a parent with a child with Autism and of the importance of people being able to say “I don’t know much about that (Autism) but I am willing to hear your suggestions and learn”. Maria also told the wonderful story Welcome to Holland which is a brilliantly illuminative analagy of being the parent with a disability – it’s well worth a read!
Angela Canavan of CanavanByrne gave advice on Communicating Your Needs as a Childcare Professional, from the perspectives of both the employee and employer. The day was rounded up by Tricia Curtis of Apley Speech and Language Therapy who give an insightful talk on listening entitled Would you want to talk to you? reminding attendees of the importance of really hearing what children are trying to communicate and giving strategies on improving in this area.
The Childcare Professionals Day takes place twice a year and are both an engaging form of Continuing Professional Development and a great way to network with other provider or enjoy some team bonding (over a hot lunch). All attendees receive a certificate from WCCC.
Details on content will be confirmed in the New Year. To receive the Wicklow County Childcare eZine (click here to see the November issue) including all the information on our training events, email Judy or call 0404 64455