Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Well-Being in the Early Years: An Exploration of Practitioners’ Perceptions

Prof Doc Thesis


Seaman, H. 2018. Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Well-Being in the Early Years: An Exploration of Practitioners’ Perceptions. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsSeaman, H.
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

Children’s mental health and social and emotional well-being is at the forefront of the government’s agenda. Educational settings in the United Kingdom (UK) have a responsibility to promote children and young people’s social and emotional well-being and mental health from the earliest stages. The impact of intervention in the Early Years (EY) has been found to have huge benefits within the specific context of social and emotional well-being. Early education offers an ideal context within which children’s social and emotional well-being can be supported and promoted to ensure positive life-long outcomes. As such, research and theory highlight the important position and responsibility of adults working in the EY as role models for young children and in creating an environment which promotes their social and emotional well-being.
However, there is currently limited research in the UK which explores the views of EY practitioners in relation to supporting children’s social and emotional well-being. Therefore, this study aimed to address these gaps in the research by obtaining the views of 10 EY practitioners working in Local Authority (LA) children’s centres within an inner-city location. Data was gathered using semi-structured interviews and analysed using thematic analysis. Themes were explored and discussed in relation to practitioner’s understanding of ‘social and emotional well-being’. Their views on supporting children’s social and emotional well-being were explored along with their views on current and future training opportunities in this area.
Several distinct findings emerged in relation to EY practitioners’ conceptualisation of social and emotional well-being and the complexities and intricacies of the parent-practitioner relationship in the EY. In addition, the emotional well-being of staff was pertinent to EY practitioners’ views in this area. This suggests potential for further development in relation to promoting relationships with parents and carers within EY settings and allowing EY practitioners to discuss the emotional demands of their work in a reflective capacity. It is hoped this study will enable Educational Psychology services (EPS) and EY settings to build and develop upon current practices related to supporting children’s emotional well-being in the EY.

Year2018
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/uel.874w7
File
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Publication dates
PrintApr 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Nov 2019
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/874w7

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