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Evidence based Child Care

What is evidence-based practice as a professional

What is necessary for a professional?

1. The spirit of the professional (a professional philosophy)
The professional spirit refers to a strong belief that we always must protect the interests of both child and caregiver. This spirit empowers children, caregivers, and communities (to achieve their potential, create a healthy environment and strengthen their bonds). In other words, it arouses the potential power of growth and child rearing.

2. Professional skills (knowledge and techniques as a professional)
Professional skills refer to the knowledge and techniques provided by empirical research. In order to utilize these professional skills, we must sometimes use various tools.

What is evidence? Why do we need evidence-based practice?

Evidence is used to prove that one is performing the best practice possible. With the background of a low fertility society, and an increasing number of nuclear families, communication with experienced grandparents and relatives about childcare has reduced. Poor relationships with neighbors have also contributed to isolated childcare. Floods of childrearing information by the mass media often makes mothers anxious and lose confidence in themselves. Furthermore, people are increasingly expecting more childcare support from day-care centers, kindergartens, and child gardens. In such a background, children and caregivers want professional advice and support. On the professional side, professionals are at a great turning point. Cooperation and teamwork among professionals is needed, in stark contrast to the more individuated work of the past. What they need is a common language beyond their own field – in other words, evidence-based skills. These are required for effective-evidence based practice.

The key points of evidence-based practice

Skills are required

1. The skill to capture the true needs of children,
    caregivers and communities.
2. The skill to apply appropriate practice for what
    they really need into society.
3. The skill to acquire feedback on practice to improve
    subsequent application.

A necessary viewpoint for practice

1. Child        2. Caregivers and professionals      3. Association      4.Environment

Conditions for child-rearing environment

1.  Chance for contact with others in daily lives
2.Good at emotional and verbal expression
3.Avoidance of restriction
4.Respected age-appropriate independence
5.Material stimulation (e.g., toys) corresponding to child development
6.Chances to go outside and have contact with society
7.A safe environment that considers children’s development
8.Social support for child-rearing in daily lives


Evidence, evaluation and awareness

Professional skills of empowerment for child-rearing and child development are based on evaluation.

Evaluation of support

Child rearing and child development varies. Thus, it is difficult to develop a standard to evaluate childcare support. In this section, we mainly focus on children’s healthy development. We observe and evaluate environmental preparation to determine whether it is beneficial for children’s healthy development.

It is absolutely invalid to evaluate a single aspect of health development.
What is healthy development in this case? Is it to be able to do anything at the same pace as other children? Is there any problem behavior? Is the problem behavior really a problem? Who cares?

These are a number of very important components for healthy development, -including the opinions of other children (which is difficult to empirically evaluate), motivation, adaptability to new experiences, mental stability, happiness, interest in new experiences, and creativity. In other words, evaluation must understand the limitations of the situation. By taking the limitations into consideration, we can make generalizable and continuous evaluations, thereby reminding ourselves of the essence and observing from multiple perspectives (i.e., family, neighbor, and community) through regular evaluation.

However, evaluations are just one tool. This is why further tools are needed to support your professional skills.

Evidence and Awareness

Childcare has typically been rather isolated from society and varied; with this background, -day care centers and kindergartens are expected to play important roles in various problems such as early detection, and pre-emptive solutions. Following previous functions, professionals are expected to have skills that can adapt to various childcare methods, -such as community childcare support, abuse prevention, and follow-up with kindergartens cooperating with elementary schools, caregiver consultation participation in childcare support networks. There are many chances to develop teamwork, cooperate with other institutions, etc. 

With the benefits of daily association with children, nursery schools etc. are expected to improve children’s skills by introducing evidence-based support.

In practice scenes, we have staff meetings or case discussions about special childcare. However, many problems have occurred. Was it really appropriate? Was this method more practicable? Did you have a subjective opinion? Evidence-based practice is effective for solving such problems. The tools introduced can motivate us to consider the evidence. The combination of evidence-based practice and awareness can improve professional skills.


Reasons for and effects of practice

Significance of application with evidence-based practice

First, share information.
We can share information not only among caregivers, but also with other childcare professionals.

Second, centralize the viewpoint.
Understand the situation from a general perspective, and avoid adhering to a single viewpoint.

Third, develop an objective understanding.
Every professional has access to information and should make wise use of it. Make sure to share the information through team work.

Fourth, empower those people being evaluated.
By explaining the evidence, the people being evaluated (e.g., children, caregivers, others in the community), can be made aware of their own lives and how to make improvements to it.

The effects of evidence-based practice

1)You can improve practice.
2)You can practice according to predictions for children and caregivers.
3)You can formulate a longitudinal plan of practice.
4)You can share significant results with other caregivers.
5)You can cooperate with other professionals smoothly.
6)You can offer high-quality practice to the community and society.