Examine the Case Study Scenario below and discuss the following aspects of wellbeing:
1. The social (families, peers, media) and physical (physical aspects of the indoor and outdoor environment) environmental influences related to children’s wellness and wellbeing in the case study (these have been combined here as they are related in this scenario).
2. The equity and cultural issues related to children’s wellness and wellbeing in the case study (again, these have been combined as they are related in this scenario).
For each area (social environmental/ physical environmental/ equity/ cultural), discuss what EC educators and leaders can do in their professional practices to support the child’s wellness and wellbeing. Think about the role of educators and leaders in the EC setting and how they can promote and improve the child’s wellness and wellbeing. This is not about what Atta’s parents need to do, but EC educators’ professional work. Please make sure you refer to the EYLF and NQS, as these documents should always inform pedagogical practices.
Case Study Scenario
Atta is 4 years old and has recently been assessed by his doctor as obese. Atta attends a long day care centre, four days per week. He lives with his mother and father in a two-bedroom apartment in Sydney. He has no siblings. He has difficulty standing up unaided from sitting on the floor and finds it difficult to take part in vigorous physical exercise outdoors, as this makes him breathless. Other children in the long day care centre notice that Atta looks different and are beginning to call him names and make negative comments about his weight. The staff are becoming increasingly concerned about Atta’s weight and the effect it is having on his general health.
Atta normally has a packed lunch from home consisting of sweet biscuits, chocolate, and crisps. At morning tea time, the long day care provides the children fresh fruit and vegetables, but Atta will not normally choose to eat anything. At drop off time, Atta’s father, Farshad, has told the staff that Atta loves to eat sugary cereals in the morning, especially those that come in the brightly coloured boxes he sees on TV. Drop off time is normally a very busy and rushed time at the centre, so staff have not been able to discuss these issues with Farshad in any detail.
Atta’s mother, Amina, attends four half day sessions at the local TAFE as she is learning to speak English more fluently and attending a workplace training course in the hope of returning to work when Atta starts formal schooling. She picks him up at the end of the day. Staff have expressed concerns to her about Atta’s eating habits. Amina says that she likes to ensure that her son has a meal he enjoys and cannot afford for him to waste any food. It is difficult for the family to afford fresh healthy foods on their income. She rarely takes him to the local playground because it is often vandalised and in a poor state and she feels uncomfortable because the playground is used primarily by white families who have made racist comments towards her. She and Atta rarely go out and have few friends or family in the area. Farshad often works long hours and is not normally home in the evenings. Amina confides that sharing sweets and crisps with Atta whilst watching videos is something they really enjoy together.
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