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Aberdeenshire Childcare 4 All case study

Three year old Jimmy and his family were finding it tough when they first came into contact with Capability's Childcare 4 All Service in Aberdeen.

Jimmy was unhappy at nursery which was a worry for the whole family.

At the same time staff at the nursery were finding it difficult to cope with Jimmy's behaviour.  He found it difficult to concentrate and was often frustrated which would lead to him lashing out at others.

The nursery got in touch with Capability Scotland's Aberdeenshire Childcare 4 All service who were pleased to offer support.  Staff from the Capability service met with nursery staff and the family to gather more information and background about Jimmy's situation and also had the opportunity to observe the situation for themselves.  This enabled the Childcare 4 All staff to develop an action plan which would help both Jimmy, his family and the nursery.

The action plan was delivered over a period of eight weeks with the intention that support would be gradually reduced over that period.  Initially Capability staff worked alongside nursery staff for regular sessions during which they could support staff to be proactive in how they worked with Jimmy, rather than just reacting to his behaviour.  At the end of each session, staff completed a review allowing them to monitor progress.

Childcare 4 All delivered free resources to the nursery which encouraged positive engagement with Jimmy and developed opportunities for him to increase his focus and attention span. The resources were also available to the other children in the nursery to use which meant they could include Jimmy in their play. Capability staff also taught hand signals to aid communication when Jimmy was anxious. This lowered his frustrations and was also fun for the other children to learn as well.

In addition to the work with the nursery, Capability staff  worked with Jimmy's family to make sure the positive approaches  adopted by the nursery were being reinforced in the home environment.

The action plan resulted in some very positive outcomes.  The nursery staff felt more able to anticipate Jimmy's behaviour and could intervene to diffuse potentially difficult situations and minimise challenging behaviour.  Nursery staff and family members, were encouraged to promote Jimmy's strengths so that he would feel more positive about himself.  These strategies had more chance of being successful because the Childcare 4 All team were working with both the nursery and the family to ensure a consistent approach.

Now that the objectives in the action plan have been achieved and Jimmy is much happier at nursery, Capability has been able to reduce the support it provides to weekly phone calls to check on progress.  The nursery can still use the free resources and call the team for advice whenever they need it.