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Capable and Competent

A child is considered to be capable and competent based on age, cognitive abilities, emotional maturity, and social skills. All these aspects depend on a variety of factors. Firstly, to demonstrate our understanding of children as capable and competent, it is important to recognise and nurture their innate abilities, along with understanding and embracing their full potential. Recognising and appreciating the innate abilities acts as the foundation for their development and growth It is the responsibility of educators and caregivers to create an environment that encourages such attributes to flourish. Deep understanding and respect towards the individuality and experiences of each child is essential to recognise their true capabilities (ACECQA [Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority], 2012).

Providing environments for self-expression and exploration leads to the empowerment of children and helps in identifying strengths and weaknesses. It leads to the development of a strong sense of identity among children and an ability to distinguish themselves from others by identifying traits and characteristics. In addition to this, being interactive enhances their communication skills and enables them to communicate their thoughts and emotions in a clear and effective manner. This involves developing appropriate indoor as well as outdoor environments and ensuring that the child feels connected to nature. This also results in the active participation of children in activities related to learning and development (ACECQA, 2012).

Secondly, it is vital that children are empowered through responsibilities that are appropriate to their age. This leads to a sense of agency and self-confidence. Assigning children that they can complete realistically helps them learn important life skills and gain a sense of pride and accomplishment. In addition to this, age-appropriate responsibilities also lead to the development of a sense of accountability and ownership and understanding of the consequences of their actions. Moreover, this contributes to the growth and development as they get familiar with their capability to contribute to families and communities and ensures a holistic and comprehensive engagement and acknowledgement of their own competencies (Nolan & Raban, 2015).

Thirdly, for a child to be capable and competent, the development of problem-solving skills is very essential. Educators and parents can demonstrate their understanding regarding the capability and competency of their children by giving them opportunities to get involved in real-life situations which require problem-solving. This results in the enhancement of critical thinking abilities in addition to social and cognitive maturity. For example, guiding children through the process of problem-solving instead of providing direct solutions can help children to think with a creative and analytical mindset and come up with innovative solutions. This can also be done by asking open-ended questions or letting them explore alternative approaches. Furthermore, it inculcates traits such as resilience and adaptability in children and equips them with practical solutions (Nolan & Raban, 2015).

Lastly, the cultivation of self-esteem and self-efficacy in children plays a crucial role in the overall self-worth of a child and their perception of themselves, along with the faith they have in themselves with respect to the accomplishment of their goals and tasks. This can be done through praise, encouragement and acknowledgement of their accomplishments. This can also involve creating an environment that respects and values the autonomy and individuality of each child and providing constructive feedback contributing to the development of the self-esteem and self-efficacy of a child (ACECQA, 2012)


Nolan, A., & Raban, B. (2015). Theories into practice: Understanding and rethinking our work with young children and the EYLF. Deakin University. 

Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority. (2012). Create the Perfect Play Space. 

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