So what is children’s agency? Children need as much of a say, as well as power and control over their room and routine as possible. Giving children this voice allows them to enact their participatory rights, and also helps them develop more complex skills.
Ideas for promoting agency in your service:
- Children have agency when they can move about to any space they want to, at any time of the day.
- It is possible to design a safe setting so they can eat when they were hungry, wherever they like.
- Children could perhaps chose to attend groups that interest them, rather than having to attend one large group.
- The children don’t necessarily need to be interrupted for routines to take place, allowing them to concentrate for extended periods and connect with what they are doing.
- The camera could be put on a low shelf so that children can document their own learning.
- Educators could run preschool management meetings with children present so that children could express their voice and influence the way the preschool is set up and run.
- Allow children to access the big bottles of paint and squirt the amount they need, and the colours they need. Have a low sink for children to wash their own paint pots.
- Put a list on the wall for child to draw or write things they need, or resources that need to be ordered.
- Ensure children meet to discuss issues and make own solutions. Children can write or draw signs to make sure each other know the solutions to issues and rules they create.
- Consult with children when changes need to be made to the learning environment.