Oslo Challenge, November 1999
The child/media relationship is an entry point
into the wide and multifaceted world of
children and their rights -- to education,
freedom of expression, play, identity, health,
dignity and self-respect, protection -- and
that in every aspect of child rights, in every
element of the life of a child, the
relationship between children and the media
plays a role.
Participatory media in civil society
Children are among the most marginalized people, yet their profoundly urgent
issues remain on the fringe of national debates. YMCI proposes to demonstrate
the benefits of turning children from objects to subjects in the media because:
- Children want and have the right to speak out;
- They have fresh and interesting things to do;
- They have a different perspective from adults;
- Some issues (such as education, play, child abuse) affect children more
than they affect adults, so their opinions and experiences are vital;
Sharing what children have to say increases mutual understanding,
helps narrow the generation gap, and benefits community development; It
boosts children’s self confidence and helps them develop their potential;
Child care, otherwise known as day care, is the care and supervision of a child or multiple children at a time, whose ages range from six weeks to thirteen years. Child care is the action or skill of looking after children by a day-care center, nannies, babysitter, teachers or other providers. Child care is a broad topic that covers a wide spectrum of professionals, institutions, contexts, activities, and social and cultural conventions. Early child care is an equally important and often overlooked component of child development. Child care providers can be children's first teachers, and therefore play an integral role in systems of early childhood education. Quality care from a young age can have a substantial impact on the future successes of children. The main focus of childcare is on the development of the child, whether that be mental, social, or psychological.
In most cases children are taken care of by their parents, legal guardians, or siblings. In some cases, it is also seen that children care for other children. This informal care includes verbal direction and other explicit training regarding the child's behavior, and is often as simple as "keeping an eye out" for younger siblings. Care facilitated by similar-aged children covers a variety of developmental and psychological effects in both caregivers and charge. This is due to their mental development being in a particular case of not being able to progress as it should be at their age. This care giving role may also be taken on by the child's extended family. Another form of childcare that is on the rise in contrast to familial caregiving is that of center-based child care. In lieu of familial care giving, these responsibilities may be given to paid caretakers, orphanages or foster homes to provide care, housing, and schooling.
Professional caregivers work within the context of a center-based care (including creches, daycare, preschools and schools) or a home-based care (nannies or family daycare). The majority of child care institutions that are available require that child care providers to have extensive training in first aid and be CPR certified. In addition, background checks, drug testing at all centers, and reference verification are normally a requirement. Child care can consist of advanced learning environments that include early childhood education or elementary education. The objective of the program of daily activities should be to foster incremental developmental progress in a healthy and safe environment and should be flexible to capture the interests of the children and the individual abilities of the children. In many cases the appropriate child care provider is a teacher or personal with educational background in child development, which requires a more focused training aside from the common core skills typical of a child caregiver.
As well as these licensed options, parents may also choose to find their own caregiver or arrange childcare exchanges/swaps with another family.
Childcare varies dramatically across cultures. These discrepancies are attributed to the homestead and household environments. That is, the type of work performed by adult caretakers in a given community strongly influence the type of childcare used. In agricultural/ horticultural societies where work is done to provide sustenance for the community, siblings and similar-aged children are responsible for younger children. While many global communities prefer children aged 7–10 for designated caregiving responsibilities, children no younger than 12 are preferred in the Western world where paid childcare is common.
The origin of toys is prehistoric; dolls representing infants, animals, and soldiers, as well as representations of tools used by adults are readily found at archaeological sites. The origin of the word "toy" is unknown, but it is believed that it was first used in the 14th century. Toys are mainly made for children. The oldest known doll toy is thought to be 4,000 years old.
The earliest toys are made from materials found in nature, such as rocks, sticks, and clay. Thousands of years ago, Egyptian children played with dolls that had wigs and movable limbs which were made from stone, pottery, and wood. In Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, children played with dolls made of wax or terracotta, sticks, bows and arrows, and yo-yos. When Greek children, especially girls, came of age it was customary for them to sacrifice the toys of their childhood to the gods. On the eve of their wedding, young girls around fourteen would offer their dolls in a temple as a rite of passage into adulthood.
The oldest known mechanical puzzle also comes from Greece and appeared in the 3rd century BCE. The game consisted of a square divided into 14 parts, and the aim was to create different shapes from these pieces. In Iran "puzzle-locks" were made as early as the 17th century (AD).
Toys, like play itself, serve multiple purposes in both humans and animals. They provide entertainment while fulfilling an educational role. Toys enhance cognitive behavior and stimulate creativity. They aid in the development of physical and mental skills which are necessary in later life.
One of the simplest toys, a set of simple wooden blocks is also one of the best toys for developing minds. Andrew Witkin, director of marketing for Mega Brands told Investor's Business Daily that, "They help develop hand-eye coordination, math and science skills and also let kids be creative." Other toys like marbles, jackstones, and balls serve similar functions in child development, allowing children to use their minds and bodies to learn about spatial relationships, cause and effect, and a wide range of other skills.