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A glossary of terms to support the completion of the AWIF, terms appear in alphabetical order.


Accidents is something that occurs unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury, such as a child falling.

Activities and experiences refers to play, learning and leisure activities that meet the preferences, needs and abilities of the child or young person with whom you work, such as outdoor play, free play, role play, mark making, playdough, skipping, football, reading and storytelling, ICT activities, arts and craft.

Additional support needs include:

  • physical disability
  • learning disability
  • autism
  • additional health needs
  • sensory loss
  • emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • dyslexia
  • dyspraxia
  • complex multiple needs
  • attachment disorder.

Advocacy - The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 defines ‘advocacy services’ as “services which provide assistance (by way of representation or otherwise) to persons for purposes relating to their care and support”.

Advocacy supports and enables people who have difficulty representing their interests, to exercise their rights, express their views, explore and make informed choices. It could include:

  • self-advocacy
  • informal advocacy
  • collective advocacy
  • peer advocacy
  • citizen advocacy
  • independent volunteer advocacy
  • formal advocacy
  • independent professional advocacy.

Actions, behaviours or situations that increase the risk of harm or abuse could include:

  • adverse childhood experiences
  • asylum seeking
  • criminalisation
  • different types of bullying
  • domestic abuse
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriages
  • looked after children
  • hate crime
  • homelessness
  • human trafficking/modern slavery
  • learning disability
  • mental ill-health
  • poverty
  • radicalisation
  • self-neglect
  • sexual exploitation
  • substance misuse.


Bacterial meningitis is a rarer but more serious than viral meningitis.

Bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites -

Common childhood illnesses and infections caused by:

  • bacteria: food poisoning, tuberculosis, MRSA, dysentery, bronchitis, ear infections, strep throat and tonsillitis
  • viruses: influenza, common cold, stomach flu, pneumonia
  • fungi: athlete’s foot, ringworm and yeast infections
  • parasites: worms, malaria.


The codes of conduct and professional practice should include the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care, the NHS Wales Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers in Wales and the Code of Practice for NHS Wales Employers, and any additional practice guidance issued by either NHS Wales or the regulators of health or social care in Wales, such as the The residential child care worker: Practice guidance for residential child care workers registered with Social Care Wales.

Curriculum frameworks and curriculum areas are the standards and guidance that set out the expectations and requirements for learning and development for pre-school and school age children from the foundation phase, including:

  • personal and social development, well-being and cultural diversity
  • language, literacy and communication skills
  • knowledge and understanding of the world
  • physical development
  • creative development
  • mathematical development
  • Welsh language development.

Creative development includes:

  • developing imagination and imaginative play
  • responding to experiences, expressing ideas
  • exploring media and materials
  • traditional creative arts
  • music, dance and movement
  • messy play.

Consent - when providing care or support to a child, getting their permission before doing anything that could affect them is called establishing consent. This is important because it shows respect for their independence, helps them feel good, builds trust, gives them a voice, and makes sure their opinions are valued.


Digital competency may also be known as digital literacy or information and communication technology.

Different types of play could include:

  • playing creatively
  • physical play
  • imaginative/pretend play or role play
  • environmental play
  • playing in a structured environment
  • unstructured play
  • self-directed play
  • adult facilitated play.

Development and assessment frameworks are nationally recognised frameworks for recording children’s learning and development. These include:

  • Early Years Development and Assessment Framework
  • Schedule of Growing Skills.


Emergencies are serious, unexpected situations requiring immediate action, such as a missing child.

Environment refers to the diverse physical locations, contexts, and cultures in which children learn through experimentation and play.

Early years and childcare workers are those working in early years and childcare settings and the early years workforce working in different sectors (such as health, education), including those supporting the family such as health visitor assistants or Flying Start family workers.


Factors could include:

  • low income and food poverty
  • psychological factors, such as parental anxiety, eating disorders
  • skills and knowledge
  • food provision in settings, such as schools, nurseries, youth settings
  • following a special diet
  • physical factors, such as positioning, swallowing difficulties, oral health
  • health problems, such as constipation, anaemia
  • mass media and advertising
  • family and peer influences
  • ethics, morals and beliefs
  • the eating/meal-time environment
  • neglect and abuse
  • culture and religion
  • the child’s individual preferences and habits
  • community food initiatives.

Factors that may affect the health, well-being and personal, physical, social and emotional development of children may include:

  • adverse circumstances or trauma before or during birth
  • attachment
  • autistic spectrum condition
  • family circumstances
  • harm or abuse
  • injury
  • learning disability
  • medical conditions (chronic or acute)
  • mental health (including self-harming and anorexia)
  • physical disability
  • physical ill health
  • placement disruption
  • poverty
  • profound or complex needs
  • sensory needs
  • stability
  • social deprivation
  • substance misuse.


Holistic development refers to children gaining skills and competence through planned learning and play to develop their physical, social, emotional, intellectual, cognitive and linguistic skills.

Hand washing technique - Using current national and international guidelines.


Incident(s) is an instance(s) of something happening, a one-off event or occurrence, such as a parent not picking up their child.

Individual would be children you support and care for in your work and adults you have contact with in your day-to-day work with children, such as a parent or carer.


Job description - Some childcare and early years roles may not have formal job descriptions. They will however have a contract or agreement that sets out how they are expected to carry out their role.


Key legislation relating to health and safety include:

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations 1992
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002
  • NICE guidelines quality standards

Key legislation and standards related to infection prevention and control include:

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Quality Standard 61 Infection Prevention & Control April 2014
  • World Health Organisation (WHO) Clean Care is Safer Care: Five Moments for Hand Hygiene
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) (2002)
  • Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICPS) Public Health Wales (2013)
  • Welsh Healthcare Associated Infection Programme (WHAIP) Procedure No 6 – management of blood and body fluid spillages (WAG 2009)
  • All Wales NHS Dress Code, Free to Lead Free to Care

Key legislation that relates to fire safety include:

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) 1999 Hazardous Waste
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  • The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992


Legislation, national policies, guidance, standards and frameworks include:

  • United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child and the seven core aims developed by Welsh Government

Seven core aims:

  • have a flying start in life (the early years)
  • have a comprehensive range of education and learning opportunities
  • enjoy the best possible health and are free from abuse, victimisation and exploitation
  • have access to play, leisure, sporting and cultural activities
  • be listened to, treated with respect, and have their race and cultural identity recognised (participation in decision making)
  • have a safe home and a community which supports physical and emotional well-being
  • not be disadvantaged by poverty.
  • European Convention on Human Rights
  • Human Rights Act (1998)
  • Equality Act (2010)
  • 10-year workforce development plan for early years childcare and play
  • Wales – A Play Friendly Country (Welsh Government 2014)
  • The Children`s Act 1989 and 2004
  • The Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

Legislation and national policies for Welsh language to include:

  • A Curriculum for Wales, A Curriculum for Life. Welsh Government 2015
  • Cymraeg 2050: A million Welsh speakers by 2050
  • Welsh-medium Education Strategy
  • Welsh-medium Education Strategy: Next Steps
  • Welsh Language Standards (No.7) Regulations 2018
  • Welsh in Education Strategic plan (local).

Legislation, national policies and codes of conduct and professional practice that relate to the safeguarding of individuals include:

  • Children – United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989
  • Children – Children Act (1989 and 2004)
  • Children – All-Wales Child Protection Policy and Procedures 2008
  • Children – Working Together under the Children Act 2004
  • Generic – All Wales Safeguarding Procedures (2019)
  • Generic – Welsh Government Safeguarding Guidance
  • Generic – Data Protection Act 1998

(Policies and procedures: Formally agreed and binding ways of working that apply in many settings. Where policies and procedures do not exist, the term includes other agreed ways of working.)


Meningitis is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection.


Others would include colleagues, other workers or professionals and families/carers that individuals may come into contact with when caring for and supporting a child.


Parental responsibility is when parents have legal rights and duties for their children. It includes making important decisions about how they grow up, learn, stay healthy, and their overall well-being. It benefits children as it makes sure parents are involved and have authority.

Physical care routines could include:

  • toileting
  • hand washing
  • care of skin
  • oral care
  • opportunities for rest, quiet time or sleep
  • protection from sun/cold
  • care of nappy area
  • feeding.

Policies and procedures are formally agreed and binding ways of working that apply in many settings. Where policies and procedures do not exist, the term includes other agreed ways of working.

Positive approaches are based upon the principles of person-centred care:

  • Getting to know the child
  • Respecting and valuing their histories and backgrounds and understanding:
  • their likes and dislikes
  • their skills and abilities
  • their preferred communication style and support structures
  • Understanding the impact of their environment upon them and using this to identify ways to support people consistently in every aspect of the care they receive.

Developing good relationships is fundamental, and positive approaches should be used at all times. They are essential when someone is stressed, distressed, frightened, anxious or angry and at risk of behaving in such a way that is challenging to their safety and/or the safety of others.

Positive approaches involve working with the child and their support systems to:

  • try to understand what someone is feeling and why they are responding in the way they are
  • where possible, undertake any required changes and intervene at an early stage to try and prevent difficult situations at all
  • understand what needs to be planned and put into place to support the child to manage distressed and angry feelings in a way that reduces the need for behaviour that challenges any restrictions.


Risk: When discussing risk-taking the types of risk to be supported could include:

  • physical risks
  • emotional risks
  • behavioural risks
  • environmental risks.

Reflective practice is being able to reflect on actions and learn from them to improve practice.


Sepsis - Learners need to understand that illnesses can lead to acute deterioration conditions such as sepsis.


Transitions may include starting nursery for the first time, moving from nursery to school, moving home, death of a loved one, parental relationship breakdown, the birth of a sibling, other changes affecting the child or young person.


Workplace/setting would be the setting in which care, play, learning and development is provided, such as a day nursery, cylch meithrin, playgroup.

Worker would be the person providing care, learning and development services for children.

Workplace/setting would be a setting in which care and support is provided, such as residential child care, individual's own home, foster care, and so on.

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First published: 29 January 2021
Last updated: 14 June 2023
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