Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Developing The Children's Workforce - EYPS


Steve
 Share

Recommended Posts

Thanks Steve and Helen,

I have just had a quick scan read of the article and I have downloaded the briefing sheet and message from Jane Haywood re the consultation, plus consultation questions to look at later.

 

My initial thoughts are:

 

What qualifications / experience will the trainers have?

 

What will be the balance between knowledge and practical assessment? ( I am thinking about work colleagues who are not very academic, but are still very skilled practitioners)

 

How will the ethos support me in retaining staff, or will it further encourage movement of staff between different settings, relevant on who can pay the most wages?

 

The focus appears to be initialy on the leaders, will we have too many chiefs with "Indians" feeling undervalued, because their personal aims are not to lead?

 

Leaders, I feel will also need knowledge and skills in business management to help maintain sustainability of the EY settings that they lead.

 

and finally ( until I have read and digested) IS THIS THE LAST CHANGE?

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some thought-provoking questions there, Peggy :)

I, too, have been thinking about the trainers and the very short amount of time the CWDC has to arrange suitable "top-up" courses/training for the first cohort of EYPs to start in September. I would imagine they are likely to be lecturers and trainers from FE and HE colleges, but that's only my guess.

 

I'm also really interested in your suggestion that colleagues who are not traditionally academic yet are exceptional practitioners may not be able to achieve EYPS. Maybe we need to think more about the word "academic". Does it just mean being able to write extended essays as a degree student would do, or does it mean being able to read relevant material and absorb it, making use of the information in a practical way? Or does it mean other things? I'd love to hear your ideas (and other people's :D )

 

I think the focus being on the leaders at the moment is a direct result of the EPPE project, and its findings that the settings which produced better outcomes for children had the direct involvement of a qualified teacher. It would be impractical to insist that every setting has to have a QTS, so the best thing would be to have an EYP, whose previous experience and qualifications are taken into account (don't know how!) and who has "topped-up" his/her qualifications to level 6, and therefore equivalent to QTS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

very interesting reading Helen, i agree about the bit about whose previous experience and qualifications are taken into account and who has "topped-up" qualifications to level 6, and therefore equivalent to QTS - that makes more logical sense to likes of private settings.

 

It does worry me that staff who dont want to do any more training will be pushed out even if they are excellent!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I'm also really interested in your suggestion that colleagues who are not traditionally academic yet are exceptional practitioners may not be able to achieve EYPS. Maybe we need to think more about the word "academic". Does it just mean being able to write extended essays as a degree student would do, or does it mean being able to read relevant material and absorb it, making use of the information in a practical way? Or does it mean other things? I'd love to hear your ideas (and other people's )

"

 

 

I can only give a recent example, I employ a 33 yr old who has worked in preschools for 13 years.( I'll call her Ann) She is registered disabled with learning difficulties. I also employed a person with the same number of years experience and who has a Foundation degree.( I'll call her Jane)

 

My quality assurance assessor was observing our snack bar: Children were cutting the vegetables.

She observed Ann's interaction with the children and noted that she enabled the children to persevere at the task but supported them at exactly the right moment to ensure the child didn't get frustrated but still achieved success in the task. She observed that Ann intervened appropriately but differently with different children, thus showing she had a knowledge of each childs level of ability etc. Ann talked with ( not at) the children, extending the childrens experience using open ended discussion to promote their thinking.

She observed Jane on the same task, she intervened too soon, directed and talked "at" the children, using closed brief sentences. She "took over" or left some children to fail with no support who then felt frustrated and left the activity without gaining a sense of success.

On paper Jane is the more qualified!. ( both knew they were being observed so you would expect best practice)

 

If you asked Ann the theory behind her practice, she wouldn't be able to answer, she could tell you everything about each childs personality their levels of concentration ( in terms of practical examples she has previously observed) and their prior knowledge and skills.( again through practical examples of previous observations) She is unable to translate any of this into FS jargon, or theoretical vocabulary, but the childrens experiences with her are still promoting their development.

Ann has recently passed basic skills in literacy and numeracy but her prior experience of the education system has left her, even to this day, unconfident and needing a lot of support to access training. She is an "active" learner, she can learn through discussion and practical application but not through reading texts. She is able to retain concrete, logical information such as timetables, she also has an excellent memory for details of practical observation. We can discuss childrens individual abilities and she can state the next stage ( showing some knowledge of child development) I doubt with the methods available at present that she could achieve a level 2 qualification though, because she hasn't got the academic ability to write what she knows. If a theoretical concept was verbally explained to her in practical terms she would understand it.

 

I do wonder if eventually all staff are required to be qualified ( at present 50%) where her future lies, how would this fit in with the Disability Discrimination Act? and if you ask all the children in my preschool, I am sure, every single one would say Ann is a good teacher, but what do 3-4 yr olds know.

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest tinkerbell

Peggy

I have just read your post and found it fascinating.You really know your staff and you have a wonder in 'Ann'.I wish we all had people like her.I work in school so am unsure of the qualifications the debate is discussing .....good luck

Tinkerbellx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest MaryEMac

after reading the post about EYP's, I am beginning to feel that people like me who work in small village playgroups are slowly being edged out of the equation. I have been involved with this playgroup since 1982 (as a parent) and been leader since 1986. I have got level 3 but as I am now 50, I don't envisage trying to get to level 6. It's hard enough keeping up with all the new iniatives without having to write copious amount of essays. Another point, how are small playgroups supposed to find the money to pay an appropriate salary to someone level 6 trained?

Sorry, just feel exasperated sometimes and wonder whether to pack it in and work in Tescos!!

Mary :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't pack it all in yet Mary, the children need your dedication and obvious experience.

Part of the plan is to provide funds to support payment for degree level people, I think £3000 per year subsidy.

 

I think we all feel exhausted by the many initiatives and changes, but looking at the wider picture, say, what will childcare and education be like in 20 years? ( when a lot of us will be retired), then I think the focus on What qualities we want from our Early years Practitioners ( I prefer the term professionals) is an important one.

 

I really do think that the government is going along the lines of some other European countries, such as sweden. All EY workers there are degree level, the providers I visited were run by the local authority, their education and care is fully integrated with multi agency collaboration in the best interests of the child and family. The workers have a decent salary and a professional status whether they work in kindergarten or Schools.

The workers training is much more holistic than ours, they study the arts, Health, physical and mental well-being, outdoors has equal priority, psychology, age range 0-100 yrs and their principles are not just seeing early years as a seperate phase but as a part of their whole community and culture. Thus the community and cultural needs are considered when planning for the early years provision and curriculum.

 

I question not the fact that our children deserve the highest calibre of people working to care for and educate them, but how we measure that calibre. What are the true qualities of an EYP? I think a lot is to do with peoples attitudes and principles, their nurturing, caring qualities, their enthusiasm and ability to see life from the childs perspective. To speak out for childrens freedom and rights, to be advocates for children. I don't think these qualities can be taught and they are definately hard to measure.

Out of all the many people I have worked with over the years, irrelevant of what level of qualifications they have, I can say that when working with children they either " Have it or not". If we could actually define what the "it" is, could teach "it" and measure "it". then I suspect I wouldn't feel so sceptical about the ever changing goal post positions we have to adjust to, to prove our worth.

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for everyone's responses to date - I have a feeling this topic will make the newsletter 'highlights' section this month! :)

 

Mary, let's hope you're not right about smaller playgroups (and those doing such a fine job in them) being 'edged out'. I can see what you mean about the difficulty of finding budgets for salaries of those with higher qualifications, although as Peggy says, it looks like there is a recognition of this with some extra government funding.

 

I know what you mean about trying to keep up with change Peggy - but we should be flattered as well as exhausted by it. It shows how importantly our stage of education is (belatedly perhaps) being regarded in the great scheme of things!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree Steve. I think it is about time that our 'stage of education' is regarded highly. Gone are the days of simply playing with the children!

 

I remember a conversation I had with one of my tutors at college about the term 'Nursery Nurse'. This particular tutor tended to focus more on the education and learning aspects of the profession rather than the care side, and so I was getting a bit confused! I asked her why qualified practitioners were generally called Nursery Nurses and was told because our profession was more in line with Nursing than with teaching.

 

I have found however, through my years of experience that the older the children, the less 'nursing' they actually need. The focus, in my opinion tends to have shifted more onto the learning side of things. We have planning and observations to do, a curriculum or framework to follow to give the children learning opportunitites plus all the other 'education' based paperwork we have to complete. We are inspected by Ofsted, whose main focus is education (although they do look at care aspects). I think that more thought needs to be given to students studying for childcare qualifications in respect of the learning side of the profession.

 

I am interested in the idea of the Early Years Foundation Stage. I am concerned however, that we are going to experience the same situation as is the case among many practitioners, struggling to get to grips with the Birth to Three Matters Framework for example. Perhaps the introduction of the Early Years Professional will help to alleviate these kinds of situations?

 

I don't think the development of the workforce is a bad thing. I think it should be encouraged, but I do have some concerns as to the regularity of changes. It seems that just as we are getting to grips with one thing, something else comes along. Hopefully the introduction of both the EYFS and EYP will help to minimise changes.

 

I apologise for the long post and I really hope it makes sense! I know I went off on a tangent earlier, but hopefully you will know what I'm trying to say! It's taken ages to write all this!

 

Clare

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It all makes sense Clare (so it was worth taking ages over! :D ).

 

I think there is an iterative approach to these things - no-one is likely to get a complex system right the first two or three times, which is why we have more change ahead. But this is why the consultation exercises are such a good thing, and why you, Peggy and the rest of us need to be as involved as much as possible in them. When they ask for information we need to be prepared to give detailed and constructive views. I know (Helen having attended in her role as manager of a small private nursery) that the people tasked with introducing the next stage (EYFS, EYP etc) genuinely want to hear from 'the workforce', ie those directly involved, and rely on that information when trying to move onto the next stage. The biggest disaster scenario of all would be for all the established expertise and commitment that practitioners around the country have to evaporate! I'm sure that those are the people they are hoping will take up the challenge of becoming an EYP - the trick is how to accomplish it...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a really interesting thread and I can't really add to what has already been said so lucidly. I am just glad that the importance of very good quality Early Learning and Care, wherever this takes place, is being given such a high profile, and that practitioners will, hopefully, be given the status they should have in society.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ditto JacquieL!! :o

 

I have worked for over twenty years in early years and the changes I have observed in the last few years have spurred me on a personal level to back up my practical experience with theoretical knowledge and take it to degree level. I have always felt like the poor relation of education and I think its about time that we were 'all' recognised for our contribution. However as many have said its 'how' our worth will be measured. I don't necessarily believe everyone can be judged by their academic ability, there are practitioners out their with a wealth of experience and talent that need recognition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Helen,

 

Thank you for a very interesting and thought provoking article. For some time now I have procrastinated over further training, although I would like to 'up' to at least a Level 4. ( I hasten to add, that is 'qualifying' training - wouldn't like you to think I don't keep up to date!!! :o ) As my husband and I ( shades of HRH! xD ) plan to move into semi or even retired mode in the not-too-distant future I have been unsure whether to proceeed.

 

From your article I would appear to be just about functioning in this capacity anyway, so have become very interested in going down this route. I will endeavour to follow developments and would like to thank you for helping me to finally make some kind of decision!

 

Please keep us posted, any of you - I promise to let you know of anything I become aware of!

 

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too have beeen following the thread with interest, Mary like you I run a sessional playgroup, am 50 - have a Level 4 and am working towartds completing a foundation degree with the OU this will give me a Level 5. I am funding myself now and following a difficult year will have to retake one of the courses. To complete the degree it will cost me approx £1000. I'm not sure I want to go on any further .

As I'm a sessional playgroup the folowing quote unless Im misreading implies its for full daycare settings?

I'm sure I've read somewhere that sessional day care can operate still with a Level 3? Like Mary, I 'm thinking this will be a move away from smaller groups like us.

 

QUOTE

 

The Transformation Fund of £250m , to be spent from April 1 st 2006 to 31 st August 2008,will have a crucial role to play in supporting this workforce development. The funding is designed to provide a recruitment incentive from September 2006 of £3000 per setting, per annum, for full day care settings in the private and voluntary sectors to employ graduate level (level 6) professional leaders for the first time.

 

 

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Sue (another one - xD:o:D:D )

 

Yes, it does read that way, possibly because of the gradual extension of hours covered by NEG. (?? will take advice!) but please note, it does include private and voluntary settings.

 

I share your concerns around small groups - I feel there is very much a place for them - they are an extremely valuable community and personal resource, as well as being superb for supporting children's early social and emotional development, along with all other areas.

 

I suspect that you, like me, came to be where we are through the auspices of the Preschool Learning Alliance?

 

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

oh my head hurts......

 

Peggy we have an Anne and a Jane in our setting and I worry that the push for staff to train will see the "Anne's" pushed out or pressured into studying something they are not wanting or suited to which could have a detriment on their wonderful work. I love to see our "Anne" working alongside the children and demonstrating that not every aspect of childrens work is academic.

 

over all I think its great to hear that Early years professionals are being considered important, that legislation and governemt attitudes are changing and young children's carers and educators are being valued, but as I watch the childcare provision in my local community change as a direct result of various funding schemes I wonder what long term impact all this professional development will have on what is available to the parents by means of preschools and playgroups our biggest problem is retaining staff once they are qualified

 

I agree with Mary's concerns about the smaller village preschool (being the leader of such a group myself) and as a graduate I wonder will we be elidgable to gain any extra money...? and if I encourage staff to develop their qualifications they will leave to find better paid jobs (probably!)

my husband keeps asking me when I am going to give up playgroup and get a proper job! uuuummmmmmmmm :o

 

I look forward to reading more about EYPs I enjoyed studying not just as a potential career boost but for my own personal development and I would urge anyone thinking about studying to go for it...... while I was studying the age range of people on my course ranged from early twenties through to retired 65+ so its never too late!!

 

Im just considering what to do next....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have read this forum discussion with great great interest as I am one of the early years degree students undertaking a critical analysis of the childrens workforce as part of a strategic management module. I am already a week late, as I think I am like Ann in Peggy's post, I have read loads but cannot seem to write up a conclusion.

 

I have collated two large folders full of research information surrounding the workforce strategy, the regualtory impact assessmet, workforce research before and during the the consultation, the CWDC worksite in its entirety, statistics, goverment strategy and policy, I have read and researched this area probably more than most of your and yet am I able to draw up a conclusion - not a chance. I think the one cleaer thing is rsource, resource, resource - can I just say here do Neighbourhood Nurseries ring a bell.

 

What I would however, like to say is that I am really disappointed. The consultation only generated 695 responses.

 

I started to print out a copy of these responses to the consultaitons to help me with my research but when it told me there were 71 pages decided against it. It is undoubtedly a very emotive subject. However, this consultation only attracted in some areas as little as 57 replies - interestingly enough though there were only 224 responses to the quesiton of how should the non-graduate workforce be reformed, with only 192 people putting forward their opinion on what balance there should be between graduate and non graduates in the workforce.

 

I find this disappointing to say the least - how many people here could have voiced their opinion as they are doing now - and yet how many people did - not many judging by the numbers of respondents in the early years sector. If we are to have an impact we really need to make the effort of being more active and putting our views across - interestingly enough the highest respondents were educational psychologists and lets face it we all know how hard it is to find one of those!

 

If you take a look at the stats for the replies to the consultation i think you will agree we did not represent ourselves very well.

 

Educational Psychologist 370

LEA 80

Service Leader 51

(inc. Health, Education, Social Care,

Early Years' or Youth Services)*Other 39

VCS Organisation 32

Early Years’ Worker (Local Authority) 31

Teacher/Teaching Assistant/Other School Staff 27

National/Professional Organisation 22

Early Years' Worker (VCS/Private/Other) 13

Private Sector Employer 10

Health Authority/PCT 10

Health Worker(NHS) 10

 

I think we all have very strong opinions about this, so let's voice them otherwise we will never be heard or taken seriously. So that's me off my soap box and I am sorry if I am having a go but I really feel we had an opportunity and didn't take it.

 

What I have learnt though and this is my personal opinion but also voiced several times by the Government that this follows an emergent strategy which can and will undoubtedly change over time as and when more research takes place - but unless we all voice the opinions that we are voicing here we will not be heard - they gave us an opportunity to do it - and most of us here didn't. The CWDC are reviewing the strategy annually, next time lets input.

 

Perhaps Steve we ought to, next time, if there is one, to put up a Foundation Stage reply similar to the EYDCP's and other organisations in addition to replying in our own right.

 

The one thing I do think is the Goverment are taking on too much, they are trying to sort out everything too quickly with not enough research into the environment and resources available to achieve all that they want. I think the policies they are going with are generally sound but to be honest I currently jsut feel they are an expensive paper exercise destined to fail unless they fund the system more than they are - 3,500 childrens centres - we have something like 44 in our area with £14m funding - not a lot if we are to builld flag ship childrens centres - they will be piece meal affairs in a lot of instances. Let's hope the workforce does not go the same way.

 

Sorry I seemed to have waffled on - just don't want to go back to my assignment.

Nikki

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nikki, Thank you for your post and don't apologise for it's length. I feel a bit guilty for not contributing to the consultation but , I am a person that searches for information and new initiatives and still I missed this opportunity. We cannot work our every day lives and keep up to date with everything, including consultation deadlines.

I have learnt a lot from your post about how much the "government" value, take on board our opinions.

How many people have access or time to access the internet or forums such as FSF? I would not know about this consultation ( all be it too late) if I was not a member of FSF.

The communication methods of government for informative consultation is dire. They should have sent consultation papers to every setting, then maybe they would have had a better response.

I am an active researcher and reflector, but if I am really honest , very important consultations are misrepresented ( due to lack of representation) because I, and people like me are at burn out stage because of too many initiatives, consultations happening all at the same time. I am now feeling very frustrated that I have missed an opportunity to voice my views because of overload of information, initiatioves, consultations etc.

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for voicing my feelings so well, Peggy. After reading this thread and Helen's article, I was left feeling a bit deflated, because I do try toi keep abreast of things and have failed here. Serves me right for thinking I was keeping up to date! :o

 

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's good to see such passion here, although not surprising - I've been involved with you all here for too long to be surprised by your commitment to the profession! :)

 

I don't think you've missed the boat entirely Peggy. The reason we posted the original article was because there is an ongoing process which I think we should all be involved with and thinking about. One particular phase has been completed but it's very much a work in progress.

 

We'll certainly try to be more pro-active in terms of publicising developments and initiatives here, and I will also be in contact with those responsible for the projects, to let them know that the FSF is an obvious vehicle for reaching practitioners and other professionals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your comments on the article, Sue. :)

The consultation that has closed was really about "Do we want a certain type of person leading the curriculum side of early years, and what do we want to call him/her?" The early discussions led by the CWDC were around the topics of pedagogue vs. teacher vs. early years professional, who is doing this kind of role now, and how do we want it to pan out in the future.

 

The result being that there that will be a new role, the EYP, equivalent to a QTS, who will eventually be responsible for leading on the Early Years Foundation Stage, firstly in Children's Centres, then full daycare settings, and at a much later date, other settings.

 

The new consultation led by the CWDC is about the standards that a candidate wishing to attain EYP status must reach. I urge everyone to read the draft standards and make your views known. The turnaround is going to be very fast, with the prospectus being published during the summer term, for the first cohort to begin in September. So, if you think the standards are unrealistic, extremely manageable, or somewhere in between, then tell them! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can read the standards here:

http://www.cwdcouncil.org.uk/projects/Draf...pril%202006.pdf

 

 

And make your views known here:

http://webserv1.cwdcouncil.org.uk/quask/ea...ionalstatus.htm

 

I am finding the consultation really interesting and I echo Helen in saying we need to voice our views!! I didn't do anything in the first consultation because I hadn't taken on board how important our opinions are and that they do matter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

I am another one avidly following this thread ( and flying around websites reading all that is on offer and getting addled brain syndrome!)

 

Maybe I really have lost the plot and hope I am misreading R7 which states

one of the requirements of EYP status is:

'Have a minimum of two years relevant experience one of which must be in a setting covering the age from birth to the end of the foundation stage'

 

Perhaps the way it is written is ambigious but there are very few settings in my area that cover the age from birth to end of FS. I hope that working in pre-school is OK or working in reception is OK etc but I really don't think one year is enough! If only one year needs to be with EY children then what's the other year - sixth form science??? :o

 

I also think that the GCSE Maths may be problematic for some practitioners who are fantastic at what they do but never managed the maths 'o' level or gcse at school.

 

I am about to start my final OU course for the Foundation Degree so I am pleased to see that for EYP I would only need to supplement the degree with 60 points at HE level 3.

 

Along with other views already expressed I worry about the 'Annes' and there are many of them and many settings would be lost without them so I dearly hope something somewhere can be done to ensure that they remain.

 

I have particular interest in small, private pre-schools and in spite of the funds availabe I cannot see how small settings can possibly employ graduates due to the financial impact of high salaries. The money given to settings to offset this cost won't be permanent and therefore I don't see how it can be sustained.

 

I still say that 'Early Years' is an exciting place to be but my excitement is mixed with trepidation as to what exactly will transpire for us all but above all else whilst the focus is on practitioners, what they will be called, what they will be paid, what standards they must meet I just hope we don't get caught up in it all to the extent that the children take a back seat xD

 

Sorry if this is waffly and doesn't make sense!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I work in a FSU so the youngest children are 3 we are going to have a Children's Centre in the next phase will this count for birth to end of FS?

There still seems to be some confusion so its a case of watch this space :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also think that the GCSE Maths may be problematic for some practitioners who are fantastic at what they do but never managed the maths 'o' level or gcse at school.

 

I am one of those who unfortunately didn't exceed at maths. During my NVQ course, I was made to do key skills maths and communication. The communication aspect, I passed first time, but the maths tests are still ongoing! It's all to do with funding apparently. I agree though Geraldine , that there will be many practitioners who excel in their jobs, but the maths may hold them back. What would happen if this is the case? Would practitioners be unable to gain EYP status as a result?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)