Presentation on theme: "Early Years Professional Status: an Initiative in Search of a Strategy"— Presentation transcript:
1 Early Years Professional Status: an Initiative in Search of a Strategy Professor Denise Hevey, University of Northampton17th EECERA Annual Conference, Prague, August 2007
2 Historical Context of ECEC in the UK Low investment8th out of 12 developed countries with 0.4%GDP (OECD 2006);Separatist traditionPart-time nursery education entitlement for 3-4 year olds. Compulsory schooling from 5Mixed economy and variable qualityPrivate, voluntary and independent (PVI) sector main provider
3 Current Policy Childcare as part of anti-poverty strategy Sure Start Unit 1997; 10 yr strategy for childcare (HMT 2004)Workforce Reform/ upskillingChildren’s Workforce Development Council 2005; initial strategy published 2006Integrated education & care servicesChidcare Act 2006: new Early Years Foundation Stage from birth to 5 statutory from 2008
4 Children’s Centres as Flagships for integrated Services On Site ServicesOff Site ServicesChildminder NetworkHomestartPortageSitter ServicesHealth VisitorsSure Start OutreachHome-Carers Network
5 Developing the workforce Integrated services require flexible, well-qualified staff:-influence of EPPE (Sylva et al. 2003)Graduate level curriculum leadershipMulti-disciplinary teamsA ‘Common Core’ of skills and knowledgeNational and local workforce development strategies
6 Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) Graduate multi-disciplinary ‘curriculum’ leadership for 0-5 settingsMain purpose: change agent – raising standards‘ lead practice in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), support and mentor other practitioners and model the skills and behaviours that safeguard and promote good outcomes for children’ (CWDC, 2007 p.4)Targets: an EYP in every children’s centre by 2010 and every full day-care setting by 2015
7 Qualifications framework for Early Years LevelQualificationRole7NPQICLChildren’s Centre Manager6EYPS BA Hons e.g. Early Childhood StudiesCurriculum leader across EYFS5Foundation Degree in EYSenior EY Practitioner4OU Certificate in EY Practice3NVQ3; Nursery Nursing Diploma CACHE/EdexcelQualified Early Years Practitioner
8 EYPS: Outcomes of Regional Pilot East Midlands pilot of EYPS national standards and validation methodologyBased on 48 candidates - broadly successful but:Assessment flawedOverly bureaucratic, little effective professional dialogue, no direct observation with children.Levels and ExpectationsLittle evidence of depth of underpinning knowledge; threshold capability at leadership - beyond NQT.(Hevey, Lumsden and Moxon 2007)
9 EYPS: National Evaluation Evaluation of pilot by Henley Management College failed to identify significant issuesVisited 4 out of 11 providers; telephone interviews with 23 candidatesJudged validation process to be fit for purpose‘Overall this is an excellent design, offering candidates a range of opportunities to show their skills and abilities and providing a fair and appropriate assessment model’.(Williams, 2007 p.3)
10 Implementation of EYPS 35 Approved Training Providers nationally4 ‘pathways’ to achieving EYPSAll pathways fully funded by CWDC plus cover costs or bursaryCentrally devised prospectus, national standards and guidance, candidate handbookTransformation Fund incentives
11 Alternative Routes to EYP status Validation (assessment only) pathway (3 months) For ECS graduates who can meet all the standardsCandidates from all pathways must complete validation2. EPD Short (3 months p/t plus validation) For other graduates with relevant experience.3. EPD Long (12 months p/t plus validation) For Foundation Degree holders4. Full training pathway (12 months full-time) For graduates with non-relevant degrees wishing to move into work with young children
12 Transformation Fund - £125m Incentives for private, voluntary and independent sectorRecruitment incentive of £3,000 per annum to employ graduateQuality premium of £5,000 per annum to support wider staff developmentHome Grown graduate schemeGraduates to achieve EYPS within two years
13 What is going wrong? Where is the Strategy? Disappointing recruitment to EYPS trainingLack of clarity in relationship between EYPS and EY Foundation StageIneffectiveness of incentives (carrots) and regulatory requirements (sticks)A growing pool of resentmentWhere is the Strategy?
14 Recruitment Issues EYPS recruitment falling well short of targets e.g. only 35% on Full-time Training Pathway for Sept. ‘07 (CWDC provider briefing Birmingham, July 07)>93% of Early Years workers do NOT meet EYPS eligibility requirementsAbsence of substantive national media campaignRestrictions exclude maintained schools - despite extended schools/ children’s centre policy.Failure to address low pay and terms and conditions of service
15 Relationship with EY Foundation Stage Promise of a single integrated 0-5 framework across all settings underminedLack of ‘read across’ between EYFS curriculum documents and EYPS standards (ECF 2007)Only qualified teachers (QTS) can lead practice in maintained schools (but not qualified in part of new curriculum)EYPS restricted to PVI sector (ghettoized in low pay area)Undermines principle of transferability of staff across Children’s Workforce
16 Problems with QTSUK teacher training focuses on education and not on an holistic, multidisciplinary approach to the whole child‘…the current training of early childhood teachers is no longer well suited to the multi-agency role of children’s centres, nor does it encompass the development and learning needs of children under three.’(Pugh, 2006, p.17)
17 Incentives and regulation Transformation fund incentivises EYPS in PVI sector while preventing fee increases (anti-poverty strategy) but take up is low (DCSF 2007)Complexity of administration.Sustainability of graduate employment when supply-side subsidy is short term.Demand-side subsidy through Tax Credits is not workingRegulatory requirements to include EYPS in all day care settings by 2015 but sector not convinced Ofsted will implement
18 A Growing Pool of Resentment Failure to recognise the ‘grandmother principle’ when creating a new professionAs yet, no fast-track alternative routes for those with experience but few academic qualificationsOlder, experienced staff feel undervalued – thrown on scrap heapYoung graduates with little or no experience being brought in to fill, senior better paid curriculum leadership rolesResentment can spill over on to EYPS students on placements
19 Importance of EYPS as an initiative For governmentEffective implementation of new EY Foundation Stage and raised standards across whole sectorFor settingsBetter qualified staff and level playing field across maintained and PVI settings (1:13 ratio vs 1:8)For individual practitionersStatus and recognition – likely to lead to professional registration in futureFor childrenBest practice in play, care and learning experiences - particularly for the youngest children.
20 An Initiative in Search of a Strategy Create a statutory, integrated ‘educare’ curriculum framework within which the EYP role is embeddedCreate a regulatory framework that applies equally to all settings offering the EYFSEstablish a pay and conditions framework for the new multi-disciplinary professional roleChallenge professional protectionism from pre-existing separate professions and develop top-up/ conversion courses in both directions
21 An Initiative in Search of a Strategy Establish common agreement on relevant academic and professional eligibility criteriaDevelop a rigorous validation process that is fit-for-purpose and has credibility in the fieldProvide alternative routes to EYPS for the ‘grandmothers’ of the professionRaise public awareness within and outside the sector with a major national media campaign
22 ConclusionOver-arching concern that a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity for a new multi-disciplinary Early Years profession will be lostThe best new graduates will still go into teachingExperienced practitioners will become alienatedEYPs will become ghettoized in low paid jobs with few career prospectsEYPS will never achieve equivalence in status with other professionsAll aspects of the eight point strategy need to be addressed if EYPS is to be a success
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