It is an honour to have Kathy Brodie as my final guest post of 2012.
Kathy is an early years trainer and consultant and a lecturer in Early Years at Stockport College. She also undertakes coaching and mentoring, for practitioners with the Early Years Professional Status(EYPS).
Kathy has had articles in many publications as well as a chapter on Personal, Social and Emotional Development in ‘Early Years for Levels 4 & 5 and the Foundation Degree’ edited by Dr. Francisca Veale (Jan 2013: Hodder Education). Her book ‘Observation, Assessment and Planning: Bringing it All Together’ will be published in May 2013 by Open University Press.
“Many people with EYPS are currently worried about the future of status and the impact this will have on their personal and professional development. This is in response to the Nutbrown review which has put forward the suggestion of an early years teaching qualification replacing the EYPS (Nutbrown, 2012:8).
However, even though there are concerns about the future, EYPs up and down the country are still continuing their invaluable role in settings. There are now more than 10,000 practitioners who have achieved the status, which is an incredible achievement, demonstrating practitioners’ eagerness to provide quality care in their settings.
The vast majority of EYPs that I have spoken to and worked with say that achieving this status is merely the first step on their journey of continuing professional development. One of the biggest benefits of having the status is allowing practitioners to see the world of opportunity for further development, both professionally and personally. This may be in the form of further qualifications, but is just as likely to be specialist training courses, shared knowledge in a network or less formal sharing of good practice between settings.
For many, being the EYP in a setting means that they are the first person everyone turns to in order to get answers – whether this is about new legislation, Ofsted or ideas for outdoor play. This can be quite onerous in terms of keeping up-to-date with current thinking; particularly at the moment with the revised EYFS, two-year-old progress check, changes to Ofsted inspections and uncertainty in most local authorities.
If you are fortunate, your local authority may still be funding training for EYPs. If not, you may need to do some research to find local conferences or training in your area.
For example, I organise the annual EYP Development Day (previously North West EYP Conference) in the North West of England, supported by the local authorities in this area. Each year we choose a theme that is current to developments in early years. This year it is “The 2-year-old Challenge”, in recognition of all the changes that are currently happening around 2-year-olds such as the progress checks, additional funding and many settings taking 2-year-olds for the first time.
The feedback we get tells us that EYPs value networking opportunities as much as specific training. With a large number of delegates it is an ideal time to swap information and ideas, or just to be reassured that you are not the only EYP out there!
If you can’t find a conference local to you, try seeing if there are any EYP networks, or consider getting together informally with other professionals to share ideas and information.
Early indications are that EYP Status is here to stay for a while longer (Roberts, 2012), which means that EYPs still need to keep up to date and continue their professional development. Even if a new teacher qualification is developed, the need to share good practice with others will still be there.
Look around for any training, conferences or networks in your area and make sure you are still up to date – whatever changes the future may bring!”
If you are interested in finding more details about the conference, contact: Kathy@kathybrodie.com
You can read more of Kathy’s articles on early years issues and the EYP at www.kathybrodie.com
Roberts, L. (2012) Editor’s view – Positive signs for EYPs
Nutbrown, C. (2012) FOUNDATIONS FOR QUALITY: The independent review of early education and childcare qualifications Runcorn: DfE
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