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Continuing Personal and Professional Development of the EYP in Early Years

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.

Kathy writes:

“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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  • Tracy Seed

    Dear Kathy,

    I have worked many times recently with EYP’s coaching individuals and groups and through leading my “Journey through Leadership” Programme, which they have found extremely beneficial to their practice.

    This is what one practitioner said after attending the programme.

    What was your main learning from attending this course?

    “I’ve learned so much – the timing of the course was really significant for me and I have come away feeling supported and renewed as a leader – this validation and motivation to tackle the challenges of my role is hugely beneficial.

    I’ve particularly enjoyed learning about non-violent communication and also the coaching skills. What’s more, because we did practical refreshers I feel this is more embedded than if just discussed theoretically.”

    What will you do differently as a result of this session?

    “I will overhaul our approach to performance management and look to mediate with confidence rather than discipline. I will regularly coach my managers to empower them to solve their own problems. I will go on holiday and come back ready for 2013 with renewed confidence that my approach is right and I have the talents to succeed. I will cascade information and ideas down in my manager’s meetings and staff meetings.”

    I wanted to let you know about this programme and my coaching and mentoring services as CPD for these unique professionals.

    I will commence a new 4 day programme at the end of January in South East London, if anyone is interested in knowing more about this please do contact me mail@tracyseedassociates.co.uk. I am also keen to coach and mentor individuals and to work with groups. To learn more about me see http://www.tracyseedassociates.co.uk.

    I absolutely appreciate the uniqueness that these professionals offer to the sector.

    I met Eunice Lumsden recently who also appreciates the uniqueness of these professionals.
    In her report she says about the EYP pathway “ a new professional space with flexible borders is developing at the intersection of education, health and social care occupied by an integrated not separatist professional – an holistic leadership professional and an advocate for children.”

    I so enjoyed meeting Eunice and discussing her thoughts about the Nutbrown review. She was on her way to a meeting with Kathy and others and was ready to present her research at this meeting.

    She shared an overview of this with me, which is inspiring, if anyone would like a copy I am sure that Eunice would be willing it to you too.

    The title is: The Early Years Professional: A New Professional or a Missed Opportunity? A Mixed Methods Study’ submitted for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at The University of Northampton in February 2012.

    Eunice Lumsden
    The University of Northampton
    Boughton Green Road
    NN2 7AL
    Tel: 01604 893552
    I am so thankful that we have this group of specialists in our sector, particularly as settings will need their expertise concerning the needs of 2 years olds and their families! I worked for many years with this age group too and feel concerned about them receiving the quality of care needed. I was inspired to write this poem… if you like it, I’d love you to share this with practitioners and parents too.


    I hope we meet in person one day Kathy

    Best wishes for the festive season

    Tracy Seed

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