Membership Organisations – Is one better than the others?   Leave a comment

Without a doubt – yes one is better than the others!

BUT that is because each organisation will have its unique points that will appeal to different people, and for different reasons.

I have my own preference – and each person reading this blog post will have their own preferred membership organisation – and their reasons for that personal choice, OR indeed consider that they have no need for a membership organisation.

AND to be honest that is how it should be each of us able to choose and join the organisation that we think is best for us – or indeed join more than one organisation if we want to.

Until very recently there were very clear divides between organisations  with each organisation specialising mainly within one area of the early years sector. Now things are changing with both The National Childminding Association and The Pre-School Learning Alliance widening their membership beyond their ‘historic and traditional market’  Other organisations are joining forces within their sector, new organisations such as UKCMA are being formed, and smaller organisations such as Early Childhood Action are gaining support from those who believe in the same ethos and values.

So many things are changing  but in  my opinion it is always beneficial to have competition within any sector or market, as it can lead to keener prices and / or better services. Therefore I see the new organisations and the extending of established organisations as a positive thing.

I also personally think that it is time that individuals and organisations worked together a lot more – for the overall good and benefit of the whole early years sector. We are facing times of change – possible unprecedented change that will turn our working lives ‘upside down’ and create challenges that we have yet to image . This is not the time for attitudes of ‘this organisation is better than the rest’ or trying to ‘score points’ by keeping information within an organisation and not sharing with all that need to know.

Progress has been made in recent years – childminders are now seen much more positively as colleagues by other early years practitioners, organisations do ‘sit round’ the same table when meeting with government and other bodies. But there is still a very low professional status for all early years practitioners – and in particular childminders. Low pay for front line workers, small or no profits for owners of early years settings, all combine to put early years settings and early years practitioners at a disadvantage to those who work with primary and secondary aged children. It seems that those outside the early years sector have little understanding of the day to day job of  not only caring for very young children – but educating them as well.

Therefore I think it is vital that all those organisations involved in the early years sector, get together, sit round the same table – and decide on the points that they all agree on. Of course the organisations are not going to agree on everything – but I think there are several areas that they will be able to agree on.

Once those areas of agreement have been reached – all the early years organisations should lobby government ‘as one’ and ensure through their combined membership numbers  to ensure not only the government listen but the population of the country listens to the reasons why we should not, must not, gamble with our children’s future, why international research about child development and evidence from other countries must be used to inform any changes to regulation, curriculum and funding.

The children we look after do not have a voice as individuals within government circles – but it is those children who will be on the receiving end of any ill thought out plans, any cuts to services – and could ultimately be the ones that we as a society fail to safeguard  and fail to provide an appropriate childhood for.

We must all stand up together and work together to ensure the children in our care receive the best and most appropriate care and play based curriculum in their early years ………. and by early years I mean all those under 6 years of age

Posted November 21, 2012 by psw260259 in My thoughts on current childcare issues

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