Any point in continuing? …….. with a job I love and in my opinion think I am good at ?   2 comments

So we now have more detail about the new qualifications Early Years Teacher and Early Years Educator

Link to The new childcare qualifications

We were led to believe that these qualification would not apply to childminders and that childminders qualifications would be looked at separately later on – once we knew if childminder agencies were going ahead.

But here in black and white and stated as a quote from Ms. Truss we have yet another ‘slip it in’ bit of information

When parents hand their child over to the care of a childminder or nursery they are not just entrusting them with their child’s physical safety; they are also entrusting their child’s brain.  

So these qualification are going to be for childminders as well.

Actually I have nothing against there being a standard qualification for all – after all NVQ’s, Diploma’s and even Early Years degree’s are standard across all settings.

BUT

The wording is worrying

Early years educators will be expected to have English and maths GCSEs so that parents know the people they are entrusting their children to will have literacy and numeracy skills.

This makes it sound like those without these GCSE’s do not have literacy and numeracy skills – and so already the ‘word is out’ and people like me will be seen as less able or even incapable.

So I can achieve an Ofsted grade of outstanding, I can (and did) hold a job in the early years team of a local authority, I can run a successful business dealing with all the business side myself without the need for an accountant, I can manage a family  home and be responsible for all the financial side of things  but parents will now (thanks to the government) have reason to doubt if they can entrust their children into my care

and

Good quality early years education, which is teacher-led, has been shown to be beneficial for children, especially those from low income backgrounds

so again a under lying message that if not teacher led – it is not beneficial for children?

But correct me if I am wrong but I thought the government were relying on childminders to help provide the places for the two year old funding – including those like me without those GCSE’s and without being  ‘a teacher’ (with or without QTS) and indeed I personally already provide funded places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds. In light of this article, I have to wonder how long before I am told that I am ‘no longer good enough’

Then there is this bit

These include a combination of teacher-led group activities where children learn to interact with each other; such as using shape sorter, using bricks and Lego to build, story-time – and free play and exploration.

If I was a teacher I would be very upset to think the government thought these activities required the skills and knowledge from a teaching degree. If I was thinking that maybe these new qualifications might be worth doing – I would now be thinking -‘What a joke’ and not bother to even find out about them.

What you need to be able to provide these sorts of activities is a sound understanding of child development and how children learn through play.

Oh and then this bit

Andreas Schleider of the OECD has said that “staff qualifications are one of the strongest predictors of the quality of early childhood education and care.” Similarly, Sir Michael Wilshaw states that leaders of high-quality early years settings are “not afraid to teach children and to ensure that their staff are highly skilled adults who improve the vocabulary, cognitive and social skills of very young children, particularly when they are not able to gain them at home.”

Actually has anyone done any research into children who have just attended a childminder setting or been in the care of their parents without attending any other early years settings?

I am not against higher qualifications or CPD  and actively engage in CPD myself – but I am totally against the idea that it is only those who have higher qualifications that can provide high quality early childhood care and education. It works both ways some very highly qualified people are useless at hands on practice and some who lack any formal qualification are excellent at hands on practice.

It is the tone and the underlying messages given that concern me – and why I am wondering if I should bother continuing to put so much into my childminding setting – so much time, so much money, so much effort and so much passion.

If it was not for the children that I care for and the parents that rely on my service and who think I can be entrusted with their children, and a local authority who value what I do and the opportunities I provide to those children who receive their full free entitlement at my setting – I would give up because this government is continually making me feel under valued, inferior to other early years settings and have demoralised and depressed me so much that I am considering de registering once the children currently in my care go to school in September 2014.

But maybe that is what the government want? For registered childminders like me – to add to the number of  unemployed people.

2 responses to “Any point in continuing? …….. with a job I love and in my opinion think I am good at ?

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  1. It feels to me that the goverment is trying to belittle childminders so they become cheaper. If they make the gap between childminders qualifications and nursery/preschool staff so far apart, they can then justify not having to regulate childminders, thus making them cheaper (more affordable ) to lower earners who don’t have any choice.

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