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The English Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) and the 'split' early childhood education and care (ECEC) system

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Description:
In England, the overwhelming majority (78%) of under fives' nursery places, remains in the private, voluntary and independent (PVI) sector where there is no requirement to employ a qualified teacher. Compared to the maintained state sector early years workforce, this dominant PVI sector tends to be staffed by a poorly qualified workforce. From 2008 the English Government has attempted to raise the qualifications (and therefore the quality) of the PVI early years workforce with the establishment of a lead graduate professional known as the Early Years Professional Status (EYPS). However, Early Years Professionals are only allowed to work in the PVI sector and in Children's Centres (which are state funded) and not in the maintained sector. Based upon five focus group discussions with 26 EYPs and 51 questionnaires in one Local Authority in England, this research critically examines the dilemmas and tensions arising from this recent policy move. The findings suggest that although the status validates some Early Years Professional's pedagogical leadership, nonetheless their professional status remains ambiguous and problematic. The reasons for this include poor and declining pay; a misunderstood and ambiguous professional role and status and increased managerial responsibilities. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Author(s):
Country:
United Kingdom; England

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