So, my husband gave me a book, ‘How to change the world’ because, he said, ‘I know that’s what you want to do, this may have some helpful tips,’ he said. And he is right, well partly, I dont want to change the world, some of it’s great. But I do want to change the face of childcare! Big claim, I know. So I read the book and apparently Ive been going about it ok? but there are big improvements I can make to be even more effective.
You see, I’ve been trying to change the quality of the education and care every child (under five years of age) receives from outside the industry. As a lecturer I taught learners about the theorists, about child development, the brain development of the child and how to support children to develop, using this knowledge. As a consultant, visiting other nurseries, I found that many child care practitioners failed to but the theory into practice. There was a disconnect between what the practitioner did and what they knew. How could this be? The answer to this ‘problem’ is complex with many mitigating factors. As a consultant, I worked alongside managers and owners, worked with practitioners to provide on-the-job support and training and in the process I hope I made some difference.
But real change can come through the power of people. When more and more people demand that local government and our government listen to what we want, then we can have our views heard.
So, here is what I want to do. I want every one who agrees with me to share this idea/my opinion with someone else.
I believe that children are the most important people in any society. I believe that if they have the very best start in life then this provides them with the best chance to be successful. This really isn’t world shattering stuff is it? But wait. What is a child? What is the definition of a child? According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) a child is someone from 0-18 years of age. So here is the big question, why do we have children, under 18 years of age, working in nurseries, working as apprentices and having work experience in nurseries? All children under 18 years of age need care, access to education and to be in positions that allow them to grow and develop life skills. That should not include working with other children, especially children under 5 year of age.
The Workforce Strategy (March 2017) informs us, “the evidence is clear that a high quality workforce has a significant impact on the quality of provision and outcomes for children”
I do not believe we can say that by the time a person is 18 years of age they will have the life experience, the qualifications, the skills or patience required to care for children.
Therefore, I would like to see government raise the age limit to 21 for people to be able to work with our most important and vulnerable group in society. Let those who are children continue their education without the burden of trying to care and educate others.