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- Early Childhood Education and Care: Policy and Practice
A multi-disciplinary approach , Sage. Eileen has taught in primary, further and higher education and was a nursery school headteacher for twenty five years. She has been seconded to a number of staff [Page xi] support posts, including as National Development Officer in Scotland at the time of the pre-school education initiative and the development of A Curriculum Framework for Children 3—5. Implications for teacher education. She is presently researching the experience of recent immigrant families starting school in Ireland.
She has published articles in a number of educational journals and chapters in books.
SAGE Books - Early Childhood Education and Care: Policy and Practice
Her PhD thesis is on an ancient proto-philosophy and young children's philosophical thinking. Juliet Hancock has a BA Honours degree and a postgraduate certificate in education, specialising in working with children from three to eight years of age. She has taught at nursery, primary, secondary and further education level and has worked in the statutory and voluntary sectors within Scotland, holding several posts at national level. Juliet until recently worked for Learning and Teaching Scotland as Early Years Development Officer for Emerging Trends, responsible as chief author for taking forward Scotland's recently published national guidance on children from birth to three years old, as well as an occasional paper published in May on pedagogy.
Gill's previous posts have included teaching in Birmingham and working in further education within Early Years care and education and Psychology.
Early childhood and schools
Her current research interests are the assessment of children in Early Years care and education, workforce reform and professional identity within the Early Years workforce. She has led a small-scale research project at Newman College into the Early Years Foundation Degree, of which she was course co-ordinator. Sally has extensive experience as a nursery teacher in ILEA, as an advisory teacher with responsibility for multicultural education and Early Years education, and as a nursery teacher with responsibility for home school liaison. She has worked in and with both the voluntary and statutory sectors in Wales.
Her research interest has been, for over thirty years, Welsh as a second language in Early Years settings, the area of her doctoral studies. She is now heading a national project in this field for the Welsh Assembly. Her research interests fall particularly into the field of quality issues and the Early Years curriculum. She is currently involved in the longitudinal evaluation of the Early Years enriched curriculum project with the School of Psychology at Queen's University, Belfast, an evaluation that is guiding the course of the Foundation Stage of the revised Northern Ireland curriculum.
She has also led a project on activating thinking skills through play in the early years. Her doctoral thesis concentrated on the play versus formal education debate in Northern Ireland and Denmark.
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The observation instrument she devised is now being used as the main assessment instrument in the Early Years enriched curriculum evaluation project. Chapters 2 — 6 , on England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, will give you an opportunity to compare and contrast policy and practice in early childhood education and care across the United Kingdom and in the Republic of Ireland. Each chapter is introduced and brought alive by the stories of two children born in and living in that country for the first six years of their lives.
In the final section of each chapter a further child is introduced, born in , whose early experience might be influenced by the developing policies described elsewhere in the chapter.
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The ten case studies are a valuable resource from which to consider the factors that influence the early experiences of young children in the twenty-first century. The case studies, though not based on specific children, are included to represent possible experiences that real children born in might have encountered during their first six years of life. In order to undertake the practical work it is important that you have your own copy of the children's stories.
For that reason you are given permission to make photocopies of the case studies. The experiences encountered by these young children would be influenced by family circumstances, by services from which the family could benefit, depending on where they lived, and the curricular guidelines under which the pre-school and early primary school curriculum operated.
Make a summary of the family background and early experiences of each child in such a way that you can compare them. Alternatively, each student in a class might like to choose two children and prepare their summaries as a basis for discussion. Below are some suggestions of key features to include:. Please note that all the case study children were born in However, their month of birth may have influenced the exact age at which they entered primary school. Finally, make a list of all the types of provision the child had attended by the age of six. Also note in how many instances, and at what ages, the child was attending more than one provision concurrently.
Note that although some of the children did move from one part of the country to another, none of them moved to a different part of the United Kingdom, or to or from the Republic of Ireland in their first six years. These are further moves that might be experienced by young children and their families. As you will appreciate after studying the following chapters this will mean even more adjustments for the families. How different might the early experiences of these children have been had they moved to one of the other countries, or elsewhere in Europe, and how might that have influenced their early education and care?
One of these areas, which will unify and support practice in all other areas, is the development and implementation of Policies and Procedures which provide the best fit for the service provided. To develop effective and usable policies and procedures, we must first understand the terminology involved and the importance of having policies and procedures to guide our services.
A policy is a collective, agreed statement of beliefs by an organisation or individual on a topic related to the childcare service provided and a commitment to their implementation. A procedure is the practice by which a policy is implemented in the childcare service — the way of doing things. It provides detail on the actions to be taken to ensure realisation of the policy in a sequential implementation process.
Practice is the actual and customary application of a policy as outlined in the policy and procedure. Why do we have Policies and Procedures? The objective of any childcare service should be the provision of the best possible care for the children, parents and staff of your service while guaranteeing that they are exposed to a positive experience in a safe and caring environment.
Policies and procedures support the foundation of quality practice. They help to guide the actions of everyone involved in the service and guide the daily work and decision making of childcare professionals to promote the best outcomes for all stakeholders in the service , including children, families and themselves.
Providing the policy and procedure in written format will provide your service with clear explanations of the practices that need to be implemented consistently by everyone at the childcare service every day. They will provide the road map for your service in every day practice and will outline not only what should happen, but how and why it should happen.
The clarity and understanding that policies and procedures provide promotes teamwork. Policies and procedures provide a record of accountability to support protection of children, families, staff and management in addition to allowing for clear communication about what is expected. Policies and procedures support development of confident and professional practice.
For example, if a service sends a child home with a suspected case of gastroenteritis, the staff at the service can feel confidence in their actions, knowing they have a clearly written Illness Exclusion Policy to support their decision. Using our Policies and Procedures Effectively. Policy and procedures need to reflect the service mission, values and principles and should also be based on what the service can and intends to deliver in reality.
Policies and procedures should be based on recommendations from recognised authorities and frameworks. Recognised authorities have the expertise to research theories, and to test and validate best practice.
Early Childhood Education and Care: Policy and Practice
By using current recommendations, services ensure that their policies and procedures reflect the most reliable and up to date information. While it is acknowledged that every service is unique and polices should reflect the individual needs of their children, families and staff, it is vitally as important that the polices reflect the current health, safety and wellbeing of children.
These needs should not be compromised to meet individual participant needs. Everyone who is involved in the childcare service should be involved in the development of the policies and procedures. This includes the children, parents, staff, managers, directors, co-ordinators, management committees, community members, students and childcare and health professionals. Once developed and written, policies and procedures must be communicated and put into practice, otherwise they remain ineffective and a waste of time and energy that was used to develop them. While most services have policies and procedures that are developed with recognised recommendations and best practice in mind, some childcare services experience difficulties in translating the policies and procedures into their everyday practice.
The service policies and procedures can become lost in the actual day to day operations of the childcare service for a number of reasons, such as:. Overcoming Barriers to Effective Use and Practice. These challenges can be overcome when child care professionals develop approaches to regularly reflect on best practice. Childcare services need to ensure that their policies and procedures are practical and effective in everyday settings.
- Etude in G Major, Op. 72, No. 3.
- Early Childhood Education and Care - Home - OECD.
- The Adventures of Chuck-Wagon Gin in Hell (An Irreverent and Greatly Improved Alternate Ending to the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn).
In summary, to achieve the most effective results and use of your service policies and procedures you must ensure that they are:. Translating policy into practice is sometimes challenging. Clearly documented, well-developed and functioning management structures and operating processes should provide the backbone of this organisation. Good management and support mechanisms ensure that policies are actively implemented and yield results which enhance the overall quality of the setting. References and Further Reading: Birth to 1 Year Parenting: Access and Inclusion Model. Upcoming Training Qualification requirements.
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What is a policy?