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Early Years Qualification

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by garlictractor, May 14, 2011.

  1. garlictractor

    garlictractor New commenter

    if somebodys unqualified but has years of experience and knows the systems it is a waste for them to waste time doing college courses. But i DO think that it is important for someone new to the proffession to study alongside there job, there are , as i have recently found a lot of extra things to learn that are value able and are used in every day good practice. I was employed unqualified because i showed in practice that i was good with children and have a good basic knowledge and can be practicall and have common sense these skills are needed and are just as important in an employee in the early years.
  2. Qualifiacations do not mean that a person is good with children. There are very experienced people working in early years that are disregarded because they have no qualifications. I have been working in pre-school for almost 24 years, I have 2 level 3 qualifications (also did 9 years at an after school club so have an NVQ in playwork) but I am expected to employ a 'graduate leader' and pay them a lot more than I get. Though where this money comes from I'm not sure.
    My graduate leader has a degree in art and will be doing the EYPS. I don't understand how that will make her more qualified to lead the group (which she doesn't want to do anyway). There is no point in me doing further qualifications anyway as I expect to retire in 2 years time (though this is doubtful as the retirement age increases!). Anyway what I really mean is that I find it disgusting how experience is disregarded and insulting too. Rant over!!
  3. About 15 years ago I joined early years with no qualifications. I started my DPP and was quickly promoted to supervisor before I was qualified. My training then came through LEA courses and staff who had been running the playgroup for years. Our provision was good though things were changing rapidly with the introduction of the Desirable Learning Outcomes and Ofsted inspections and this brought pressures, especially on those very experienced and skilled practitioners who were being asked to meet requirements that were unfamiliar. I moved on after a few years for family reasons but my heart remained in early years. I got back into it first as a reception TA and I have just finished my degree and EYPS.
    Comparing my practice now and then, I think that the years of study and hard work have changed my understanding of what I do and how I should do it. I still draw on my experiences from then all the time - a lot of what we did was really good stuff. Most importantly, what I have learned about child development supports my practice and enables me to ensure that we offer children appropriate experiences. My practice is definitely better for it and I am now passionate about good quality early years provision.
    So... I think that without qualifications practice can be high quality but with qualifications we can improve, respond to Govt. policy changes more effectively and be passionate about keeping the child at the heart of best practice.
    Oops - will now get off the soapbox.
  4. Thank you for your post minizog94 as you have provided an opinion which takes both into account the importance of qualifications and experience. I think one cannot work without the other thus having a bit of both makes a good combination and is beneficial for working in the early years sector.

    When studying (in my case from being at university) you are not just learning about how to be a good early years teacher and providing the appropriate care/education to the children, you are in addition learning how children think , how they internalize things and it is fascinating to be able to have this knowledge.
  5. I did the same degree as yourself and then went on to complete a PGCE Advanced Early Years. I am now coming up to my third year of teaching a Foundation Stage 1 class. I would certainly agree with you in that having a deep understanding of child development and child psychology which our Degrees give us helps us to make links between theory and practice, whether it be during activity planning or when observing and assessing children. I must say that there were students doing the PGCE after having gained a Degree unrelated to Early Years and I really felt for them as they struggled with concepts that some of us had just spent three years writing about and researching and therefore felt comfortable with and knowledgeable about.

    That being said, however, my teaching assistant who doesn't have a Degree but has 20 years experience of working in the Early Years does an amazing job. As a relatively new teacher, I turn to her and her fountain of knowledge and ideas sometimes as it does take time to build up your 'bank' of songs and resources that you store in your mind! Experience should definitely not be under-estimated!

    You only have to read documents written by the Chidren's Workforce Development Council though so see that they are striving for a "World Class Workforce" in the Early Years - their take on this means filling the workforce with suitably qualified (BA, PGCE, MA, MEd) personnel where experience would count for nothing.......good debate!! What is important then?? Having people with a breadth of experience who can give the children the nurturing environment they need or having people who can link learning objectives with Piaget, Vygotsky, Bronfenbrenner and Skinner (et al)?? Back to you...!
  6. As a practitioner with 17 years of experience both unqualified and graduate qualified, working as an assitant and manager, I believe that experience is truly undervalued.
    Personally, due to experience of working with many staff with varing level of qualifications over the years if I only had a choice of 2 possible candidates for a job: one with a degree and limited experience the other with extensive experience and excellent references, I would employ the experienced member of staff.
    Why. Their flexibilty, adaptability,independent thought process, understanding of child development and individuality of children can not be taught by lectures and book reading. However the links/gaps between their experience and theory can quite easily, with support and guidance, be taught in my personal experience .
    Graduates have the academic understanding of child development, planning and care of children, unfortunatley in my experience have difficulty relating and coping with the dynamic early years evironment of: parents, teachers, headmaster, managers, early years consultants, challenging children, gifted children, NEF forms, audit forms, EYFS profiles, quality assurance schemes etc etc.
    Thus maybe it is the academic courses that need to incorporate many more hours of practical application to give graduates a real flavour of the early years environment. Just another possible question for debate.!!!!!!
  7. was this a topic for your dissertation or are you generally looking for people's opinions?

    I was just thinking if it was tyo do with your disso, this is a good debate and links in with things like the Tickell review, the EPPE project and the CWDC :)

  8. It is a topic I am certainly thinking of writing about for my dissertation, however, before doing so I needed to know what opinions are towards this topic to see if there is an argument worth writing for!

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