Investigating the experiences of early years practitioners to manage the complexities of policy change in times of economic recession

Allen, Shirley and Scollan, Angela ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9005-5838 (2013) Investigating the experiences of early years practitioners to manage the complexities of policy change in times of economic recession. In: 23rd EECERA Conference: Values, Cultures & Contexts, 28-31 August, 2013, Tallin University, Estonia.

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Abstract

This research aims to develop understanding about challenges experienced by Early Years practitioners in managing the complexities of policy change in times of economic recession. Urban’s (2008) concept of ‘dealing with uncertainty’ provides a theoretical framework for this enquiry into current challenges to Early Years practice. This paper relates to previous research on the Early Years Professional role (Whalley and Allen, 2011).

An interpretive paradigm was used to explore the perceptions of Early Years practitioners on managing the challenges of practice in response to current policy. The research adheres to the British Educational Research Association (BERA) ethical guidelines, including participants’ right to confidentiality and right to withdraw.

Initial findings suggest that practitioners have concerns about (a) maintaining a professional approach to address the complexities of policy change during a period of declining opportunities for professional development; (b) the impact of the current economic climate on families in their settings.

Early Years policy change emphasises outcomes that are concerned with opportunities for employment and participation in global economic competition (DfE, 2013). If practitioners are charged with supporting children’s future economic well-being, it is vital they are empowered to develop ‘personal agency and resourcefulness’ (Allen et al., 2012) to ‘deal with uncertainty’ (Urban, 2008) in the current economic climate. Implications for practice, therefore, affirm Nutbrown’s (2012) call for opportunities for practitioners’ professional development so they can support the ‘life situations of children’ in their care and the ‘realities and inequalities that shape them’ (Urban, 2008: p149).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
Item ID: 12948
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Depositing User: Kristina Repova
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2014 08:02
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:29
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/12948

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