Childcare workforce reform in England and 'the early years professional': a critical discourse analysis

Osgood, Jayne ORCID logoORCID: (2009) Childcare workforce reform in England and 'the early years professional': a critical discourse analysis. Journal of Education Policy, 24 (6) . pp. 733-751. ISSN 0268-0939 [Article] (doi:10.1080/02680930903244557)


This paper aims to explore the ways in which nursery workers are constructed through government discourse in England. This is done by offering a deconstruction of key policy texts. The discursive construction of ‘the nursery worker’ within government discourses has shifted over time but currently occupies a highly politicised position. It is argued that following a decade of unprecedented policy attention and reform, the cultivation and continued promotion of a discursive ‘crisis in childcare’, has laid the ground for Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) to be refashioned in particular ways. Policy claims to a perpetual ‘crisis in childcare’ are dismantled and explored in order to better understand how nursery workers have become fabricated through texts as more or less professional at particular political moments and to what effect. Attention is drawn to the recent introduction of ‘Early Years Professional Status’ and claims to evidence‐based policy formation are problematised. The paper concludes by considering the discursive opportunities available for alternative constructions of professionalism to take shape from within communities of ECEC practice.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online: 17 Nov 2009
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
Item ID: 17870
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Depositing User: Kristina Repova
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2015 09:17
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2019 11:43

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