Why were my requests left unfulfilled? I think that given the mounting evidence and disquiet among so many early years practitioners, nursery managers, consultants and lecturers, we are better positioned than ever before to stand up and fight for these to be actioned. It feels as if we have reached a collective epiphany – practitioners know their worth, they take ownership for the long term, positive changes they are making to young children and their hearts sink when these children make the transition to primary school and all the hard work to nurture their emotional wellbeing is undone. Pay for the workforce is still dismally poor which in turn pre-sets funding for the sector and ultimately does nothing to raise the profile of the sector and its workforce. And still, practitioners remain passionate and do all they can to ensure they are doing their best by every family and their children.
I cannot help but occasionally wonder whether we are fooling ourselves and our colleagues that we can make a difference, given Ofsted’s latest attack on children’s wellbeing.
In light of these disappointing developments, perhaps by getting our requests in earlier this year, we will have a greater chance of success with our message… especially as Santa will have his feet up for a while before Christmas comes around again… in September. Better still, we can keep campaigning – not in isolation but by joining forces. This starts in the nursery or school, with practitioners daring to make the changes they want to see for babies and children; it means joining social media groups that are designed to debate and tackle current issues in the sector; it means protesting in Parliament – it means not accepting the status quo.