Early Years practitioners respond to the review

On Wednesday, the EYFS review recommended that the EYFS should remain mandatory, but be simpler and less bureaucratic.

In light of the recommendations, many industry professionals have formed their own responses and suggestions about how the review could change their approach to early years.

Early Years Professional Dawn Burnham, who recently held a live webcast on the EYFS topic ‘Parents as Partners‘, has shared her thoughts on the review;

“The review is fabulously realistic and quite refreshing! It’s great to finally have quality professionals carrying out the review, who have knowledge of the changes that need to be implemented.

I’m pleased that the review recognises the importance and impact that quality early years practitioners have on a child’s life and that they recognise that we are the next step in partnership with the parents after a loving and nurturing home life.

The review is not about a huge upheaval, but more about promoting quality settings and tweaking the EYFS to improve the way children develop. It is a great relief that the child has remained at the centre of our practice.

From reviewing what we currently have, it was clear that the process needs to be made user-friendly and focussed more around the time spent with the child and family, I hope that this review can support practitioners and parents in doing this.

Amongst other issues, the report highlights the need to amend the learning goals, to make children’s development records and achievements more relative to the required skills to support a successful life of learning and makes the EYFSP a more valuable summative assessment that can relate more clearly to the progression onto key stage 1.

I think the coalition Government now have tough decisions to make following the recommendations, as some potentially conflict with their own ideas.”

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It is not just Dawn with an opinion. Many of you have also contributed various thoughts on the review too!

Jean Peskett: “I welcome Dame Clare Tickell’s review of the EYFS, recognizing the excellent framework the document offers but reducing the amount of paperwork professionals have to do, focussing on the areas that really matter and recognizing that learning needs to be fun , not just for the children but also for the professionals working with them. I particularly respect the view that all EY professionals should be qualified to a level consistent with the old NNEB, which was a qualification really worth having.”

Debbie Barrett: “I strongly disagree with Dr Bousted that learning should be teacher led, it sounds very much like we are going backwards, a shame when we have been going forwards for such a long time…Please Dame Clare and Dr Bousted spend some time nursery settings to observe the learning that is achieved and give credit to those child care professionals that know their children and families so so well.”

Sandra Perry: “I for one welcome a change of the current EYFS system. I know Childminders who now spend time on the paperwork whilst the children are still there! How is that a positive. I spend hours on my children’s observations and assessments and planning, which I do in my evenings so as not to disrupt my children or my family life.”

Musarat Parveen: “Although this review means less paperwork, is it really going to be a step forward? I feel that the EYFS was the best thing that came about, I saw a drastic change in the way children play, interact with others and the language used. It would be a shame to change anything.”

Simone Clifford-Garrod: “I appreciate that the EYFS currently produces a lot of paperwork, but also feel that it provides guidelines for practitioners to work alongside, enables them to understand the stepping stones of each child’s unique learning and development. Reducing paperwork is always a positive thing, but I hope this doesn’t mean reducing the knowledge and understanding for practitioners.”

Karen Trebell: “I feel that the amount of paperwork and not only paperwork but duplication of paperwork is extremely time consuming. I work with children full time and find myself either sitting up late into the night or using the weekend (which I feel is really my own children’s time) completing paperwork…. It is an awful shame that this caring profession is losing really good, caring, highly qualified individuals due to this fact.”

Want to have your say or respond to other practitioners’ comments? Join the discussion here.

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7 Responses to “Early Years practitioners respond to the review”

  1. Audrey Willoughby April 20, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    I am delighted that the EYFS will remain. The areas of learning continue to show how much the children develop during their time at nursery. The decreased paper work will enable teachers to teach , guide, play and direct their key children covering all the areas of develpment. All our team are looking forward to implementing the new changes.

  2. ruth clark April 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Many people seem to think that the old NNEB is the qualification to aspire to, having worked with a few people who have this qualification i seems to me that they are sadly lacking in creativity and find it difficult to let children have free reign with activities and get dirty through experimentation and investigation.

    • Patricia May 17, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

      Hi Ruth,
      I disagree with your comment- I myself hold an NNEB qualification and I now teach childcare to students (Entry level to level 3). The level 3 qualification which equates to the NNEB is very academic- but it lacks the practical elements which made the NNEB a successful childcare qualification. The NNEB gave learners the opportunity to do creative sessions, music, drama, cookery, art and crafts. I therefore feel it is a qualification which gives you the knowledge and understanding of childcare to enable you to work with children. If our workforce has the knowledge then maybe the curriculum wouldnt have to be so discriptive.

  3. Lizzi April 3, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    The comments are illuminating in themselves LOOK at where childcare professionals are expected to do, EYFS scaled down or not. Most ‘caring’ professional want to deliver challenging learning opportunties to the children and however this is evidenced so be it BUT not at the expense of either the children in our care and I am including ones own children, it is not good enough parents are having to complete ‘paperwork’ in their family time and thus deprive their own children of quantity of time. Let this be a wake up call to our Learning Journey too.

  4. Lynne Fenwick April 3, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    Whilst the reduction of paperwork always sounds good, I hope this time it is more understandable and simplified so that everyone can understand it. Many staff complain that although they have received training the enormous amount of work we have to do is at least difficult and at most confusing with all the cross referencing. It amazes me, having been a childcare provider for twenty years now, the amount of extra work there is to do these days, it has put many, many perfectly good practitioners off of working in childcare and I would like to see the return of the balance of those who love to play with children and bring happiness and fulfillment into their lives and those who throughly enjoy observing and evaluating the children’s time at Nursery.

  5. Debbie April 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    Thank goodness it’s going to be slimmed down!! I do think the EYFS is a good idea but I spend nearly all of my time doing paperwork. I do like the Learning Journey, its a fantastic insight into a child’s pre school life. Let’s hope the slimmed down version means that we can spend more time with the children.

  6. Sylvia davidson April 2, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    Im pleased that the EYFS is being scaled down. Areas of it overlap quite a lot. Less paperwork will be good but I still like the idea of producing a learning journal for parents to see how the children are developing. I don’t like the wording of teacher led activities and children being given free rein, makes it sound like children are running wild and not learning anything which is not true. I welcome the changes proposed and look forward to spending more time with the children