New resource demonstrates how to listen to children

Melanie Defries
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A local authority that has won praise for its work on improving participation in early years settings and listening to children has published a free toolkit.

The resource, which was developed by Dawn Burley, participation officer for the under-fives at Hertfordshire County Council, was launched at an event last Friday. It has been described as 'invaluable' by Y. Penny Lancaster, author of Listening to Young Children, who acted as a mentor for Ms Burley.

Ms Lancaster told Nursery World, 'It has been a privilege to be part of this process. Dawn has taken listening to children further than I ever did. The finished article is not just a toolkit, because it looks at the principles and the methodology around participation.

'Hertfordshire has invested a lot of money in this area. I think the toolkit would be useful for any local authority or early years setting.'

Ms Burley said, 'I developed the toolkit to support early years practitioners in listening to children's views, in situations such as asking children what they would like in their outdoor area.'

The toolkit includes information on research relating to early years participation, simple guidance and participation planning and assessment materials. It aims to show how participation is embedded within documents that inform early years practice.

Download the Early Years Participation Toolkit free.

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