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LETTER OF THE WEEK

WHY EMPLOY AN EYP

I was intrigued by the letter from Jean Barczewska (3 June) which highlighted how some employers are not necessarily looking to employ an EYP and will advertise instead for applicants with a level four qualification.

From my experience and from networking with other settings, I feel that EYPS has failed to gain the recognition it so rightly should have. I feel that parents are also unaware of the benefits that an EYP can bring to the setting.

Parents should be directed to seek out settings that employ an EYP, as this in turn would allow them to understand that EYP status should be used as a means to bench-mark quality.

As an EYP, I have been empowered to mentor and allow practitioners to shadow my practice. I have a deeper understanding of the holistic aspects of child development and care. I integrate and promote within my setting child, parent and practitioner consultation to ensure consistent child-led care. This approach allows children to follow their lines of interest and make smooth progress within their Look, Listen and Note files.

Our nursery is proud to have an EYP, and as a result we have changed our practice and now understand more thoroughly how to achieve positive change through good leadership. The role of the EYP is essential and I am deeply saddened that other employers are not pushing to employ one.

The title speaks for itself. We are professionals of early years and are able to support all children, families and practitioner teams to deliver and provide only the highest quality of childand family-centred care.

Rebekah Clee, Hawthorns Private Day Nursery, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

- Letter of the Week wins £30 worth of books


WHO TO RECRUIT

In response to the letter 'EYP or manager?' (24 June), I completely agree that the EYP role and the manager role are not necessarily the same thing. In fact, CWDC makes it clear that each setting should define their own EYP role in relation to the person who leads and supports practice and who is an 'agent of change' in order to enable children to reach their potential and to meet the outcomes in Every Child Matters. In its recent FAQs (February 2010) CWDC states, 'An EYP is trained to lead practice. This involves possessing the highest standards and latest knowledge of practice.'

However, my point was that if we are to have a truly graduate-led profession, then those in the more senior roles in the larger organisations also ought to be considering this in their recruitment. This way you can aspire to have a good, solid range of people with knowledge and experience feeding into the early years spectrum. How wonderful for the children and their families if we have experienced EYPs fulfilling a number of roles within the sector at many different levels.

Jeanne Barczewska, senior lecturer/senior assessor EYPS, University of Northampton


TOP UP OR PROP UP

The costs of delivering any statutory free entitlement must be fully met by the state ('PM promised nursery on top-up fees', 24 June). To allow providers to start charging additional fees takes away the free entitlement and will only lead to the most disadvantaged children and their families missing out on the benefits that access to early childhood education brings.

Local authorities in England spent significant time and energy last summer to develop their single funding formula and establish the true costs of providing the free entitlement in their area. Profit-making settings did themselves no favours in hiding behind 'commercial sensitivity' and not taking part in the consultation process to inform what the true costs of providing a free entitlement place should be. It is not the role of the state to prop up settings who are not efficient enough to have a fix on what it costs them to provide the free entitlement.

The coalition Government has pledged improved transparency and accountability where the public purse is concerned. Private, voluntary and independent early childhood education and care settings need to do the same.

Megan Pacey, chief executive, Early Education

- Send your letters to ... The Editor, Nursery World, 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP; letter.nw@haymarket.com; 020 8267 8401

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