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Policy, Lobbying and Advocacy Strategy Group

Mission Statement
A holistic approach to providing critical perspectives on, and a forum for, the advancement of appropriate early childhood policies, initiatives, and legislation.

Full Statement
The Policy, Lobbying and Advocacy Strategy Group work together to advocate for the standing of Early Childhood Studies as a social science subject discipline nationally and internationally within universities, schools, and colleges.

We aim to develop ECSDN advocacy strategies for ECSDN members (including students, alumni, stakeholders). The Strategy Group meets regularly to discuss innovative strategies that support the promotion of Early Childhood Studies as an academic discipline with interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary working at its centre.

The Strategy Group works with the Chairs and Vice Chairs to develop liaison with other Early Childhood organisations on broader campaigns and lobbying issues. We engage with and respond to policy with an aim to promote the recognition that Early Childhood Studies students are equipped with outstanding knowledge and experience, with expertise that are essential in advocating for the health, well-being and education of all children and their families.

Vice Chair and Members

ECSDN Strategy Group - Policy Helen S

DR HELEN SIMMONS
VICE CHAIR

Dr Helen Simmons is a Senior Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, Pathway Leader on the MA Education (Early Childhood Pathway) and Childhood Research Cluster Lead at the University of Derby. Prior to joining the University in 2008, Helen worked in early years settings and as a private nanny, she also taught vocational early years courses at Further Education Colleges in Sheffield and Coventry. Helen has undertaken research and publication relating to leadership in the early years, early years policy and her doctoral research provided a feminist post-structuralist analysis of modern motherhood. Her most recent publication, a monograph titled ‘Surveillance of Modern Motherhood’ was published in 2020. Helen lectures and supervises across Undergraduate and Postgraduate Childhood programmes and is also a PhD supervisor.

Helen is Vice Chair (Policy, Lobbying and Advocacy: National and International) for the Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network (ECSDN) and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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ECSDN Strategy Group - Policy Emma T

EMMA TWIGG

Emma Twigg is the Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies at the University of Derby. Emma's research interests focus on aspects of child protection, she has just started her PhD which is focusing on the representation of children within domestic violence and abuse situations. .

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ECSDN Strategy Group - Policy Julie J

JULIE JONES

Julie lectures on the MGL Foundation Degree in Early Years and is Level 4 Course Leader at Calderdale College.

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ECSDN Strategy Group - Policy Marie B

MARIE BRADWELL

Marie is a PhD student, lecturer for Cornwall College and lecturer at Plymouth Marjon University. Marie has an interest in social policy, and children’s mental wellbeing. Her PhD study “See Me Hear Me”  builds on the premise that children are active agents in their lives.

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ECSDN Strategy Group - Policy Nyree N

NYREE NICHOLSON

Nyree teaches on the Foundation, Honours and Master’s Degrees across the Professional Studies early childhood, childhood and youth and education pathways at Bishop Grosseteste University. Nyree’s doctorate research explored supporting two-year-old children with speech, language and communication needs and is interested in how policy and early years practice are connected.

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ECSDN Strategy Group - Policy Charlotte J

DR CHARLOTTE JONES

Dr Charlotte Jones is an Associate Professor and the Course Director for Early Childhood, Social Studies programmes and Part Time Degrees at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Warwick. Charlotte’s experience of working with children under the age of five years inspired her to complete a BA (Hons) degree in Early Childhood Studies here at the University of Warwick. During this time, Charlotte also worked within a forest school in Norway. Charlotte then pursued her PhD in Education focusing on policy-to-practice contexts relating to gender within early childhood work and associated notions of practitioner identity. Charlotte is particularly passionate about arts-based research and therefore draws upon her own practices as an artist in order to explore early childhood. In terms of practice and teaching activities, Charlotte has a particular passion for supporting the wellbeing of the early childhood practitioner, also exploring notions of student/practitioner voice, identity, and intuition. She is delighted to be part of the Policy, Lobbying and National Advocacy Group which provide her with the opportunity to combine her interests and passions in this area!

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The ECSDN Podcast Show

Birth to Five Matters in Practice Series: Episode 1

Join Marie Bradwell in a discussion of the guidance documents Birth To Five and Development Matters with Gemma and Amy who are both Early Years Practitioners and students in the area of Early Childhood. The discussion includes how each setting chose which framework to work and experiences of in practice.

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