ECSDN at the Nursery World Show

The Network has booked a stand (E3) at the Nursery World Show (London - 29th /30th April) to raise awareness of our graduates, our degrees and the graduate practitioner competencies. Many members of the executive will be in attendance and will in conversation and presentations to raise awareness of our aim to support the early years/childhood workforce.

Details will be shared from two research projects funded by the ECSDN:

Project 1: What do students, placement mentors and academics think of Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies – reporting from a ECSDN study

The Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies (ECGPC, 2018) were developed ‘to ensure skilful application of knowledge to practice and practice to knowledge’ (ECSDN, 2019). In Early Childhood Studies, the strengthening of the practical skill base links to evidencing and valuing holistic understandings of young children’s rights, wellbeing, development and learning in diverse contexts.

  • Students have found that the competencies allowed them to gain and be interested in a wider range of placements and develop their confidence in these settings
  • Placement mentors reported on the relevance of the competencies to the professionalism of the workforce
  • Academic tutors found that employability and career choices would be enhanced
  • At the same time, it was recognised that there were barriers identified such as lack of time.

Research Team

Project 2 : The Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector’s perspective on the Early Childhood Studies graduate and the Graduate Practitioner Competencies

  • Requirement for students on placement include: good communication skills; child centred pedagogy; safeguarding knowledge; new ideas; knowledge of policy/theory; ready to learn
  • The sector has expected skills for graduates that should be in degree programmes. These include: understanding of child development theories/behaviour management; good knowledge of relevant legislation; good communication skill with parents, children and staff; business management skills; knowledge of first aid and safeguarding issues; being a critical thinker; knowledge of how to observe, assess and plan; patience; empathy
  • Staff who held degrees had a stronger underpinning knowledge of relevant ECEC practice
  • There was a strong link between staff who have degrees and the depth of reflective practice. It was important to know the why as well as the how

Research Team