Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Let’s Be Positive!


Tuesday 19 September 2017

Technology is wonderful. It gives us instant access to so much information, entertainment and it simplifies work lives and saves money! What’s not to like about it!

Similarly, social media has transformed the way we live. Personally, I am a big fan. Through Facebook, I can maintain easy contact with relations (especially those in faraway places) and friends, I can share photos and I can see what like- minded people are thinking and share Ideas for early years practice. It’s great! However, there is a downside to this… I think social media has made some people very negative and this is a shame. Look at any news website and you will see examples of what I mean. Every story gets mostly negative comments…even good news stories. We are all cynical at times but so many of the comments are nasty, negative and uncalled for.  For example…on one newspaper's Facebook page last week there was a story about a man who won a lot on money on Euromillions and how he was not going to give up work or let it change his life…the top comment? Bores like this fella don't deserve to win! Imagine being stuck on a long haul flight with this exciting creature. Any news item about the plight of refugees being supported by Ireland inevitably draws horrible comments about looking after our own first and such like. In ways, it seems like social media, a tool for connection, dehumanises some people and makes them insular, rather than citizens of the so called ‘Global Village’.

Our own early childhood sector is not immune from this kind of commentary either. We all know that we have a long way to go in relation to funding in this country. Ireland’s investment in childcare falls well short of the 0.8% average investment across the OECD, and the UNICEF international benchmark for ECE sector investment of 1% of GDP, as highlighted in Early Childhood Irelands pre budget submission last year. And there was further confirmation of that just last week when the OECD Education at a Glance 2017 report confirmed that Irelands’ spending on early years’ education is the lowest in the OECD. We lobby and advocate for necessary and vital changes to be made and we understand the unacceptable level of stress that providers face frequently with changed deadlines, lack of communication and increased regulation and inspection regimes.

But, we need to look back 10 years and see how far our sector has come, in terms of becoming professional and being recognised as such:

From a situation where we had no lead Government Department and issues relating to young children were dispersed among numerous Departments, we now have a Senior Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

Funding, especially the universal schemes, such as ECCE and the Affordable Childcare schemes, has increased hugely. This certainly has brought increased accountability (surely a good thing?) and frustrating, time consuming paperwork and admin. This aspect needs to be simplified and streamlined, to reduce the time and stress, while ensuring that taxpayers money (i.e. ours!) is spent properly.

And there is no doubt that there has been massively increased investment in early years’ education: we have quality supports such as the Voluntary Childcare Organisations, Better Start and the CCC’s. We have AIM. We have much more Continuing Professional Development opportunities, free to educators (but yes, with a cost in terms of time). We have capital grants. We have Learner Fund programmes. We have the newly announced sensory toy pack. These are all good things! Positive things, that 10 years ago, would be considered incredible!

Training and Qualifications are now mandatory. Again, a hugely positive move in terms of children and our sector taking its place as an important part of the education continuum, rather than just seen as baby sitters, which would have been the case in the past. We, rightly, seek to be seen as a profession. Being in a profession means we can demand to be considered professionals, and be valued and respected. My fear is that when we talk down our sector, with negative, disrespectful comments on social media and very personalized remarks we come across as less professional and this can damage the image we seek to portray of our sector. We can express our opinions, of course, but in a respectful moderate manner.  We have a growing workforce, which in spite of all the challenges we face, is made up of dedicated and committed people I am very proud to work with each and every day.

I think we need to consider the impact constant negative commentary has on ourselves and on others. It can drag people down, increase anxiety and reduce the joy and privilege of working with young children. As we head into Budget 2018, let us welcome the good news that will hopefully come our way and strive to lobby for more improvement as time goes on. We are an evolving, developing sector and we have a lot going for us! In our interactions on Social Media let’s always present a united and professional image. And let’s keep positive!

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Workplace Relations(3) meals(3) Valentine's Day(3) Teamwork(1) Masterclass(2) Educator of the Year Award(3) Kerry(1) apps for children(1) code of professional responsibility(1) Weather(1) eating(1) Traditions(2) books(4) learning(19) play therapy(1) Awards 2019(1) Policy(2) Sequins(1) Mealtimes(1) Research Seminar(1) EECERA 2016(1) bloom app(1) Bereavement(2) Performance Management(1) Environment(2) Well-Being(9) Iraq(1) under 3's(3) linc(1) Thank you(1) social media(1) Iceland(1) Sweets(1) Nuturing interactions(1) emotions(2) Hand Hygiene(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Awards Night(1) Home Corner(1) Leprechauns(1) Snakes(1) Maynooth(1) children development(1) Behaviour(3) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) Maria Montessori(1) Sustainable(1) Sleep(1) documentation(4) Upcycling(1) First 5 strategy(1) Visitors(1) pets(1) Mathematicians(1) Event Guide(1) The Jelly King(1) Obesity(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Book Review(1) Blocks(1) GoToMeeting app(1) STEM(3) Reggio Children Network(1) Stress(2) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) ERASMUS+(3) TRAP(1) blog(29) Glitter(2) Positivity(1) Creativity(4) worries(1) Identity(5) Inspired Practice Award(5) University(1) Qualifications(1) Time Out(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Playdough(1) healthy eating policies(1) outdoor play(6) Children's Research Network(1) communication(4) Document Learning(1) Scéalta Blog(99) Traffic Lights(1) Wrapping paper(1) ECEC Setting(2) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Xbox(1) Awards(2) Smiles(1) conference(1) Performing(1) child-centred approach(1) ECEC(2) Relaxation(1) early childhood educator(2) education(2) E.coli(1) Educators(2) Trick or treat(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Adoption(1) preschool settings(1) Budget 2019(2) Winter(1) Budget 2018(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Budget 2020(1) GDPR(1) EM Standing(1) Rich Documentation(1) play(34) Mayo(1) Cognitive development(1) Oireachtas(1) Decisions(1) early learning(1) Care-giving routines(1) Child Care(1) play stories(2) Death(2) Snacks(1) Playschool(1) Self-regulation(1) Affordability(1) Prexit(1) Margy Whalley(1) Brain(1) Autism(4) Study Trip(1) Training(2) Celebrations(4) Reading Time(1) Nutrition(1) imotion(1) Settling in(4) animals(2) iOS(1) Arts(1) Workforce(1) life long learning(1) planning(1) Culture(2) Wilenski(1) Opportunities(1) family time(1) Family(1) Super Shed Stories(2) annual conference(1) Quality(4) Infectious diseases(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Party(1) Early Childhood Ireland(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Learning Story(1) Ceremony(1) Independence(1) grandchild(1) Technology(3) Thanks(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Albert Einstein(1) Care routines(1) Drawing(2) Gratitude(1) preschool(4) Graduation(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Recycling(2) Santa(2) HR(1) Magda Gerber(1) Online(1) Childhood(1) research submissions(1) SPICE Framework(1) Montessori(3) Professionalisation(5) Painting(1) educarer(1) friendships(1) dublin(2) Universal Design(2) Children's Rights(3) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Vietnam(1) structure(1) phone apps(1) National Holiday(1) Diversity(1) INTO(1) christmas(9) New Appointments(1) Arlene Forster(1) emotional environment(2) Story(1) babies(7) Early Years Educators(3) Identity and Belonging(4) Childcare(3) Learning journals(1) Malaguzzi(1) scéalta(32) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Craft(1) Exit interview(1) Pre-School Services(1) social science(1) Youtube Series(1) Elders(1) Advocacy(1) staying connected(1) CCTV(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Jenga(1) Creative(1) Health(2) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) Thinking(1) Reggio(1) Learning Story Awards(2) toddlers(3) Loss(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Sociodramatic play(1) respect(5) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) MECPI(1) Music(3) Our Little Seed(1) Engineers Week(2) Impact(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Line-ups(1) NCCA(3) Buddies(1) Empathy(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Giraffe(2) Mo Scéal(1) Reggio Emilia(1) early years learning(1) Family wall(1) Síolta(112) purpose(1) Building Resilience(1) ReCreate(2) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Infection Control(1) Capable(1) experience(1) Mixed age groups(2) youdoodle(1) Snack Time(1) keep in touch(1) Twitter(1) AIM(2) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Visual Impairment(1) movement behaviours(1) Fantasy play(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Laugh(1) Yoga(1) Light table(1) Change(1) Ariana Pucci(1) DCYA(4) Annual Conference 2019(1) CIT(1) Exclusion(1) Pobal(1) TOY Programme(1) Children's Voice(1) Self Help Skills(1) RTE Investigates(1) Christmas Creativity(2) learners(1) science(3) Sculptures(1) AsIAm(2) Flowers(1) research(6) Inclusion(3) Spiders(1) outdoor space(3) Builders(1) dining(1) Vertical grouping(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Scents(1) UN(1) collaboration(1) MA(1) Afghanistan(1) story time(2) Map(1) Confident(1) role playing(1) mushrooms(1) Kilkenny(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Penguins(1) Exercise(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) Community involvement(1) feisty(1) Book Club(2) Fee Play(1) dining experiences(1) Art(6) aistear blog(3) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Workplace well-being(1) Learning Journal(2) Growing up in Ireland(3) Imagination(3) journey(1) PIP(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Belonging(3) Whole Group(1) College(1) childcare services(1) Norway(2) Meet the Members(1) Treasure Chest(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Through the looking glass(1) Treasure(1) Kids Own(1) Breathing(2) Aistear(118) Administrative Burden(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Confidence(1) RIE philosphy(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) risk(2) Patterns(1) Reflective Practice(1) stories(3) National Childcare Scheme(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) maternity health(1) conversations(1) developing motor skills(1) Support(1) Inspirational(2) Names(1) Pobal sector profile(1) continual professional development(1) Employee(1) IGL(1) Shapes(1) Sport(1) First 5(1) food(1) UD(1) Covid pandemic(1) Covid19 crisis(1) Early Years(1) Child mental health(1) Magnavacchi(1) refugees(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Consent(1) Plants(1) interacting(2) Summer(1) Inter-generational(2) Celebrate(1) Mud kitchens(1) Communicating(1) United Nations(1) Italy(1) Potential(1) San Miniato(4) ears(1) Wonder(1) Funding(1) routine(2) Grief(1) Anxiety(2) Games(1) Shoes(1) Digital Devices(1) Window(1) National Awards 2018(2) Syria(1) parents(6) Orla Kenny(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Digital(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Maths(5) Nonverbal(1) curiosity(3) Self-Esteem(1) Meal time(1) Sessional service(1) Biting(1) Photographs(1) Mental Health(3) development(8) CPD(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) ICBN(1) Design(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Participation(2) listening(1) bonds(1) Eritrea(1) Dance(1) Socioemotional development(1) Queues(1) Mount Everest(1) Primary School(2) Trade union(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Little Buddies(1) Lego(2) environments(1) School Age Childcare(1) Engagement(1) Routines(2) Maternity Leave(1) Time(2) Academics(1) Children and families(1) Supernanny(1) Certificate(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) overhear(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Children(4) gender bias(1) Role play(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Arithmetic(1) Storytelling(6) Leargas(1) Sustainability(3) Laughter(1) Horizon 2020(1) risky play(2) The Lullaby Book(1) Magic(1) science week(2) baby room(1) Wendy Lee(3) listen(1) trust(5) keezy(1) community(5) educating(1) Staff Motivation(1) Graduate(1) Social Skills(1) opportunity(1) Trigonometry(1) code of ethics(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Body Language(1) budget(1) Wesco(1) man up(1) European Project(1) primary education(1) Running(1) Feeding(1) early life(1) show and tell(1) Limerick(1) pablo(1) supportive environments(2) Mantra(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Maths Week(1) transitions(10) Engineering(3) National Awards 2019(1) curriculum(5) Academic Skills(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Human Resources(1) Easter(1) NAEYC(1) Interactions(2) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Favouritism(1) Recycle(1) Inspections(1) Leadership(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) learning bias(1) relationships(17) memories(1) UNCRC(2) Pen green(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Plastic(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Communications(1) Rituals(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Buddy Bench(1) value(1) behavioural science(1) risk assessment(1) Degree(1) Seas Suas(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Trade Unions(1) outdoors(3) Early Learning and Care(1) reading(5) ECCE(7) Research and Professional Learning(1) Halloween(2) Gardening(1) Irish(1) Exploring(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Cork(1) Awards 2018(3) Facebook(1) awards 2020(1) COVID-19(4) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Decision Making(1) Learning Stories(9) early years research(2) DES Inspection(1) Titles(1) Challenges(1) Frustrations(1) art of the relationship(1) Competent(1) Japan(1) Love(2) Maynooth University(2) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) gender stereotype(1) Siolta blog(8) Intention(1) Appreciation(1) Mark Twain(1) Interaction(1) Interests(1) Investment(2) Mindfulness(2) Síolta QAP(1) dogs(1) Fabric(1) Touch(1)


Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine