Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog
folder

Valuing Professionals

By: MAIRE CORBETT

Tuesday 11 July 2017

On a sunny Saturday in June I delivered a 5-hour training session on Aistear Síolta in Action to a group of early childhood educators. It was a lovely day.  We explored what our image of the child is. We discussed and shared lots of ideas on play, open-ended materials, minimising transitions and enabling children to have choice. The women in the group reflected as the session progressed, they asked questions of each other and of themselves. It was evident they are committed caring professionals. At the end of the session there were comments like ‘the session was too short’ and ‘could have stayed another 5 hours’. I was buzzing…it was a great day.

And then something happened that stopped me in my tracks. One woman had an envelope in her hand and asked the manager to sign it…it was her ‘signing on’ form. The irony was huge… this experienced, dedicated early years professional is on the dole for the next two months.

We, rightly, place huge emphasis on quality in the early childhood sector. We use the Frameworks, Aistear (2009), Síolta (2006) and we use the Aistear Síolta Practice Guide (2015) to support our thinking and reflection on quality and professional practice. Síolta (2006) Standard 11, Professional Practice says Practising in a professional manner requires that individuals have skills, knowledge, values and attitudes appropriate to their role and responsibility within the setting. In addition, it requires regular reflection upon practice and engagement in supported, on-going professional development. We are increasingly becoming a graduate led sector. Dr. Mary Moloney, in her Scéalta post Reflections on Degree Level Training on April 25 2017, says that children deserve this graduate led workforce. Few would argue. Indeed, who could? Our young children deserve well trained, committed, dedicated and passionate people supporting their earliest learning and development through play.

But, as long as these professional people (mostly women, it has to be said) are treated as seasonal workers, paid less than the living wage, signing on for the summer months, our early years sector will continue to struggle to be valued, to be seen as the professionals we know they are. And while the overwhelming majority of people are in this challenging role for the love of it…this won’t pay the bills. Goodwill wears thin after a while.

The huge policy focus on the early years sector in the past 10 years has been most welcome, not least by the educators who have lobbied for such focus for years. It is past time to value them now, as they have, and continue to value the children they care for and whose learning they support. Let’s hope this is the last Summer that educators will be forced to sign-on the dole.

2 comments Comments

2 Responses

  1. Mary Friel says:

    As a private provider in early years for the past 21 years I have been unable to sign on during the summer weeks as I am self -employed and have no living wage .I manage my setting for 38 weeks of the year, providing professional care for the children which I enjoy, and as an employer of early years staff I pay their P.R.S.I contributions which they can avail of during the summer months, although it’s below the living wage. As I’m self-employed I can’t pay any contributions for myself and come the end of June I’m expected to live on the wind! As the weekly provided capitation barely covers the costs of providing an adequate service, I struggle to budget for the summer months. My one wish before I retire in the next ten years is that as Early Years educators that we are recognized for our professionalism, respected for our commitment and given the financial reward we so deserve.

  2. Maire Corbett says:

    Hi Mary, thank you for your comment. We agree totally that self-employed people are under-valued for the amazing work they do. We have made this point to Government and it was a key point in our Pre-Budget submission last year. If you want to check it out you will find it on our website https://www.earlychildhoodireland.ie/work/policy-advocacy-2/the-budget/budget-2017/budget-2017-time-for-giant-leaps/.
    In the submission, we said: “Unlike their staff, self-employed ECE service providers are not eligible for Job Seekers Allowance or other supplementary welfare payments to support them during this period when they have limited or no income. In addition to having no automatic entitlement to social welfare support or any entitlement to invalidity and disability benefit, self-employed members of the sector are subject to much more stringent qualification requirements than employees under the social welfare code”.
    Be assured all professionals are included in the title Valuing Professionals and that Early Childhood Ireland will continue to lobby on behalf of all our members. And we share your wish that that Early Years educators be recognized for their professionalism, respected for their commitment and given the financial reward they so deserve. You are so right Mary. Thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Irish guidelines(1) playleader(1) Awards(2) EECERA(1) Trick or treat(1) Independence(1) Meal time(1) Settling in(4) Arlene Forster(1) environments(1) Kerry(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Engineering(3) Annual Conference 2017(2) Sustainable(1) Whole Group(1) Autism(4) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) Meet the Members(1) Routines(2) Culture(2) Quality(4) Maynooth(1) Nutrition(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) National Research Conference 2019(1) Interactions(3) Eritrea(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Snakes(1) Opportunities(1) Siolta blog(8) Certificate(1) ears(1) Training(2) Kindness Challenge(1) outdoor environment(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Facebook(1) Small World Play(1) Early Childhood Education(1) Time Out(1) dublin(2) Sustainability(3) Afghanistan(1) value(1) Irish(1) Loss(1) Prexit(1) keezy(1) aistear blog(3) Bereavement(2) inspiring interactions(1) reopening ireland(1) Child Care(1) Gardening(1) Youtube Series(1) education system(1) science week(2) Treasure(1) Gratitude(1) eating(1) Children's Rights(3) Magda Gerber(1) Intention(1) development(8) Síolta(137) Funding(1) Policy(2) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) NCCA(3) children development(1) Magnavacchi(1) education(2) Celebrate(1) ICBN(1) Decisions(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Flowers(1) listen(1) Graduation(1) code of ethics(1) early childhood educator(2) Our Little Seed(1) Wilenski(1) Maynooth University(2) Educator of the Year Award(3) Infection Control(1) childcare services(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Trade Unions(1) Thank you(1) Early Years Educators(3) UN(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) ECCE(7) Covid response(2) Pobal(1) Academics(1) Frustrations(1) ECEC Setting(2) Orla Kenny(1) outdoors(4) Music(3) Rising to the Challenge(2) gender bias(1) Shoes(1) child-centred approach(1) mental health problems(1) structure(1) planning(1) Syria(1) Pre-School Services(1) friendships(1) ERASMUS+(3) Affordability(1) Kids Own(1) stories(3) Snack Time(1) Weather(1) Decision Making(1) HR(1) Health(2) Budget 2019(2) National Awards 2019(1) Performing(1) Learning Story Awards(2) Change(1) Your place(1) Sculptures(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) GoToMeeting app(1) imotion(1) Wrapping paper(1) PIP(1) Inter-generational(2) Traffic Lights(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Childcare(3) Confidence(1) Maternity Leave(1) Mindfulness(3) Iceland(1) CIT(1) College(1) continual professional development(1) mushrooms(1) National Holiday(1) Capable(1) Adoption(1) Online Research Symposium(1) Trigonometry(1) Feeding(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Workplace Relations(3) SAC(1) overhear(1) iOS(1) The Jelly King(1) Recycling(2) community(5) Identity and Belonging(4) reopening(1) conference(1) an post(1) Supernanny(1) Learning Stories(9) The Lullaby Book(1) Albert Einstein(1) youdoodle(1) Elders(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Home Corner(1) awards 2020(1) journey(1) Love(3) Social Skills(1) Breathing(2) annual conference(1) Mental Health(4) Iraq(1) Workplace well-being(1) Consent(1) Summer(1) Children(4) dining(1) Xbox(1) Patterns(1) Looking Back(1) Cognitive development(1) Malaguzzi(1) Fee Play(1) play(35) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) animals(2) Titles(1) lockdown(1) Early Years(1) ReCreate(2) Infectious diseases(1) UD(1) CPD(1) art of the relationship(1) Qualifications(1) Anxiety(2) Visual Impairment(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Early Childhood Ireland(10) Smiles(1) Sport(1) respect(5) Learning journals(1) Arithmetic(1) Grief(1) Digital(1) peer group(1) Maths Week(1) MA(1) under 3's(3) Fabric(1) Names(1) Window(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) online training(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) toddlers(3) Degree(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Equality(1) Awards Night(1) Laugh(1) United Nations(1) Obesity(1) educarer(1) INTO(1) Inspirational(2) Role play(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Scents(1) Investment(2) Book Review(1) Performance Management(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) Support(1) Self Help Skills(1) Advocacy(1) Design(1) preschool settings(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Body Language(1) learning hub(1) creche(1) children’s learning(1) Upcycling(1) Digital Devices(1) code of professional responsibility(1) play pods(2) Magic(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Art(6) RTE Investigates(1) European Early Childhood Education Research Association(2) coronavirus(1) Belonging(3) Learning through Storytelling(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Primary School(3) racism(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) MECPI(1) Creative(1) Buddy Bench(1) emotions(2) Special Needs Assistants(1) Biting(1) interacting(2) Death(2) Pen green(1) University(1) Norway(2) Research Conference 2019(1) EECERA 2016(1) memories(1) Winter(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Recycle(1) listening(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) Giraffe(2) AsIAm(2) Japan(1) trust(4) Builders(1) Engineers Week(2) Sweets(1) curriculum(5) Human Resources(1) Engagement(1) Children and families(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Masterclass(2) Reggio Children Network(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) meals(3) ECEC(3) Running(1) Children's Research Network(1) Interests(1) Síolta QAP(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) Graduate(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) RIE philosphy(1) Painting(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Vertical grouping(1) Mealtimes(1) risky play(2) Story(2) GDPR(1) Technology(3) Arts(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Shapes(2) scéalta(56) Study Trip(1) Covid-19 lockdown(1) Halloween(2) Party(1) Care-giving routines(1) refugees(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Educators(2) Care routines(1) Communications(1) Diversity(1) Challenges(1) story time(2) National Pyjama Day(1) Visitors(1) Reflective Practice(1) Inclusion(3) early life(1) Creativity(6) role playing(1) Self-regulation(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) family time(1) Wendy Lee(3) Montessori(3) TOY Programme(1) UNICEF report(1) Map(1) documentation(4) Dance(1) Interaction(1) worries(1) parents(6) Twitter(1) Christmas Creativity(2) gender stereotype(1) Pedagogy(2) Santa(2) DCYA(6) Celebrations(4) Leprechauns(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Staff Motivation(1) emotional environment(2) early years settings(1) Workforce(1) phone apps(1) Mo Scéal(1) COVID-19(14) Little Buddies(1) Behaviour(3) Pobal sector profile(1) Return to Work Training(1) Sociodramatic play(1) show and tell(1) maternity health(1) Exploring(1) Environment(2) TRAP(1) Universal Design(2) Exit interview(1) early years learning(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Nonverbal(1) First 5(1) play therapy(1) Wesco(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Vietnam(1) democracy(1) Administrative Burden(1) Communicating(1) Limerick(1) AIM(2) purpose(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) staying connected(1) Playschool(1) Thanks(1) Children's Voice(1) risk(2) multi-generational community(1) Socioemotional development(1) Stress(2) EM Standing(1) Building Resilience(1) research submissions(1) Seanchaí(1) primary education(1) STEM(3) life long learning(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) play pod(1) Exercise(1) Lego(2) Child mental health(1) Learning Stories Award(3) experience(1) Sessional service(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) Well-Being(10) Loving Relationships(2) Anthony Semann(1) food(1) Childhood(1) Valentine's Day(3) healthy eating policies(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) New Appointments(1) bonds(1) Employee(1) Family(1) Book Club(2) First 5 strategy(1) Craft(1) Thinking(1) Awards 2018(3) Laughter(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Liz Kerrins(1) Mixed age groups(3) Competent(1) Trauma-Sensitive(1) Empathy(1) Inspections(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) behavioural science(1) Trade union(1) linc(1) Reading Time(1) ECIAwards20(1) research(6) democratic citizens(1) Sleep(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Blocks(1) annual awards(1) outdoor play(6) supportive environments(2) Budget 2018(1) Plastic(1) Photographs(1) Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years(1) Appreciation(1) Participation(2) Mud kitchens(1) quarantine(1) educating(1) Oireachtas(1) Event Guide(1) dining experiences(1) christmas(9) baby room(1) Touch(1) Confident(1) Fantasy play(1) Inspired Practice Award(6) curiosity(3) World Health Organisation(1) NAEYC(1) Horizon 2020(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Kilkenny(1) Learning Journal(2) Glitter(2) Professionalisation(5) San Miniato(4) social science(1) child-centric(1) Self-Esteem(1) Positivity(1) COVID-19 Reopening(2) Reggio Emilia(2) Sequins(1) pablo(1) Time(1) Rich Documentation(1) National Awards 2018(2) blog(53) Cork(1) communication(4) Spiders(1) learners(1) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) Queues(1) Line-ups(1) Budget 2020(1) Mantra(1) Mathematicians(1) Snacks(1) grandchild(1) Family wall(1) Games(1) outdoor space(3) learning(19) Online(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Inspiring Practice(1) man up(1) COVID-19 landscape(1) Wonder(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Scéalta Blog(104) Community involvement(1) Document Learning(1) Proceedings Journal(1) preschool(4) social media policy(1) Maria Montessori(1) apps for children(1) E.coli(1) feisty(1) Penguins(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) reading(5) keep in touch(1) Learning Story(1) Jenga(1) Engineering Ireland(1) UNCRC(2) National Annual Awards 2020(1) routine(2) Through the looking glass(1) Exclusion(1) Counting(1) bloom app(1) collaboration(1) Favouritism(1) ELC(1) Kindness(1) Mayo(1) Ceremony(1) Relaxation(1) relationships(18) Hand Hygiene(2) Playdough(1) DES Inspection(1) Easter(1) Brain(1) Mount Everest(1) transitions(10) Super Shed Stories(2) budget(1) Leargas(1) Seas Suas(1) Storytelling(7) Leadership(1) Covid19 crisis(1) Exploratory Play(1) National Childcare Scheme(1) Awards 2019(1) Yoga(1) Buddies(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) School Age Childcare(1) Large Doll Play(1) International Narratives(1) play stories(2) movement behaviours(1) pets(1) Covid pandemic(2) Italy(1) developing motor skills(1) Drawing(2) Imagination(3) Plants(1) learning bias(1) Treasure Chest(1) SPICE Framework(1) Rituals(1) Mark Twain(1) Reopening Childcare(1) Impact(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Traditions(2) Early Years Education(1) social media(2) Maths(6) Potential(1) Light table(1) early childhood(1) early years research(2) Research Seminar(1) Academic Skills(1) Leaders in Practice(1) science(3) books(4) conversations(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) IGL(1) responsive relationships(1) Teamwork(1) Looking Forward(1) babies(7) june29(1) Reggio(1) Pretend Play(1) CCTV(1) dogs(1) emotional well-being(1) European Project(1) Aistear(130) risk assessment(1) Margy Whalley(1) Identity(5)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine