Hard to believe
Hard to believe
by: Maggie - 15-02-13 17:08
Maybe someone can explain this to me. I was asked to take notes during several l interviews, for a room leader and senior nursery nurse position. One position is for a preschool room and the other is for the two year old room. To make a long story short, 3 applicants were interviewed. The first one had an honours degree in early childhood education and worked 2 years in another nursery. She reminded the manager how many courses she had taken, and how she recieved high grades in her studies. She also mentioned that she wanted to work with people who were smart and understood children. The second applicant also had a degree and informed the manager that she had the qualifications to run a nursery. The last applicant had very little expeerence working in a nursery and had just completed her nvq3. When the first two applicants were asked to explain thier understanding of learning through play, they both said this: Learning through play is something that children need less of. Learning to read and write are the two most important things young children need and the good old paper and pencil are the only way children can learn. The first applicant also said that children play too much and that is one of the reasons they are not learning. I almost fell our of my chair, as I could not believe what I was hearing. The last applicant who had the nvq3 snd little experience, gave the best example of learning though play. She cam up with so many examples and most of them were activities she had used. The moral of the story, is not to hire someone based only on their education. This last applicant was spot on with children and was able to use her nvq3 course work and expereince she had in a nursery. She got the job working with the two year olds and has requested to attend workshops to help her become more expereienced. The other two applicants, I don't know if anyone will hire them, or maybe one will become a high profile manager. LOL.
RE: Hard to believe - 15-02-13 18:01
by: Kandy Flip
It is true, however, that children don't just learn through play and that just because children are playing, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are learning. Nevertheless, I am pleased with the choice you have made.
RE: Hard to believe - 18-02-13 12:15
I agree to some extent, however doesnt always mean that qualifications arent great because someone maybe good at care but rubbish at education. Some practitioners give the best cuddles in the world, will laugh, play and be the children's bestest buddy but when observed in their skills to scaffold children through zones of proximal development through sustained shared thinking they fail. So In as much as some practitioners show basic understanding of how children play, raise your game by quizzing them on how they can extend a child's understanding through theoretical knowledge underpinned by reaserch. The least qualified of my staff is a level 5 and I would not emply anyone with anything less than that because their knowledge is what creates the enabling environment that children are thriving in. In our setting we have progressed from just creating a play based environment. our setting is based on action reaserch that the children and parents are involved in, a spiralling model that stems from their interests...sorry I have gone on a bit but we so excited about it and any opportunity to share!!
RE: Hard to believe - 18-02-13 14:21
For a start I would say this is a breach of confidentiality and would not look favourably on a member of staff who was asked to take notes and then repetaed the applicants answers on a national forum! Secondly I agree wholeheartedly with the comments from previous respondents, there is so much more to early learning than play. Learning through play is a given but that is providing then opportunities offered actually enable the child to learn. Your appointed NVQ wishes to undertake the study the other two applicants have already done to broaden and expand her learning. There has to be a balance in employing staff but whilst I disagree with the writing bit I think maybe there is a bias against those who hold high qualifications especially if they are better qualified than most of the other staff! It is more reassuring to employ those who pose no threat and thosebwhosebown learning we understand
RE: Hard to believe - 18-02-13 21:09
It really annoys me when people focus on learning, learning, learning ALL the time. I think the best strategy would be to employ people from a range of backgrounds with different experiences and qualifications so that the children are getting what they need. Some people with all the knowledge are very unapproachable. I know someone who is a qualified teacher but focuses far too much on maths and literacy skills, almost as though the children are in primary school already. I don't think she's warm and approachable at all, but it's balanced out by the lesser qualified staff who play with the children and give them lots of cuddles and attention and play games with them. Children learn new things frequently; you don't have to be a rocket scientist to teach them new skills and give them new information that may help them later in life. Even just keeping up with what is going on in the world, learning new facts yourself, etc, can help to teach children. A child the other day was talking about how cold it has been and I started talking to him about a hotel made of ice that I had read about (he was just about to go home so didn't have long to chat). He found that fascinating! It wasn't really meaningful, but he learned something new and perhaps it will encourage him to look it up at home - which will then help his learning and development in other ways too.
I think people get too caught up in the formalities and forget what childcare should primarily be about. It's really sad, and one of the things that actually makes me consider leaving the country eventually to care for children elsewhere. Children do not need to be in a school environment at the age of 1 or 2. They've got at least 11/12 years of that to look forward to - often more. Not everything needs to be a learning experience.
I think you took on the most appropriate person for the job, and it proves that qualifications are sometimes not especially relevant - you can be perfect on paper but not so perfect in reality!
RE: Hard to believe - 18-02-13 22:22
What you would find in countries elsewhere where childcare is considered to be of worldwide excellence - Sweden, Italy etc is exactly that. Highly qualified staff who have a deep knowledge of child development and attachment ably supported by nursery assistants. Everyone and anyone in childcare should be interested in children and be able to offer loves, cuddles and affection but research consistently shows children fare better with staff who understand their needs. In no other profession would anyone say oh the less qualified staff are better! Would you say no it's ok I'll let the unqualified surgeon operate, or the untrained midwife deliver my baby, or the unregistered dentist fix my teeth, or the unqualified teacher teach my children? No absolutely not so why accept it in childcare? Children deserve the absolute best - passionate, caring, interested, enthusiastic and qualified
In any profession there will be people better suited to the job than others regardless of their skill set. It's upto the employer to make that call when recruiting.
RE: Hard to believe - 19-02-13 18:49
Well said Calypso. I agree with every word.
RE: Hard to believe - 19-02-13 23:47
I have done my research, and I know the countries I have considered are not so obsessed with learning constantly, all day long. That's not why I looked at them, it's purely coincidental - but it's a good thing, in my opinion. I hate that childcare is turning into school for really young children - the only reason the majority of them are there are because their parents have to go to work. Not everything has to have a meaning or an attached activity, etc. Some of it can be, but sometimes play can just be play and it doesn't have to be written about, observed in great detail or have an activity planned around it.
My point about qualifications was to employ a variety - not just lots of people with really high level education. That's not really showing equality and diversity for a start - what if someone from a poorer background couldn't afford to go to university and therefore hasn't got such good qualifications? You don't always need a fancy bit of paper to say what you're good at... hence why I said a mixture of skill levels is better (in my opinion). Of course that includes some highly qualified staff, I never said that they were a bad thing. (I'm actually doing a degree before anyone accuses me of being jealous - I just hate to think that colleagues I have worked with for a number of years who only ever intend to be level 3 will be left on a rubbish heap because they're considered "not good enough" - when I know for a fact they are brilliant).
There are many other professions where I would say the same thing, actually. When I was a baby, the doctor thought I may have some fairly serious condition. Eventually a junior doctor realised the actual "problem" - the information they had seemed odd, but not when everything else was considered. I was absolutely fine, but the person with the higher qualifications and more experience had made a mistake which caused months of concern for my family. I'm sure there are similar stories in all sorts of professions.
The one thing that is a real shame about this forum is how uppity people seem to get. Anyone dares to offer a different opinion and they've had it! I've seen the attitude towards some posters in the past and it really disappointed me. I won't go into great detail of the post I'm referring to, but it was a while ago now, and I thought to myself if I ever have children, there's no way I would want them to be spending time with people who have such a bad attitude.
RE: Hard to believe - 20-02-13 10:34
I find that the issue is not the level of qualification, but the route taken to get there.
A practitioner who completed a Level 3 qualification and gained a number of years experience before going on to gain a Level 6 qualification will (in my experience) have a much better understanding of children's development and be able to offer both the care (and cuddles) and be able to offer opportunities to help them progress in their development.
Compare that to a practitioner who opted for a more academic pathway - A-Levels, Full Time Degree( completing a few short placements along the way) and then EYPS whilst in a mangement position. whilst this practitioner will have all of the theoretical knowledge they have very little practical experience with children.
I would rather work with/employ the first practitioner than the second.
RE: Hard to believe - 22-02-13 18:24
by: AMANDA EGLASH
While i agree with alot of what has been previously said, i do also feel very strongly that their are people out there who have alot to offer children that don't have the highest of qualifications. I have the NNEB and over 30yrs experience and keep myself updated on all changes. I find now that alot of staff don't have common sense and the ability to just get on with things. All our children play and learn through well observed and planned activities. There is plenty of time for reading and writing!
RE: Hard to believe - 22-02-13 21:28
Evidence consistently supports better qualified staff give children better out comes. If we want the sector to move forwards and to be considered as an actual profession which is worthwhile and important, we must have high qualified staff. I am bewildered by the notion that just because I have an early years degree and an MA I am unable to care about the children as well as someone who is less qualified!
I am an NNEB with twenty five years experience including owning my own nursery. I thought I knew children; I love them, care about them and had a nursery where staff were encouraged to cuddle and to play with the littlies BUT I knew barely anything at all about attachment, language development, emotional and social development in any depth. Studying at this level has only made me more passionate; it has opened up a whole new way of thinking for me about how infants and young children need to be cared for. Nothing at all to do with reading and writing
Of course anyone who genuinely enjoys the company of children has bucket loads to offer qualified or not, but the facts remain. Children who are cared for by higher qualified staff do better and surely that is all that should matter. Hurrah for everyone who wants to work with children for bugger all money and very little recognition but please don't follow the 'less qualified staff are better because they know how to play with children' it ain't necessarily true !
RE: Hard to believe - 23-02-13 00:31
Allie - "I find that the issue is not the level of qualification, but the route taken to get there." - I think this is a good point. I have seen a few people who have come straight out of university with very little experience. Having some experience first makes a big difference.
calypso - "I am bewildered by the notion that just because I have an early years degree and an MA I am unable to care about the children as well as someone who is less qualified!" - Pretty sure nobody has said that. But this is a good example of exactly what I don't like - when you disagree with someone, they twist what has been said and completely exaggerate it.
I really hate that there seem to be so many practitioners on here who look down on others; childcare isn't a competition. People will go about things in slightly different ways and not everyone will agree on it, but that doesn't mean that one way is "right" and another way is "wrong". After all, all adults have experienced and survived childhood! The amount of paperwork and discussions surrounding the best way to look after children makes it seem as though they are really complicated and mysterious, but that isn't really the case at all (and I say this as someone who experienced depression at the age of 8!). Showing a child love and giving them attention make a huge difference.
calypso - "If we want the sector to move forwards and to be considered as an actual profession which is worthwhile and important," - why do people spend so much time worrying about what other people think? I am more bothered about the children I care for than whether people respect what I do; if they and their families are happy then I'm obviously doing something right.
RE: Hard to believe - 23-02-13 08:36
Eejay I actually agreed with most of your first post in that there has to be a balance of qualified staff who are all able to bring to children different qualities and skills so the children receive a mixture if the best everyone has to offer. I am not sure anyone on this forum has the intent of putting anyone down. From what I read there is a balanced discussion on relevant and important areas for the early years sector by a range if practitioners with different qualifications and different views. That is what a forum is. I perceive there to be on occasions a lack of will amongst posters to acknowledge the benefits of qualifications - and incidentally this is not the only forum I am referring to so am commenting on a wider picture. No one I have read so far has presented a negative put down, an exaggeration or shown any sort of dismay except for you. If I have been part of making you feel that way then apologies, but a forum is an open place for an honest point of view including your own.
It is absolutely vital that the sector is considered to be professional unfortunately those of us in the shop floor make no decisions about funding, policy, investment, training and professionalism and financial reward for those who do the work. As a lecturer I can earn between £25 & £40 an hour - as a nursery nurse I can earn £6 where on earth is the sense in that!
UK Early Years should set a shining example to the rest of the world. We should be able to say look at us this is how you make children and families happy. Then funding and investment will continue and in return children and families can be cared for. We won't see cuts in funding to Children's Centres and Services but rather a bigger investment for the children who really need it.
you seem terribly affronted but im not sure why! You seem to be a passionate practitioner whose goal is to make children and their families happy. Why get so tied up about a bit of a chat amongst folk on here. If I'm honest I don't give a fig if people disagree with me. I respect what ever anyone has to say, but as I've said before it is a platform for discussion and open to everyone's point of view.
RE: Hard to believe - 24-02-13 12:50
I probably have chosen you - a little unfairly - to vent all my frustrations at, so I'm sorry about that. I think the first line of your original response to the OP is what got me because for a while now I've been looking for somewhere to discuss issues that are bothering me at work, but I'm scared that someone will recognise me and use it against me, but I can't find anywhere to ask questions truly anonymously. I guess I just saw that same thing in the OP - it seemed she wanted to discuss something privately but, as you pointed out, people could probably work out who she is and she could get into trouble for it.
I've experienced it before where members of the forum are quick to put others down. The one particular thread I'm thinking about still makes me cross! I just get the impression that there are some people who have a lot of experience/knowledge who will judge people who do not have as much, and be really funny with them. Rather than helping the person, perhaps by suggesting there's a better way of doing something, they are quick to say how they're doing it wrong and they're a terrible practitioner. These threads/posts don't occur all the time, but they stick in my mind when they do.
Maybe I am looking at the professional aspect of it from a different point of view. I have only worked in private settings and I reckon, from my experience so far, any additional money would have gone straight into the pockets of people higher up the chain. I look at adverts for some of the accessories that are are available to help support children's development and wonder what sort of places buy them, because the majority of the resources I see are cheap plastic - and I hate it. My dream one day is to open my own nursery, and I'd happily only ever earn minimum wage so that money could be put back into the business for the benefit of the children.
Someone else in this thread mentioned not employing anyone "less than level 5", and this was another part of what got me worked up. I have a colleague who isn't especially academic, but she's working hard to get her level 3 qualification. She is so good with the children, and it's sad to think that there are places out there who would immediately reject her based on the fact she hasn't got a bit of paper with a higher qualification on. In fact, I'd say she was more passionate than two, and more knowledgable about the EYFS than one, of the members of staff with level 5 or above that I have worked with (out of about three!). I actually started work in a nursery with no relevant qualifications, though I had some voluntary experience in similar areas. People kept pushing back the date for me to start a course - I wonder now if it's because I had A-levels and they'd have had to pay for it - so in the end I paid just over £1,000 to study level 3. That's a lot of money for people to say, "Actually, no, that's not good enough." I'm now going to get myself into about £27,000 worth of debt to get a degree. It's worth it, but as you can see I've had little support from employers along the way.
RE: Hard to believe - 24-02-13 15:19
Ah I see now yes it is difficult and professionally confidentiality is tricky when we need to speak out! I absolutely see your points of view - intact it is for the same reasons I opened my own day nursery although believe me it is not as clear cut or as straight forward as one might originally think.
i really see your point about brushing off passionate practitioners who are not well qualified but we will have to agree to disagree here. Degrees are not just bits of paper - they are hard work and enable practitioners to gain a deeper and broader knowledge of child development. I know there are many out there who can ably work with children, but I agree with Cathy Nutbrown when she says childcare should be a career where their knowledge is supplemented by a systematic programme of learning and personal development. I think there is definite room for the huge amount of fantastic staff who are caring and loving but I know from experience what I knew as an experienced NNEB is nothing compared to what I know now as someone who has studied and practiced at Masters level.
I am glad we have ended this forum chat so positively! Good Luck I am sure your passion will take you far and one day you will have a lovely nursery :)
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