I was interested to read about Nursery World’s #StandUpForEarlyYears campaign
In launching this campaign, Nursery World wrote: “We know our early years providers are working incredibly hard to meet the needs of young children and their families in very challenging circumstances. This is what they have always done and will continue to do during the coronavirus crisis. We believe it is time that the dedication, skill, professionalism and love shown by everyone working in the early years sector is given the status and respect that this deserves, along with funding and pay to match.”
I think the lockdown has helped us all evaluate what is important to us and wider society. A light has been shone on the vital work of carers – in early years, the NHS and in the care sector – and people have realised the importance of this work. Will this now translate into greater recognition and financial reward for care work? Only if we all speak up!!
Let’s be proud of what we do. Let’s stand up and say how much care matters – be it in a nursery, a care home, or a parent who wants to be supported to stay at home and care for their own child.
Societies’ priorities need to change and as carers, we can lead the way on this.
Something I very much felt during lockdown was pride for our staff team. They left the safety of their homes to care for others and their work was important and vital to enable other Critical Workers to do their work. That’s what this campaign is about – we need society to acknowledge how important early years staff are and how this needs to be reflected in professional and financial respect.
I would like to thank our staff team, both in nursery and at Head Office . I know many had anxieties about returning to work after so long, but once back in their teams the focus was on the excitement of welcoming the children back. I have loved the collective positive attitude and I am so proud of all our staff who have displayed calm professionalism and a “can do” approach which has made our reopening so successful.
It’s wonderful when this is recognised by parents. One mum wrote to me saying “our daughter having the option of going back to pre-school has been a lifeline. For her, it’s been a much-needed hit of normality and the team have obviously made her feel like everything is as “normal” as possible.”
We have received so many messages of support and thanks from parents who are recognising what staff are doing in welcoming children back in a way that feels normal. They appreciate the opportunities for their children to play with their friends in an everyday way. This is testament to the courage and dedication of early years staff who are driven by their love of supporting children and watching them develop.
This is why it’s definitely time to #StandUpForEarlyYears and help others appreciate the incredible work that early years staff do each day and how important this is, for individual children and wider society.
Saffia Bullock, Managing Director
*Photo of a socially distanced appraisal at The Court House Day Nursery. Left: Saffia Bullock, Middle: Jayde Camfield, Right: Jackie Shaw