AGM Talks - : Priorities and Ways Forward in the Early Years
Prof Eva Lloyd will talk on:-: Children’s participation and belonging in marketised early childhood education and care systems.
According to the vision underpinning the Early Childhood Forum’s policy agenda “…inclusion is a process of identifying, understanding and breaking down the barriers to participation and belonging.” Over the last 35 years I have been exploring barriers to and enablers of the inclusion of children growing up with disadvantage in marketised early childhood education and care (ECEC) systems, in the UK and elsewhere. One of my inspirations has been Columbia University’s Professor Sharon L. Kagan’s application of systems theory to early childhood education and care systems. She remains at the forefront of early childhood scholars arguing for the creation of strong, coherent early childhood education and care systems as a prerequisite for services delivering high quality ECEC experiences for young children and their families. In this presentation I aim to share findings from my recent policy-related work on ECEC systems in England and Ireland.
Prof Jane Barlow will talk on:
Current issues in early childhood – priorities going forward
Recent societal level issues including Covid-19 and a programme of austerity measures, have had a significant impact on the wellbeing of children with evidence of a significant increase in childhood inequalities. Over the past five years there has a been a significant change in terms of the policy landscape with regard to early childhood, much of which has been part of the ‘levelling up’ agenda. The focus of much of this policy has been to rationalise care across childhood in terms of the integration of services and development of co-located and joined-up practice, the two most recent examples being the development of Family Hubs (FH), the Start for Life Programme (SfL). This paper will examine some of the drivers of these policy changes, and the emerging complexities on the ground in terms of both practice and evaluation.