Lumsden, E. and Murray, J. (2007) Wartime nursery, nursery, neighbourhood nursery, children’s centre: the changing role of early years provision. Paper presented to: Exploring Vygotsky's Ideas: Crossing Borders - European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) European Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, 29 August-1 September 2007.
England is currently facing a plethora of policy initiatives aimed at raising the quality of services for children and their families (Children’s Workforce Development Council, 2006). This paper reports on a study of one local authority early years’ setting that not only reflects historical changes in provision but also the importance of being responsive to policy initiatives. It has had to compete with the growth of private, voluntary and independent settings offering full time day care aimed at meeting changing workforce patterns. It has focused on future direction to ensure that it continues to have a role in providing the highest quality early childhood education and care in a changing and competitive market place. Therefore it has made the transition into becoming a children’s centre (Department of Education and Skills, 2004). This paper reports on the two-stage small-scale research project aimed at capturing the views of staff prior to, and one year after, becoming a children’s centre. It aims to enable their experiences to be disseminated so that they can impact on future development. Initial findings indicate a positive response to the change but considerable concerns relating to the practical and financial support provided.
Children’s Workforce Development Council (2006) Developing the Early Years Workforce. [online] Available from: www.cwdcouncil.org.uk [Accessed 5th January 2007]. Department of Education and Skills. (2004) Every Child Matters: Change for Children. London: HMSO.