With the rapid change experienced by the Early Years Workforce over recent times, this book considers what constitutes professionalization in the sector, and what this means in practice. Bringing a critical perspective to the developing knowledge and understanding of early years practitioners at various stages of their professional development, it draws attention to key themes and issues.

Chapters are written by leading authorities and researchers in the field, and provide case studies from practice, and questions and discussion points to facilitate critical thinking.

Topics covered include:

leading and managing in the early years; reflective journeys; constructions of professional identities; men in the early years; multi-disciplinary working in the early years; professionalization in the nursery; child care practitioners and professionalization; early childhood leadership and policy.

With staggered levels of Further Reading, the editors and contributors provide a rich source of material that encourages reflection and promotes progression.

Childcare Practitioners and the Process of Professionalization

Childcare Practitioners and the Process of Professionalization

Childcare practitioners and the process of professionalization
JanPeeters and MichelVandenbroeck


There is a large degree of consensus that higher staff qualifications are correlated with higher quality in early childhood provision and that reflection is the most important part of professionalism. However, the concepts of the ‘reflective practitioner’ and the ‘reflexive practitioner’ (see below for the elaboration of these terms), although frequently mentioned in the literature, remain rather underdeveloped and the apparent consensus on the need for reflection may very well disguise a lack of consensus on what it actually means. Moreover, concepts of professionalism in general and of reflective and reflexive professionalism in particular are overwhelmingly elaborated without the professionals themselves. In this chapter, analysis of narratives of professionals during ...

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