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.

Constructions of Professional Identity

Constructions of professional identity


Through this chapter, I aim to explore some of the multiplicity of influences that contribute to the construction of professional identity in the early years workforce arising from influences such as personal histories, spaces and places of work, dominant discourses related to children and families and political ideologies. I start with setting the scene in terms of what is known about the early years workforce against the backdrop of workforce reform in England. Similarly, the historical legacy in its shaping of the current early years workforce will also be considered and may deepen an understanding of potential struggles and tensions, an influence acknowledged by Dent and Whitehead: ‘The new professional that is given birth is identified by the ...

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