Alliance launches #WeAreEducators campaign
By Rachel Lawler
The Alliance has launched a new campaign recognising those working in the early years as educational professionals.
The #WeAreEducators campaign aims to help those working in the early years sector highlight to parents, local communities and policymakers the unique importance of the early years and the role the early years workforce plays in shaping children’s lives.
As part of the campaign, the Alliance will be directly contacting MPs and peers to ask them to voice their support for the early years sector, and their recognition of the early years workforce as educators.
In addition, educators who sign up to the campaign will be given:
- access to a free #WeAreEducators toolkit which includes a mini-guide on how to highlight the early education being delivered at their settings when communicating with parents and carers
- a template letter to send to their MP inviting them to visit their setting to view education delivered in action
- digital recruitment banner adverts and social media graphics for the setting's website and social media pages
- posters, social media graphics and other materials to help settings to highlight the vital role of play in early learning
Earlier this month, research commissioned by the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, found that only 17% of the general public recognise the unique importance of the 0-5 period of a child’s life relative to other age brackets.
This report joins raft of research which shows that despite the critical importance of the first five years of a child’s life to their long-term learning and development, the early years provision is often viewed and treated as ‘childcare’ to support parents to work, and not as vital early education.
Educators not babysitters
Neil Leitch, CEO of the Early Years Alliance, commented: “For far too long, hardworking, talented and knowledgeable early years professionals have been treated as ‘babysitters’ by policymakers, rather than valued as the educators that they are.
“Using a range of free resources, materials, blogs and activities, we hope that early years educators will be well-equipped with the tools they need to highlight the important and irreplaceable role that the early years plays in a child’s educational journey, and we hope as many providers as possible will sign up to use the #WeAreEducators toolkit.
“Anyone who has ever worked in our sector knows that play is learning and that the early years is education. it is our hope that through this campaign, parents, local communities and -crucially – policymakers will come to understand this too.”
Early years providers can sign up to the #WeAreEducators campaign, and receive a free toolkit, here.