New directions in the early years: introducing the new early years professional in England

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter


In March 2006 the former British Labour Government (1997-2010) introduced a new professional, the Early Years Professional with status (EYPS). It has been presented as the ‘Gold Standard’ in early years and every full time day-care setting should have an Early Years Professional by 2015. The last five years have seen intense activity to develop frameworks to support the EYPS ‘production line’ and there are now five training routes. This paper aims to disseminate some of the challenges of establishing a new professional imposed by central government rather than grown organically. It will specifically report on research undertaken with candidates on the ‘pilot phase’ of EYPS which forms one strand of ongoing doctorial research into the development of a new professional identity. A mixed methods methodology, using questionnaires and interviews has been employed to ascertain the views of respondents after the assessment and a year later. It concludes that investment in the early years by the UK government is welcomed but the actual introduction of EYPS has had a mixed response, especially because of the initial alignment with teaching. However, data gathered from this distinct group provides insight into emerging professional differences, the assessment process and the importance of continual professional development
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Canada International Conference on Education
Place of PublicationCanada
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780956426321
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2010


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