‘Don't call it a workforce, call it a profession!’: Perceptions of Scottish Early Years Professionals on Their Roles from Past to Future

Tracey Joyce, Megan McKenzie, Angela Lindsay, Derya Asi (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Abstract

Studies indicate Early Years Professionals continue to feel undervalued within their role, despite a significant shift in their perceptions from being a carer to being a professional. To improve the understanding of the role of Early Years Professionals, it is important to identify their own understanding of their roles and attributes towards the profession. We invited 21 professionals working in the Scottish context with bachelor’s degree qualifications in Childhood Practice to take part in the study. The main idea was to explore how attributes and perceptions of professionals in early years provision have been evolving from past to present and their aspirations for the future. Participants were generally positive about their perceptions regarding their professional role, yet some negative attributes were evident. The data highlighted changes and improvements in the profession, however, participants reported that their role is often not recognised or valued as part of a professional workforce.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalEducation 3-13
Early online date24 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Apr 2023

Keywords

  • Early years professionals
  • professional recognition
  • validation of professional role

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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