The Grimsby Institute recently held an Early Years conference for staff, learners and local specialists working in the Early Years sector aimed at improving the quality of Early Years Practice in Grimsby.
The conference itself was aimed at those who were considering working, or are currently working in the Childcare industry and included a talk from Professor Iram Siraj, a specialist Early Years Adviser to governments and ministers in the UK and overseas.
Professor Siraj has advised UNESCO, World Bank and UNICEF on early education and care, published over 60 major research reports, monographs and books and over 200 peer reviewed articles and chapters in scholarly books. Professor Siraj is the Professor of Early Childhood Education at the Institute of Education at the University of London and is currently the visiting professor at the University of Melbourne.
Professor Siraj said: “I was asked to come to the Grimsby Institute to speak about the key determinates of quality in early childhood education because we know quality is very important to young children’s outcomes.
“At the Institute of Education we have had a seventeen-year longitudinal study which picked the children up aged three, they are now aged between 18 and 21. We studied their pre-school’s very carefully, controlling for background characteristics; mothers’ education, employment, home environments.
“We then followed through primary and secondary education and collecting all this data we were able to look at the long-term impact of the pre-school on the children’s development. We were also able to separate the effects of primary school, secondary school and home and look at how they all interact with each other to impinge on children’s development.”
The conference also saw Kathy Dixon, Children’s Services Adviser for North East Lincolnshire Council, talk to the assembly in the Grimsby Institute’s Main Hall, packed with over 300 current and future practitioners.
Professor Siraj continued: “I hope I have passed on some of the practical and theoretical things that have worked with young children and give examples of good practice; such as the interaction between babies toddlers, older children and the adults that work with them.
Events like this are very important because all the research has demonstrated that if you want population change, in terms of social mobility, it has got to happen in the first seven years. I wanted to talk today because I wanted these people to know what a huge difference they can make and how valued they are for what they do.