Perceptions of a leadership crisis in the Early Years Sector (EYS)

Daniel, Valerie (2019). Perceptions of a leadership crisis in the Early Years Sector (EYS). University of Birmingham. Ed.D.

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Over the last 20 years, the EYS has featured heavily as a priority with regard to UK policy reform, and the continuous reframing of Early Years funding and regulatory frameworks. The increased attention without the benefit of a national strategy has created high levels of turbulence within the sector with successive governments committing to a complicated demand-led childcare market system with supply-side subsidies, delivered through a mixed economy of providers but with a large and ever-increasing private for-profit sector. There is no universally agreed value system for the EYS which has resulted in the sector attempting to operate with confusing and often-times, conflicting policy directives. This directionless pathway has created a two-tiered system that sits on the divergent principles of ‘marketisation’ and ‘universalism’ which has incurred some major areas of controversy. The EYS operates with a kaleidoscope of qualifications, experiences, professional heritages, contractual conditions and expectations which is further compounded by the continuing debate about what is best for young children, who is best to deliver it and what level of professional leadership is necessary for early education. In reviewing the current literature, little consideration has been given to the ‘totality’ of the EYS and dynamics of the structural, environmental, economic, political and cultural interplay within a diverse and complex system which is seemingly at a critical stage.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ed.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ed.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education


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