Special Edition: ‘50 years of early years provision 1971-2021’
We are delighted to have such an eminent group of writers with direct research, policy development and service delivery experience for this special edition of the TCJ.
Our first paper by Sonia Jackson reflects on ‘how the work of the Plowden Report (1967) sent Early Childhood care and Education in Britain down the wrong path, and why we have never found our way since’. The paper explores how over the last 50 years, depending on the party in power, the needs of young children and their families has ‘either been a focus of attention, or receded into the background, and consequently the basic shape of early childhood education and care as set in the Plowden recommendations has not changed’
The next paper ‘Transforming The Early Years 1975- 2005; A Personal Perspective’ by Dame Gillian Pugh, offers a detailed account of the history and development of early years services from her experience at the National Children’s Bureau, the Coram Centre and as an advisor to the Dept of Education. Gillian traces the historical development of these services, and the reluctance of successive governments to support them until the tide began to turn, leading to the establishment of Sure Start in 1989.
This story is picked up in our next paper ‘Sure Start Review’ by Naomi Eisenstadt who was the first Director of the Sure Start programme. Her paper explores the achievements and difficulties of establishing the service under the New Labour administration. As Naomi writes ‘Sure Start was aimed at local areas with very high concentrations of poverty. Initial funding of £450 million over three years was allocated for 250 Sure Start Local Programmes. Each programme would cover between 400 and 700 under fours living in some of the poorest neighbourhoods in England’.
Teresa Smith, in her paper ‘Narrowing The Gap? EPAs To Children’s Centres 1971- 2021’, offers a focused overview of 50 years of research on implementation and outcomes for early years education and care.
From The Planned Environment Therapy Archive, Debs Doggett and Gareth Beynon have selected a paper about ‘Pauline Weinstein and the Hackney Playbus Project’, this includes part of the transcript of an oral history interview with her. This article links with our aim to publish a regular paper relevant to the Child Care History Network, and this special edition ‘early years’ theme.
Keith White writes his regular two articles from his experience at Mill Grove. His first ‘The Roots Of Hospitality’ reflects on ‘whether such “hospitality” between those who welcome and accept each other across social, cultural and ethnic divides, is somewhere near the heart of therapeutic care and therapeutic communities’. His second paper ‘Snails And Comenius’ ( Johan Amos Comenius, 1592 – 1670) brings together thoughts about learning/education for young children through the mediums of relationships, play, and an imaginative and curious engagement with the environment.
With warm wishes,
John Diamond, Marya Hemmings and Debs Doggett
A Fond Farewell…
John Diamond has been a driving force in placing the TCJ into the wider community, nationally and internationally and has worked hard to bring together articles from a range of authors covering a variety of topics and services.
He will be missed but we wish him a happy retirement and hope that he will contribute papers to the TCJ over the coming years.
Thank you for your work and commitment to the TCJ.
Marya Hemmings and Debs Doggett.
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