Some weeks are pretty gloomy but this one had some really lovely highlights.
The first was midweek when I gave a keynote speech to Essex County Council Early Years colleagues about the creative practitioner. It gave me great scope to tell stories, get them to draw the person sitting next to them and read them my favourite book of the week, the feminist tale of Princess Sue who is ‘The Worst Princess.’ (we need to reclaim some of our feminist thinking in some of the modern arguments about women, motherhood and dress codes).
The second big highlight was a visit to one of our nurseries from the current Head of Early Childhood Development at Unicef, Dr Pia Ribello-Britto and the previous Head, Dr. Nurper Ulkuer. They were invited over by the forward thinking Dr Eunice Lumsden from University of Northampton (my favourite University because their Vice Chancellor , Nick Petford, is a volcanologist and the University is a social enterprise.) One of the highlights of the show around was the science activities and the children’s interest in volcanos so that Vice Chancellor is very welcome to extend our learning and make our experiments even more fantastic.
Unicef was in London to be part of the Global Campaign to put children and childcare central to Government targets and to launch their handbook,. ‘Early Childhood Development Research and its Impact on Global Policy’. I think Nick Clegg should lead it here given he is the only English political leader to show any real intelligent and interest in the plight of poor children and he gets a big tick for me for understanding and backing our ratio campaign. Would you agree ?
Eunice is also one of the movers and shakers of the Institute of Early Years which is a group of us are shaping into a global international portal and will be launched at the LEYF social enterprise lecture next Thursday. I am pushing this because I think we are simply mad not to look at what other parts of the developing world is doing for their children, places like Columbia, Vietnam and Chile. Of course the LEYF model fits very well with the emerging childcare in many developing countries.
Please come, we want to have a chat about Early Years, leadership and networks. There will, of course, be tea, wine and nibbles and great conversation.
As Mrs Doyle says to Father Ted, ‘Ah go on, go on, go on!’