For the past year, a small group of us have been mulling over how to create an international open-source space which connects people involved in all aspects of Early Years in a way so that they could chat, share ideas, make friends, organise visits and link to other organisations and resources.
We wanted it to be open source, low cost and accessible to all. We want anyone working with children across the childcare, social care, health, education, police and preventative sectors to connect.
I was particularly keen to make it a network using technology and social media, given the success of our big conversations not least our most recent #BigOfstedConversation. Currently too many logistical and financial challenges limit people meeting, especially when we want to connect across other disciplines and internationally. Let’s face it, none of the formal arrangements to break down silos between professionals have really fully succeeded. We only need to read all the latest serious case reviews to see that.
However, networks can provide the means to connect people and host information, ideas and learning. Network members can engage in reflective conversations, build strategic relationships, friendships and provide mutual support for each other in a culture of collaboration. There are great examples of practitioner–led practice across the world that we could capture, especially as so many countries value why it is so important to get it right for small children. It can be such an optimistic solution.
Social media is the carbon-friendly way to go. We can use it to host global conversations, webinars, peer to peer dialogue and develop a united voice when it matters and stimulate debate to initiate collaborative solutions. Can we shape IEY into the foremost virtual learning community across the world?
I know many of you are keen to see much better collaboration and integration of ideas to strengthen the services offered to small children and families.
What do you think? Would this be of interest to you? Would you join up? Would you put your organisation’s link on such a portal? Would you crowd fund it?
Social Enterprise week is fast approaching and this would be a social enterprise. We would like to launch it that week. Speak now or forever hold your peace!