Achieving Early Years Professional Status

Author(s) Denise Reardon
Publisher SAGE Publications Ltd
Published 2009
Pages 224
Price £18.99
ISBN 9781847871909
Reviewed by Mrs Margaret Simms
Review published 5 November 2009

The title will undoubtedly catch the eye of practitioners who are considering, or already working towards, achieving Early Years Professional Status. Achieving Early Years Professional Status addresses a need for accessible guidance and support. It facilitates reflective practice amongst early years practitioners and steers them towards Early Years Professional Status (EYPS). To this end, the book draws on research evidence, government policy and the author’s personal experience.

Numerous topics are clearly signposted within the eleven chapters. Topics cover an introduction to, and process of, achieving EYPS: qualities, knowledge, skills and understanding needed by Early Years Professionals: an exploration of effective practice, assessment, routines, communication, language and literacy; relationships with children, families and carers; team work, collaboration and professional development needs; explanation of the ‘Gateway’, and the final stages of the EYPS validation process.

The book ‘is organised in such a way as to lead the reader on a reflective journey’. It is also amenable for those who wish to dip in and out to increase specialist subject knowledge. What is particularly useful about this resource is the inclusion of Chapter Objectives, Reflective Activity, Leadership Activity, Point to Remember, Key Points, Case Study, Further Reading and Useful Websites; each with its own icon. A black thought cloud represents Reflective Activity but it has the appearance of a dark storm cloud.

The book is for practitioners. It fulfils its purpose in offering guidance and support on a range of issues from beginning to build a foundational knowledge of how and why EYPS came about in the UK, to achieving Early Years Professional Status. There is no doubt that practitioners will want to have their own copy of Achieving Early Years Professional Status as a reference point en route to EYPS. The publication is equally suitable for use by any student practitioner at Level 3 and above who desires to become a more effective practitioner.

I would recommend Achieving Early Years Professional Status to colleagues for inclusion on their reading lists. Lecturers will find the resource most useful as a framework around which to plan their EYPS training and development programmes. Activities are useful for practical workshops, role- play or discussion and debate.

The strength of the book lies in its knowledge base. Readers may absorb this as a means of assuring themselves of the need to achieve a certain level of professionalism, more particularly Early Years Professional Status.

The main weakness of this book is the extremely small font used in the Index. The book is well referenced and includes directions for future reading.

In summary, Achieving Early Years Professional Status is a valuable addition to the range of literature currently available to the early years practitioners, students and lecturers.