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'A Joyous Childhood'

'A Joyous Childhood'

Friday 10 May 2019

'A Joyous Childhood'

Parents and professionals working with young children have the chance to hear from some internationally-renowned speakers on early years education.

The States Early Years Team is working together with the Guernsey College of Further Education to host a conference on 'A Joyous Childhood'.

"It is aimed at anybody who is working with children, particularly targeted within early childhood education so that's antenatally through to seven years old," said Lead Education Officer for the States Early Years Team, Ruth Sharp.

"What's important to me is that we talk about early childhood education and not just childcare. Starting with our parents that are the most important and prme educators in our children's lives. When they start school is not when they start education. It is not about the building it is the foundations and it starts with the parents in their homes."

'Experimental Education' project founder Professor Ferre Laevers will visit the island to deliver the keynote presentation. He is currently the Director of the Research Centre for Experimental Education based at the University of Leuven and has served as President-elect of the European Early Childhood Education Research Association.

a joyous childhood conference

Pictured: Ruth Sharp, Lorraine Barker, Jane Le Conte and Susie Crowder.

"We're really pleased that we have come this far working together to upskill the professionals on the island and give them access to people that, normally, they wouldn't have access to," added Faculty Director for Early Years at the College of FE, Lorraine Barker. "They have the books, we can do the research but actually to see these people in action and to see their enthusiasm has a really positive effect. It is about that value and sharing good practice."

Students studying for qualifications in early years education at the college will have the chance to attend the conference along with mature learners.

"Bringing professionals over to the island and hearing them talk about their areas of specialism brings the subject alive for practitioners," said Jane Le Conte from Bright Beginnings which is supporting the conference. "Everything we do at Bright Beginnings is under the '1001 Critical Days' banner and that recognises that the time from conception to age two is crucial to building babies' brains.

"If children don't get adequate chances in those 1001 days they suffer in not fulfilling their educational potential but they also go on to have mental health difficulties and physical health difficulties. We all recognise that childhood should be joyous and anything we can do to help that is a bonus."

The conference is also being supported by local charity Bright Futures. Susie Crowder from the organisation added: "The research shows that from zero to seven years the young person's character, personality and core behavioural traits are formed. In this day and age where the children of today are likely to live until 107 they are going to have at least four different careers. They are going to need to keep learning and be agile and resilient."

The one-day course will take place on Saturday 7 September and more information is available here.

Pictured top: File image.

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