For 40 years TACTYC has advocated and lobbied for professional development in order to ensure the educational wellbeing of young children. During that time, there have been countless policies and initiatives that have directly impacted professional practice for those working in early years. While many of these have claimed to be ‘evidence informed’, the evidence that has informed them has often been generated outside the sector in service of policy makers rather than the children who, as Bridgett Plowden so eloquently said, are at the heart of the education system.
As we celebrated our 40th anniversary last year at our ‘Back to the Future’ conference, we heard from many of the founding members of our organisation. The passion, commitment and determination of these in dominatable activists was truly inspiring. Those of us who heard them speak found ourselves lifted beyond the daily drudgery of ensuring that we are compliant with the latest directives.
The conversations that followed helped us find a renewed sense of identity, a new courage and commitment to work together for change and to help others to develop their professional identity too. We felt ourselves to belong to a powerful community, committed to empowering others and challenging the status quo.
Professionalism extends beyond compliance with performance indicators. Sadly, not all those working in early years have the confidence to speak out. This confidence comes from being part of a community, from finding like-minded individuals who share your vision and affirm your views and values.
TACTYC continues to advocate and lobby for professional development in order to ensure the educational wellbeing of young children. We have expanded to include those working and studying and providing training throughout the early years sector because it is the voice of those within the sector that must be prioritised in decisions about it.
Our new blog is your invitation to join the conversation, to speak out and be heard so that, together, we can work to shape our sector and prioritise the voice of the early years professional in political discourse.