An initiative from the University of Northampton will give graduates seeking a career supporting children an extra edge in the jobs market.
Students on the Early Childhood Studies degree can now take competencies to show potential employers they have practical experience and skills of working with children at Level 6, in addition to the required theoretical knowledge a degree provides.
The development of the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies, which were given an official launch this month at Central Hall, Westminster, was led by Dr Eunice Lumsden, Head of Early Years at the University on behalf of the Early Childhood Studies Network.
At the launch, Carolyn Silberfeld, the Chair of the Network, said: “The development of the Level 6 competencies was led inspirationally by Dr Eunice Lumsden from the University of Northampton. They will provide new opportunities for graduates to strengthen their practice in Early Childhood and develop graduate skills in the application of the inter-disciplinary Early Childhood knowledge base to reflective practice.”
Dr Lumsden said: “The Early Childhood Graduate Competencies are an exciting, timely and important innovation which can be embedded in Early Childhood degrees to provide new opportunities for graduates. I am delighted that Tanya Richardson, the Programme Leader for Early Childhood Studies will be taking the lead on the development at the University.
“These competencies are an important step towards building a graduate-led workforce, ready to face the challenges of the sector and are integrated into the new careers pathway that has been launched by the Department of Education.”
The graduate level practitioner competencies are being rolled out for students studying Early Childhood Studies programmes at universities across the UK from this month, with these highly skilled graduates entering the work force in three years’ time.
The practitioner competencies focus heavily on the application the academic elements of degree programmes in placements. Students will meet the nine competencies through assessed observations of practice, practice-based tasks and academic assessment.
Dr Eunice Lumsden, left, and Tanya Richardson are pictured at the launch.