Early years practitioners’ personal and professional narratives of poverty

Lyndon, S. (2020) Early years practitioners’ personal and professional narratives of poverty. International Journal of Early Years Education, 30 (2). pp. 235-248. ISSN 0966-9760

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Abstract

Early years practitioners are central to UK government policy in alleviating poverty in early childhood. The significant level and rise in child poverty rates suggest that their role is becoming increasingly important in supporting families on low incomes. Paradoxically, cuts to children’s services under austerity policies and the low pay and status associated with working in early years sector means that many practitioners are likely to be vulnerable to poverty themselves. However, government policy has failed to recognise that practitioners who are charged with supporting families in poverty may at the same time be experiencing in-work poverty. Drawing on a narrative study with 38 early years practitioners in the south-east of England this paper addresses how practitioners’ personal and professional lives shape their understandings of poverty. Findings suggest that practitioners’ personal experiences of childhood, motherhood and personal poverty play a part in shaping their understandings of poverty and to what extent they are able to recognise and empathise with others. It is recommended that how practitioners are positioned and how they position others within discourses of poverty needs to be addressed if practitioners are to effectively support families on low incomes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Poverty, early childhood, early years practitioners, Education, Developmental and Educational Psychology
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1139 Early childhood education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1705 Education and training of teachers and administrators
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Education, Social and Life Sciences > Childhood
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sandra Lyndon
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2020 09:25
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2022 12:19
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/5219

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