From caring to career? The benefits to mature women of entering childcare

Wright, Hazel R. (2009) From caring to career? The benefits to mature women of entering childcare. In: Nineteenth European Conference on the Quality of Early Childhood Education, EECERA, 26 -29 August, 2009, Strasbourg, France.

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This paper argues for continuing diversity in the training of childcare workers. It demonstrates what might be lost if we focus too narrowly on professional standards when establishing and funding vocational training. It is not arguing against improving standards, quite the reverse, but seeking to reveal some of the hidden benefits arising when women are allowed a less direct route into the profession, one that integrates their personal and family needs, and allows them simultaneously to be part-time mothers, students and workers. As part of a doctoral study, the presenter, a childcare tutor, collected background information by questionnaire from 150 former students who trained over a ten-year period and invited a sample of 33 to explore with her what adult education meant to them. The approach was informal, using conversational style interviews to help students to consider the impact of education over their life-course in addition to reflecting specifically on the expectations, experiences and consequences of enrolment on a Diploma in childcare. Given the vocational nature of the course, it was anticipated that the interviews would be career-oriented. However, in practice they demonstrated a focus on present lives that suggests that adult education, in this case, childcare training, does far more than develop subject-specific skills. This paper briefly outlines the diverse range of consequences arising from learning to work with children concluding that these are important to the students themselves, their families, the local community and the wider society but that ultimately they benefit the children attending day-care.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 11 May 2011 15:23
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:18

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