A little under a year ago, I made a huge decision. To leave my role as an EY manager and go it alone. My role as an EY manager was more than job, it has been my everything for over six years. I referred to the childcare setting that I had established and nurtured for six years as ”my baby”. The team I worked with were family, we had been through so much together, ups and downs, celebrations, hard times, exciting and challenging times. The relationships we built with children and families were built on trust, respect and an enormous amount of love and care.

I still had the same amount of passion, motivation and enthusiasm to share but I knew in my heart that my health was suffering because my own self care was no longer a priority. So for the last 12 months I have been establishing a new role, as a self proclaimed Early Years enthusiast, determined to share my joy of working with children, staff and families within the EY on a larger scale.

Today I presented at the West Midlands Ofsted Big Conversation in front of around 200 professionals. I debated the topic of Risky Play and as always let my heart rule my head as I rambled on, sharing my views and encouraged others to do the same.

I had the pleasure of listening to others from our sector speak and representatives from Ofsted highlight national and regional updates and news. I felt a huge amount of pride. For myself, for the passionate speakers and delegates but most importantly, I felt pride for all of us – every single one, as a sector, as a workforce, for the invaluable and precious role we have. I have always been extremely proud about the career path I took, over 22 years ago – despite the challenges we face.

Gill Jones Ofsted Deputy Director, discussed how, and I paraphrase, just five years ago people weren’t valuing the first five years in a child’s life in the way we do now, the EY count, they are valued and important. I have said it before and I will say it again, we have the best and most important job in the world! We are a big deal! It’s takes something special to nurture, cherish and care for little people day in, day out. I firmly believe if we join forces, more often – celebrate one another, champion and cheerlead for one another, for our sector and exemplify our profession as a desirable one, then we give others no choice but to sit up and take notice.

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