Kathy Brodie: Free CPD for Early Years Professionals

Kathy Brodie is an author, Early Years Professional and Trainer specialising in online training and courses. She is the founder and host of the Early Years Summit and Early Years TV, weekly Professional Development for Early Years practitioners and educators.

Tagchildren’s wellbeing


But what is ‘normal’?

Posted on October 6, 2020.

Growing up, we lived in the countryside – right out in the countryside. For us, part of normal school life was getting the bus into school, right from Reception age to school leaving age.
This was the case for more or less every child from every surrounding village. The bus would weave from place to place, picking up children outside their homes and ending up at school some considerable time later.

As children, we would know the bus driver’s names, have our favourite seats, our friendship groups. We would chat on the bus, share snacks, collaborate on homework and generally grow up together.

This was all entirely normal for us all.

When my husband talked about his journey to school, it was about walking together through his housing estate with his mates, meeting up with friends on the street after school or going to buy sweets from the local shops – all of which sounded incredibly exotic, odd and scary to me!

But for each of us, our experiences were ‘normal’. It’s what we did, how we grew up in the age and place that we lived.

Currently everyone – adults and children – are living through a pandemic that has turned the world upside down. As adults, parents, practitioners, educators, teachers, we’ve tried to keep things as regular as possible, whether that is lessons, seeing our loved ones or regular activities. This has been possible because we knew how things were done in the past. However, for young children, whatever we do is normal for them at that time.

It has never been more important to understand that for children whatever happens is ‘normal’ because this releases adults from the pressure of feeling that children have ‘missed out’ on experiences or activities. You may’ve planned a summer holiday that got cancelled but spent time all together at home instead. For the children, they will still remember a summer holidays spent together. The children may’ve missed playing with their friends at nursery, but instead have formed closer friendships with different aged children in your street or siblings, who they would not normally see because the older children would be in school.

Just as my experiences of travelling to and from school are different to my husband’s experiences of before and after school – but still be entirely normal for each of us – children will see these times as ‘normal’ for them.

So, please don’t worry too much about the ‘missing-outs’ or ‘catching-ups’ – enjoy the benefits instead.


Guest post

Education for Sustainable Citizenship in Early Childhood

Posted on February 12, 2017.

Dr John Siraj-Blatchford is a well-known name in Early Childhood research and a staunch advocate for improving the outcomes for young children. I have read a lot of his writing, but one article caught my eye when preparing the Early Years Summit – Wellbeing and Sustainable Development. Co-authored with Lynette Brock – a passionate supporter of play for children – the article explores how sustainability and integrated cross-generational initiatives are essential to improving children’s wellbeing and welfare.

This was a fresh perspective on children’s wellbeing that I’d not come across before, but which made a lot of sense. So I was delighted when Dr Siraj-Blatchford and Lynette Brock submitted the guest blog post below, linked to this very subject!

At the end of the blog post, you will find a link to the original article, along with links to other, free articles, and details of training sessions and conferences. 

Education for Sustainable Citizenship in Early Childhood

by Dr John Siraj-Blatchford and Lynnette Brock.

Education for Sustainable Development is about Environmental Education, it is about Global and Intercultural education, and it is about the Economics of wellbeing and the virtue of thrift. Most important of all, Education for Sustainable Development is also about improving the learning outcomes of children who are currently underachieving. Inequality and underachievement provide a significant barrier to sustainable development and this has been identified as a major priority in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. References are provided at the end of this posting to free to download resources that provide more detailed explanations and rationale.

Education for Sustainable Citizenship in Early Childhood (ESCEC) draws upon the logic of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which requires us to consult the child on all matters that affect them. In fact their future is the central concern of Sustainable Development, and we therefore believe they should be given a voice in determining this future. From the ESCEC perspective it is important for children to learn about the interdependency of humanity and nature, and about their interdependency with other people near and far. But it isn’t enough just to learn about the efforts being made in achieving a more peaceful and sustainable world, in adopting a ‘rights’ perspective it is clear that children also need to be involved in contributing to these efforts.