School of Education news

A smiling Dr Jool Page

Show children ‘professional love’

The places of ‘love, care and intimacy’ should fill a gap in the English early years system, according to the University of Brighton’s Dr Jools Page.

In an article published in the TES magazine (formerly Times Educational Supplement, subscription required), Dr Page, Senior Early Years Lecturer in the School of Education, says early years professionals should show children in their care that “regardless of their circumstances, everyone born into this world is worthy of being loved just for who they are – not because of something they have to do in order to earn that”.

Contact between caregivers and children is a sensitive issue, but Dr Page, who formerly worked as a nanny, day care centre manager and senior policy advisor for under-threes at a local authority prior to taking up an academic career, argues that ‘professional love’ can be hugely beneficial to babies and young children.

While the majority of children are at home and not in early years settings due to coronavirus lockdown measures, Dr Page says in the post COVID-19 world, policymakers need to bring into practice the research which suggests emotional relationships are vital for development.

Dr Page told TES: “I suppose my question for early years practitioners to reflect upon is: why would they refuse a child who wants a hug?

“Each child will be different and each set of circumstances is different.”

Dr Page discusses her early years research in the TES article – read the full story (subscription required).


Kerry Burnett • May 4, 2020

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