Early years blog: giving children the very best start in life

Hi, I am Ange Syson and I joined Best Practice Network in 2013. I mainly work as a group tutor and personal tutor on the Early Years Initial Teacher Training Programme in Leeds and York, but I occasionally work in other areas such as HLTA training. I have worked in education and training for twenty years. First as a special needs teacher and then I moved into Early Years when I started a family of my own. I thought that childminding would be an easy way to keep my hand in while being able to spend time with my own children. I soon realised that it was a challenging, professional role and loved every minute of watching young children learn and develop. As someone who has a hunger for knowledge and a passion for providing the very best education, I decided to enrol on the Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) course with Best Practice Network in 2011. I remember my colleagues at the time questioning why I would want to take on this additional amount of work for no extra financial reward. For me it was not about financial gain, but the reward was in giving children the very best start in life.

Completing EYPS with Best Practice was probably one of my best career moves. Training with a team of passionate tutors and like-minded trainees gave me a sense of pride in my job and boosted my self-confidence. Within three years of completing EYPS, I became a successful independent Early Years consultant, joining the Best Practice Network team, completing Early Years Inspector training and contracting with other national organisations. For those who believe that further training in Early Years is not worth it, I would have to disagree.

I am now working towards an MA in Early Childhood Education at Sheffield University and I am specialising in refugee education. I have recently formed a partnership with Roshan Learning Centre in Jakarta. Roshan provides education for pre-school children through to adult education in a refugee camp. It is run mainly by unqualified volunteers from the refugee community. To say that I am excited about working with the team is an understatement. I am hugely looking forward to helping design a training programme for the volunteer teachers and will be making my first visit to the centre to deliver workshops and coaching sessions over the summer. I feel incredibly privileged to do the work I do. The trainees and practitioners I work with continuously inspire me, and the children make every day a fun day.     

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