They did it!
Baby and Childcare course ends
The first Holistic Baby and Child Care (EYE) Level 3 Diploma course has now been successfully completed and a graduation day with all the 19 students will take place in February 2017.
The feedback from the students has been very positive and encouraging, (given that a first run of a new nationally accredited qualification inevitably has its teething problems!). We, the tutors, have worked hard to find ways to best support each student’s personal learning and development needs, whilst meeting, in a creative and holistic way, all the necessary assessment criteria. It has been an exciting and challenging journey both for the courageous pioneering students, and for the courageous and pioneering tutor team –three exemplary tutors – Clare Benson, Sam Greshoff, Dr Richard House and myself. And also for me, course leader, learning skills to keep our boat and the compass direction steady through all the varying weather conditions. I need to mention here our internal quality assurer and administration support Deborah Watts, at Emerson College and Debbie Horseman at Crossfields Institute, whose unwavering support to me, the students and the tutor team over this first run of the qualification has been essential and deeply appreciated.
And we have done it! All the students have stayed with us through the course and we will proudly present them with their Level 3 Diploma certificates very soon.
Left: The group and tutors on the last day with story aprons.
A little about the course
The main aim of this programme is to offer a nationally recognised Level 3 qualification for those people who wish to care for pre-kindergarten children and/or support parents and young children, in the Steiner movement and in mainstream education. It weaves together the holistic nature of Steiner Early Childhood studies, the Pikler approach (which is an essential practical training for those caring for children under 3) and the UK government’s statutory regulations, Early Years Foundation Stage and Early Years Educator requirements. The qualification was developed with Crossfields Institute, who are also responsible for quality assurance and the awarding body is NCFE leading sector specialists CACHE. This unique and pioneering course fills a gap in Steiner Early Childhood training programmes in the UK, and more importantly offers a new benchmark of understanding and skill for carers of young children, that is deeply relevant today in all care settings. This training is for those who wish to deepen their understanding and practice of care for younger children (there is a huge and rising demand for holistic childminders and home from home models of childcare for the very young child) and who wish to support parents as parent and child group leaders. The course has attracted childminders, parent and child group leaders, Steiner kindergarten assistants and professionals in main stream settings.
The course started in September 2015 and our last time together (a 5 day residential at Emerson College) was the end of this October 2016, making the course a year a two months long. The course has been part time -meeting at Rudolf Steiner House, London once a month on a Saturday or Saturday/Sunday and three 5 residentials at Emerson College –one at the beginning of the course, one in the middle and one at the end.
Left: Practising feeding infants with each other
Our times at Rudolf Steiner House in the top studio there have been very special. However our residentials at Emerson College have been particularly rich and memorable. Everyone has appreciated being immersed in the peace and beauty of the College, enjoying the freedom to explore the grounds and enjoy good food. How did we enjoy Emerson?
For example….during our first residential we used the grounds for exercises in sensory awareness. In the second residential we experienced play outside to develop our understanding of children.
In our last residential the students enjoyed woodland crafts under the shelter of a huge oak tree in the grounds.
Left: Woodland crafts
During the course and on the residentials too we have been very fortunate to experience the wisdom of fine specialist tutors, many local to Forest Row, who have joined us for sessions, for example, in painting, eurythmy, bothma gym, speech and lyre playing.
Dorothy Marlen - Course Leader
“A deep nourishing insight into Early Years Education. I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to enter this profession ( journey) and to anyone who is already in Early years Education at a mainstream setting.” - Lorena Alina Cavalconti
“ A heartfelt thank you for creating a truly holistic course, demonstrated in its content, teaching and social realms. The breadth of the curriculum as educated me across the whole range of skills required for working with children from birth to three; understanding the EYFS, experiencing the warming “heart of care” and exploring the spiritual life of the young child”. The course really focussed on nurturing my professionalism, and self –development ( a life long gift!). You, your core turors and skilled visiting specialists are all brilliant exponents of your chosen areas- congratulations on assembling such a group!!" - Jack Cryer.