Starting Strong The very first piece of the Early Childhood Education & Care (ECEC) career puzzle

According to the European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice (2019), one-third of children under the age of 3 years attend an Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) setting. That is, 5 million young children across 38 European countries are currently spending most of their day navigating and making sense of their first formal out-of-home experience. In Malta alone, over 4,000 young children are currently attending 0-3 years centres (NSO, 2017). As Early Years Practitioners (EYPs) we have a duty and a responsibility to ensure that our children are provided with a quality provision. A provision where a young child is exposed to an enriched, holistic and stimulating learning environment that is conducive in laying the foundations to their future learning trajectory (UNICEF, 2015). The same can be said for anyone wishing to work with the ECEC sector – having the best start, is indeed the best way of starting strong.

Providing the quality of service within ECEC is by no means a simple or straight forward task, let alone an easy job to manage effectively. Many ECEC provisions are regularly faced with a myriad of issues affecting the quality of service, often leading to socially complicated and stressful situations for those who are involved. This is where excellent professional training and development acts as a vehicle to ensure those working within ECEC, are securely driven to professionally resolving and managing issues related to quality educational care. Here at Avanza, we have taken the first step to support the 0-3 years ECEC sector, by offering the first of many accredited professional courses for those wishing and/or working within the field.

At Avanza, we have developed an NCFHE accredited MQF (Level 4) Early Years Development, Education and Care qualification which is centred around providing our students with the fundamental professional experience, knowledge and skills in working within 0-3 years ECEC provision. At the heart of this qualification lies the notion of providing quality early years educational care. Students will not only learn how to conceptualise what we mean by quality of practice but will equally experience their very own quality learning experience. At Avanza, we recognise the importance of supporting our students throughout their time with us and therefore, those who choose to embark on this course will benefit from our extended range of student services. Similarly to the millions of young children attending their first educational settings, we too want to ensure that our students continue to make progressive steps towards their journey of life long learning.

European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice. (2019). Key Data on Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe – 2019 Edition. Eurydice Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

National Statistics Office. (NSO). (2017). Childcare and Early Years in Malta: 2017. Valletta: Regional and Geospatial Statistics Unit.
UNICEF. (2015). The Investment Case for Education and Equity. (UNICEF/ATH-A_201300488/Ose)