The tree pictured below came with us to our protest outside Downing Street on June 24th 2023. The ribbons were filled with statements from children, professionals and parents about what children need to be happy and to thrive. The aim was to visually represent the voice of children. Children are the reason most people choose to work in our sector and they are the ones that will suffer the most if provision is not quality. We believe that children have a right to high quality early childhood experiences.
If we keep children’s rights at the centre, the rest is simple. Anything less than quality is not good enough. Quality requires (amongst other things) adequate funding and well-paid professionals. However, until enough people inside and outside of the sector realise this - change is not likely.
In September we are planning a giant conversation which will take several forms - The Early Years Conversation. As part of this we would love early years settings to create their own Rights on Ribbons Trees. It doesn’t need to be complicated or costly. At the bottom of this page are a couple of examples that settings made at the time of our protest in June.
The main purpose is to encourage thought and conversation about early childhood.
You could ask children what makes them feel happy, what makes them feel sad, what they do or don’t like at your setting, what they like to do with the adults in their lives…
You could ask the other professionals in your setting what they believe children need from an early years setting to be able thrive & reach their full potential. Then you could ask what they (the professionals themselves) need to be able to give children that.
You could ask parents what is most important to them about an early years setting and what they feel children need to thrive.
The thoughts, comments and ideas that you can gather can be written on ribbons to hang on a tree of your creation. Get creative in how you do it and when you have finished send us a photo on email@example.com. If you can put it on social media please tag us (Twitter: @earlyyearsequal, Instagram: @early_years_equality, Facebook @earlyyearsequality) and use the hashtags #rightsonribbons and #rightsforunder5s.
More information on how else you can be involved with our plans for September to follow...