A £1m funding programme from the Froebel Trust, launching this summer, aims to foster collaboration in the early years sector and provide training for more practitioners. The Froebel Trust funds practice development and research into education and learning in the early years and childhood, from birth to the age of eight. Under the programme, two project teams – The Froebel Partnership team and the Froebelian Futures team, will receive funding to undertake intensive research, Froebelian practice development and community engagement projects over the next three years.

The two teams

Working across England and New Zealand, the Froebel Partnership team will be led by Sally Cave from Guildford Nursery School and Family Centre, Professor Chris Pascal from the Centre for Research in Early Childhood, and Anne Denham from AMA Associates in Auckland, an educational support service. They will work with schools and settings in England, the European Early Childhood Education Research Association and early learning associations – including the Kindergarten Associations across New Zealand and the New Zealand Ministry of Education.

In Scotland, the Froebelian Futures team will be led by Dr Lynn McNair from the University of Edinburgh and Lian Higgins from the Cowgate Under 5s Centre. The team will work with local authorities across Scotland and colleagues in the Czech Republic and Greece focusing on the development of Froebelian leadership.

Dr McNair said, ‘It feels more necessary now than ever to celebrate children’s multiple childhoods and drive forward child-centred practices. We are particularly interested in the entanglement and complexity of children’s lives, believing that diversity matters.’

The Froebel Trust will share the outcomes of the two projects in a series of reports, evaluations and events designed to share learning, evidence and results.

Dr Sacha Powell, chief executive of the Froebel Trust, said, ‘This funding will give more young children and their families the opportunity to access a Froebelian approach to early education – with plenty of outdoor play, creativity, learning through nature – and the myriad of benefits to learning a Froebelian education can bring.’

Mark Neale, Froebel Trust chair of trustees, added, ‘The early years sector has been under intense pressure during the pandemic and this investment should give a real boost to those who have been working so hard to support and care for young children in nursery schools and kindergartens.’

Source Nursery World

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