History of Childcare Institutions and Qualifications During this essay I will be outlining the history of childcare institutions and qualifications and how they have developed in relation to the needs of the country, family needs and society. I will be looking at the following occupations wet nurses, governesses, nannies and nursery nurses and how qualifications have developed within these roles. I shall them to the qualifications of the present day and how gender and social class have impacted on these professions.
Also I shall consider how the curriculum content has changed to meet the demands of the ever changing role of the childcare worker and how it relates to my teaching practice currently and in the future. When focusing on childcare a fundamental starting point is considering the role of the wet nurse and why she was popular and in demand. Wet nursing can date back as far as Moses. When the princess found baby Moses floating down the Nile she asked Miriam to find a wet nurse. In Ancient Egypt poor women used to supplement their income by becoming wet nurses for the upper class citizens or mothers who could not produce enough milk.
Contracts were drawn up between them to “ensure the wet nurse provided good milk; preventing the wet nurse from nursing other children, having sex, or becoming pregnant” (history-wet-nursing, 2011). In many cultures wet nurses were an ancient tradition, for example within the Chinese culture, before the Second World War, wet nursing was common practice. The Communists tried to outlaw the practice but in the 21st century it has become a status symbol and due to the melamine milk scandal this ancient profession has seen a revival. Wet nurses in China today – must leave their own children, maintain a special diet, and undergo training in certain cases.
Furthermore, if the babies that they nurse do not grow 20 grams each day, the wet nurses are fined by their employers. ” (history-wet-nursing, 2011) During the Victorian era it was common place for the upper classes to employ a wet nurse as once more this was seen as a status symbol. Other reasons were that women of this era were usually married to authoritarian husbands who believed that breast feeding interfered with sex and the women themselves assumed that it would disfigure their breasts.
Furthermore, during this time infant mortality was high and upper class families were encouraged to have large families to ensure the survival of an heir. Breast feeding provided a form of contraception and prevented ovulation thus, spacing out pregnancies. It wasn’t uncommon for babies to be sent to a wet nurse’s home for 18 to 24 months in order for the mother to become pregnant again. Often a wet nurse could be feeding many children including their own (sometimes to their detriment) and was either paid as well as a labourer or received nothing at all.
Morisot, The Wet Nurse (1880) According to Valerie Fildes there were three types of wet nurses “the parish nurse who took in parish infants and was usually receiving poor relief herself; the nurses of the London Foundling Hospital who worked under the supervision of inspectors; the privately employed nurse, for whom wet-nursing was a significant and continuing occupation for which she received a good wage both in money and in kind: often she was cared for by her nurse-children in later life and received the occasional bequest from them. ” (Fildes, 1988, p. 43)
The qualities required for a wet nurse by the Victorians were worked out in enormous detail. She should have an attractive face, clear eyes, well made nose, red mouth, white teeth and a deep chest. The shape of her breasts was very important and their size shape and colour were all taken into account. She should also have a good personality, speak well, not be pregnant or desire the company of her husband. The reasons for these specific qualities were that it was thought that they would be transferred through the breast milk to the child (Fildes, 1988).
By the middle of the 19th century wet nurses had virtually disappeared although isolated examples still existed (Churchill had a wet nurse). Surprisingly, wet nursing is making a reappearance in society today, there are wet nursing agencies where mothers can employ a wet nurse. Within society today, a woman may choose this option due to health reasons for example extreme illness or disease such as AIDS, an inability to produce breast milk or multiple births. What is more, this privilege is still confined to the upper and middle classes of society who have the means to pay.
However, during the Victorian era this may have been seen as common practice but during this century it is quite often seen as a taboo subject,as pregnant mothers are given information about the benefits of breastfeeding from health professionals who actively encourage new mothers to conform with this practice. Alongside this there is the pressure from government initiative and more detailed research, that are changing the ideology of society thinking dismissing the Victorian idea of wet nursing as a status symbol.
When comparing the person specification of the wet nurse in the 19th century to today’s wet nurses, it appears that there are some similarities such as being in good health, not smoking or consuming alcohol. Today, they are also vetted and tested for transferable diseases due to the fact more is understood about these by society and health professionals. Furthermore, wet nurses need to have a baby of a similar age in order for the milk to be of the right constitution and they would usually live or work in the employer’s home whereas previously they would have been taken to the wet nurses home.
Following on from the wet nurse there is the emergence of nannies. The history of nannies can be traced back as far as the seventeenth century. The English nanny was an institution and was most popular during the 18th century. She is often portrayed in books and films as a kind, gentle woman who children adored; in fiction such as Jayne Eyre, Mary Poppins and more recently Nanny McFee. Before training developed nannies were often what were known as “gentlewomen” who had fallen on hard time and had to support themselves.
They saw being a nanny as a solution to their predicament. Not all nannies were kind, some were extremely cruel. The nanny usually had a great deal of power and responsibility within the home; she had her own quarters to look after the children usually at the top of the house. The upper classes, employed nannies in order for them to continue their leisurely life style. Children at the time were also viewed as they should be “seen and not heard” and parents left it to the nanny to have total care and responsibility for their upbringing.
Parents only spent a short time in the day with them accompanied by the nanny. The nanny would usually have a nursery maid to assist her who would do the menial tasks such as preparing meals and laundry. On the whole, nannies learned from other nannies and progression was usually nursery – maid, nursemaid or under nurse, sometimes a period of working as a second nanny, and then finally a nanny in her own right. In 1892 the first training college was set up by Emily Ward. She ran a school for young children in Norland Place and recognised the need for training.
She was one of the earliest advocates of the Froebel system of teaching which was based on the approach “that all children are born good, and that to help them develop, adults need to provide the right environment and activities. These protect the child from learning bad habits of “evil tendencies”(Tassoni, 2006, p19). Emily Ward found that many of the students who went to her for training were not academic and found the Froebel examination too difficult despite her students being very practical and having a great love of children.
Emily Ward recognised that if the students could be trained, not only would it benefit the children but would provide a new profession for girls of the educated classes. Students were charged a fee of thirty six pounds which covered six months training. The students were also expected to wear a uniform which Emily Ward thought would identify them as professionals and not have them mistaken for housemaids. This leads me to believe that originally the role the nanny was seen for women to earn a respectable living when they found themselves to be in a financial predicament rather than needing a formal qualification.
However, during the latter stage of the 19th century the introduction of a formal qualification and fee for training transformed nanning into a profession, but still only allowed educated middle class, girls the opportunity. The students training was broken down into the following:- “Three fortnights for cooking, laundry, and domestic work, and six weeks spent in the Norland Place School, looking on at lessons, and giving help to the teachers. ” (Gibbs, 1960, pg 178) Lectures given in the morning and the afternoons were spent exercising (walks in the fresh air), the evenings were for learning needlework.
The second three months were spent in hospital training and the students were then given one month’s holiday before taking a post in a private family as a children’s nurse. If the employer was happy with the student she would continue for another three months and only then would the Norland Certificate be awarded. By today’s standards training was centred around domestic science rather than understanding the child and how they develop, which would confer with the ideology of woman’s role within society at that time as the traditional housewife.
However, at a glance nanny’s of today are still required to fulfil domestic duties such as cooking and laundry but this is not curricular based but, has more emphasis on the development of the child. By 1904 the training changed slightly as it was realized that students needed to gain practical experience to do their job and a small nursery was set up overseen by experienced children’s nurses with the students acting as under-nurses. This practice was highly regarded by employers when the students obtained posts, and is seen favourably and useful by employers today.
By 1924 fees had risen to eighty pounds and the college expanded. During the Second World War the college and nursery evacuated to Devon, but many of the students gave up their training and joined the women’s services. After the war the college relocated to Chislehurst and students began training again. The course itself was extended from six months to twenty one months and included “domestic science, educations training, residential nursery training and a hospital nurse course. Students were also taught story-telling and games for the under-fives. (Gibbs, 1960, pg 180) Great emphasis was placed within the training on the needs of the small child, students gained experience of this from working in the nursery attached to the college and nursery schools and infant welfare centres outside of the college. An examination was also introduced at the end of the twenty one month’s – the National Nursery Examination Board qualification or NNEB. However, the Norland Certificate was only awarded to students who had completed one year’s satisfactory work in post which had been agreed by the Principal.
Only two years were allowed from the end of training to obtain the full certificate. The college also encouraged students to stay in touch with them for at least three years after completing their certificate. They did this to ensure they could follow the career of each student and ensure that the standard of the college could be maintained. Norland nannies were well respected and there was a constant demand in private posts, nurseries and for posts as school matrons. Norland College was the first training college to open in 1892 and later other colleges began to appear.
The Princess Christian Training College for Nursery Nurses opened in Manchester in 1901 under the direct patronage of the Princess Christian (third daughter of Queen Victoria). She suggested that instead of hospital training, a course of home nursing should be introduced. She also felt very strongly that a nurse should be forbidden to punish children herself. The need for training colleges was recognised by the Gentlewomen’s Employment Association (1891), Princess Christian was one of its patrons. Like the Norland College it provided employment for gentlewomen who needed to earn a living at a time when it was not generally acceptable.
The Princess Christian College’s training duration was nine months unlike Norland’s six months and was hard and rigorous. Students had to be on duty at six and complete washing and cleaning before breakfast at seven. They had evening lectures and sewing after supper, no holidays and half a day off each week. The college also had testimonial books which recorded each nurse’s career, including a principal’s report and at the end of her training and a reference from her last employer. There is a stark contrast to the training that was provided in 1904 to the qualification we see today.
Although there is still a strong emphasis on work based training the standard of the qualification is not as robust as in the 19th and early 20th century and this could be because students are being accepted onto courses with a required level of education and the demands of the role have changed. During the First World War The Princess Christian College ran into financial difficulties and in May 1918 closed. The college reopened again in 1919 in new premises but closed again at outbreak of the Second World War in order for children to be evacuated.
After the war the college reopened and reorganised its syllabus and training to cover the changes in social conditions. Training was extended to eighteen months and covered the NNEB requirements (Gibbs, 1960). At the time Mary Ann Gibbs wrote her book “The Years of the Nannies” (1960) the fees for the eighteen month course at Princess Christian College was ? 270 for a resident student and ? 140 for a non-resident student. Bursaries and local authority grants were available for less well off students. The syllabus in 1960 included:- daily nursery work with babies and small children, instruction in the planning and preparation of infant diets, training in the milk kitchen, general cookery and nutrition, laundry and housewifery, needlework with design and care of children’s clothes, hygiene and physiology and the model nursery. ” (Gibbs, 1960, Pg 190)
The college awarded three certificates to students the first being a Probationers Certificate on completion of satisfactory training and a Nurse’s Certificate for two years satisfactory work, dating from the ranting of the Probationers Certificate. Finally, the student would be awarded The Special Certificate with Badge for three year’s satisfactory work, dating from the granting of the Nurse’s Certificate. After a student had completed her training she had quite a wide range of employment opportunities such as working as a nanny, working in day and residential nurseries, working with disabled children, school matron, nursery nurses on maternity wards and in passenger liner nurseries. A Night Nurse at The Princess Christian Training College
Students who completed their training at the training colleges usually found employment through the college or through advertisements in women’s journals, or professional journals. One of those journals was “Nursery World” which was first launched in 1925 and is still used by our students today. The other was “The Lady” first published in 1885 which advertised many employment opportunities for nannies. Nannies are still very much in demand today, their role has changed in that they work closely with parents respecting their views and wishes and are more usually employed by working parents.
They are required to be trained to Level 3 and most will have had experience with babies. In contrast, nannies back in the eighteenth century would always live with the family, whereas nannies now can live out. They also have the opportunity to work for families abroad and can command high salaries and additional benefits such as holidays and use of a car. [pic] Advertisements’ from Careers and Vocational Training 10th Edition The role of the nanny was important but you cannot overlook the role of the governess in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.
She is portrayed in fiction as a lonely, somewhat stern figure yet many women entered this profession. She would have been a well educated middle-class woman who like the nanny had to provide a living for herself. In Victorian times women were seen as the responsibility of men – her husband, father or brother. When they were unable to provide financially for her, working as a governess was seen as socially acceptable. There was a high demand for governesses in he Victorian era (despite the expansion of public school education for boys and public school for the masses) especially if they were competent in teaching math’s and science. “The census of 1851 showed that there were 24,770 governesses in England and Wales. ” (Hudson, 1970, p45) The greatest qualification of the governess was having a good background fitting in with the correct social class. She was required to write a letter of application in order for the family to consider her suitability. Many families listed subjects they required their governess to teach. “Wanted, a Governess, on Handsome Terms.
Governess – a comfortable home, but without salary, is offered to any lady wishing for a situation as governess in a gentleman’s family, residing in the country, to instruct two little girls in music, drawing, and English; a thorough knowledge of the French language is required. ”( Advertisement, The Times. (London: 27 June, 1845). The upper class families still continued to educate their children at home and it was down to the family to decide when their children would enter the school room. In order to ensure their employability they sought to improve their education and this lead them gaining a footing in higher education.
During the nineteenth century, professional books and journals were printed for governesses to use. These were read among other teachers and concerned parents to share educational practices and lessons, and keep The Governess them informed of the changing educational reform in the Victorian era. In 1843 The Governesses’ Benevolent Institution was formed and it helped educate governesses and provided aid for retired or out of work governesses in and around London. It also provided a registry for governesses and families seeking a governess to place their information. This was similar to an employment agency today.
Along with this and pressure from the governesses the institute expanded and included a college for governesses to study and improve their education. A donation from the Prince and Princess of Wales enabled funding for free night classes. The Queens College was founded in 1848 and its goal was to provide qualifications for governesses, it provided “Lectures for Ladies” from which at the end of study they received a Diploma. Almost all the lectures were given by men from Kings College, and older women known as “Lady Visitors” attended to act as chaperones to the female students.
It is clear that despite considerable changes from the era of the wet nurse there is still a vast divide between what is considered beyond the realms of the woman as it is the man that is considered able to lecture in the core subjects whilst the woman is only expected to understand and deliver to her charges. The Queens college was seen as an institution offering higher education for women. In the last decade of the nineteenth century the Queens College and The House of Education developed a curriculum specifically for the training of governesses and this saw a drastic change in the profession of the governess.
Families now wanted to employ governesses with certificates and training in education rather than, be qualified solely by their family background. We must take into account that at this time education for girls was seen as less important and it was not until the 1900 that attitudes changed when girls started to enter public high school and boarding schools and this resulted in the decline of the governess. Governesses are still employed today but their role has changed. Today they need to hold a degree and at least two years experience as an educator. They may live with the family or live out.
They usually have sole charge of the children’s education although in some cases they may just supplement the child’s education. This could be coaching a child to obtain their eleven plus, or providing additional help for specific subjects, or in all subjects, with the goal of preparing students to apply to and be accepted into good colleges. They may also be employed if a family moves to another country so that children can learn the language or maintain the education that correlates to their native country. The profession is still largely female orientated despite the pay and conditions being good.
This could be due to several factors such as living in the employer’s home and societies view of a male in a governess role. The Second World War saw an increase in day nurseries as men went away and women were called upon to take over the work left to do at home. The Ministry of Health organised and supervised this provision. In view of this more nursery nurses needed to be trained and in January 1944 The National Nursery Examination Board was formed and they established an examination for all nursery nurses. The first examination was taken in 1946.
The syllabus and training has changed considerably over the years, notably in 1965, the age range was extended to seven years of age, before this students trained to work with children up to five years. This decision was prompted by the increase use of classroom assistance in primary schools and the Plowden Report’s (1967) recommendation that nursery nurses should be used for this position. “In 1975 the Bullock Report, A Language for Life made the same recommendation that nursery nurses should be used as trained assistants and work alongside teachers in helping language development in young children. (Herrman, 1979, p. 21). After the Second World War provision that was put in place for childcare was not expanded further. This was partly due to men needing jobs that women had done in the war, and society’s view that women should be in the home looking after their children. The 1950’s saw the beginning of Playgroups, these were parent co-operatives formed in private homes or community halls. They started in order to fill the gap in nursery provision for three and four year olds. “In 1961 Belle Tutaev wrote to the Guardian offering help to anybody who wanted to start up a playgroup.
She received letters from all over the country and playgroups burgeoned and grew. ” (Dean, 2005, Pg 13) The Pre-School Playgroup Association (PPA) was set up in 1962, “the aims of the organisation at first were two-fold: mutual support for those running groups and also the lobbying of government to emphasise the importance of pre-school provision and to seek the withdrawal of Circular 8/60 which prevented state nursery expansion. ” (PLA Factsheet) Playgroups relied heavily on voluntary staff and on mothers to provide play activities for the children. Many of these volunteers were untrained due to lack of funding.
This restricted their work opportunities and workers were given little recognition. An additional reason for unqualified staff was that until the Children’s Act 1989 playgroups had little statutory guidance or regulation. Those playgroups that were affiliated with the PPA did have access to training (short courses in play work) if they were able to fund it. The PPA in 1991 established themselves as training providers under the National Council for Vocational Qualifications. Other childcare provision between 1946 and 1990 such as private nurseries and local authority nurseries continued to employ NNEB qualified staff or equivalent.
In 1990 there were various childcare qualifications that students were able to study. The main qualifications for nursery nursing were the NNEB, BTEC National Diploma and the Certificate in Post-Qualifying Studies (CPQS). The NNEB being the longest established and well known was still a requirement for some posts but it did not give a valid entry into higher education. However, the BTEC National Diploma was thought to be more academic and allowed students to progress onto more advanced education and training being the equivalent of “A” Levels.
When you look back at the history of the NNEB it was not set out to be a qualification that would allow progress to higher education although comparing it to today’s CACHE Level 3 Diploma it was a lot more rigorous. The selections of qualifications were many and in 1991 a system of National Accreditation was introduced to link qualifications. NVQ’s were introduced in 1991 in attempt to give experienced staff without a qualification a chance to achieve a Level 2 and 3. The NVQ syllabus involved students showing competence in the workplace through assessment whilst building a portfolio of knowledge evidence.
This qualification in theory did fill a training gap but funding still remained an issue along with adults having to study around family commitments and also if they had the academic confidence to study. Due to the Start Right Report of 1991 by Bell in which he identified numerous routes into teaching, this was an attempt to provide a standardized route into comprehensive training and also of helping workers to progress through the qualification system. Up until 1999 qualifications remained unchanged in what were available and it left employers and students confused as to what qualification was at what level.
In 1999 a new training framework was introduced (QCF) and this mapped out the levels of each qualification. This gave clear guidance for students, employers and training establishments to assess their current qualifications. In 2002 the new NVQ Level 4 was introduced *they were to provide a route for those working in senior management level or advanced practitioners” (Pugh,2001, P. 190) they were academically and practically demanding qualifications and carried 120 CATs points. This was a way of gaining entry to the Early Years Foundation Degree.
In 1994 CACHE was established and merged with The National Nursery Education Board and The Council for Early Years Awards. In 2001 the National Association for Maternal and Child Welfare (NAMCW) merged with CACHE, and Her Majesty the Queen became the patron. CACHE at this point became the awarding body and offered various Childcare qualifications from Entry Level to NVQ 4. Since joining Canterbury College in February 2006 the qualifications have changed twice, with a third change is about to take place. The delivery of the courses has not changed in that students still attend placements and have to show competence.
The only difference to the NNEB is that the students don’t work with children attached to the college. We have placement visitors that visit the student in their placement who assess their competence and report back to their course tutor. Level 3 students up until 2007 still had to sit an end of course exam in order to qualify as well as passing unit assignments. The qualification carried UCAS points to allow entry to university depending on the overall grade achieved. It was quite clear at the time that the grades students achieved were quite low and very few went onto university.
I believe this to be for the following reasons (a) students were not properly assessed at interview and were on the wrong level of course, (b) there was a high level of turnover of staff which affected the teaching of the students and causing disaffection. There was also a big drop out rate. I remember well, my first day in the classroom, being bombarded with complaints. In 2007 CACHE reviewed the content of the syllabus as the previous syllabus was quite dated and childcare practice had changed considerably.
The new syllabus carries the same format of placement and academic work and still continued to carry UCAS points. The grading of the assignments changed into a point system instead of the previous system of pass or refer. The students also have to complete a research task and a short seen scenario exam. This I feel has led to students achieving higher grades and more have gone onto university. The department has been running this Level 3 Diploma for the past three years but last year we were advised that the qualification would hange along with NVQ’s being discontinue. This has had a big impact on the department as a whole. The introduction of the Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young Peoples Workforce will be the only qualification available for students to study to become childcare workers. The delivery of the course is very much based on the NVQ delivery of observed assessment and a knowledge portfolio. We have started to run a pilot group for this new qualification and it has involved various changes in the department and in the teaching.
Students now have to be allocated an assessor who has an A1 qualification and students only attend three days a week every other week. Already, this has posed problems in that the course is designed to be taught holistically and not unit led as the previous qualifications. It is designed so that the assessor and tutor work closely together. This does not work in our department as assessors are constantly out observing students leaving little time for feedback to the tutor. This makes it very difficult to support students and ensure that they are progressing.
However, we have recently been informed that due to the qualification not meeting the needs of the employers and students the previous qualification will continue running for at least another year while they review the course. In conclusion, childcare and qualification has developed in line with the needs of the family and society starting with the wet nurse through to nannies and governess. It has also developed in line with government policy and the social and economic needs of the country along with current thinking of child development at the time.
Childcare roles have not disappeared but still exist in a modernised way as can be seen in the reappearance of the wet nurse. The status of childcare however still remains low and this is reflected in pay and conditions. Many nurseries still don’t pay above minimum wage or provide sick pay, and often only the minimum holiday requirement. Until this is addressed the status and moral of childcare workers will not rise. There is still a culture of thinking that “anyone can look after children” and it is still a predominantly female role despite campaigns to attract male candidates.
The calibre of students that is seen during interviews are on the whole, students from lower class backgrounds which could have contributed to the introduction of EMA. The fact that students don’t have to pay fees for childcare courses and its workplace element, adds to the perception that they are easy courses. The college funding system makes it very difficult to decline students who we feel not appropriate to the course, and the system makes it difficult to withdraw students who prove to be unsuitable. This does not lead to providing the best possible care for young children.
Significantly and in contrast to this is that to train as a Norland Nanny today requires a student to pay full fees and this only attracts the more affluent students who want to train in the profession. Also, to employ a Norland Nanny, is seen as a status symbol by families, thus highlighting social status despite it’s qualification being the same as achieved at college. The only difference being that the Norland Certificate is achieved at the end of the course on top of the qualification and seen as a “stamp of excellence”
The old range of qualifications enabled students to access the qualification that best suited their learning and training needs such as on the job training or a full time college course. The new qualification does not take these needs into account. The new qualification does not fit with young students who have no experience. This is one of the issues that has been highlighted along with the course only being a year in duration. It is quite worrying that a sixteen year old could become a fully qualified level 3 in a supervisory position with only one year of training.
There are also wider issues in that the government has reduced funding, (currently there is no funding for over nineteen’s) along with the demise of EMA, making access to college less accessible for less well off students which causes a social divide. The next year will provide interesting times in childcare qualifications and a review in our own department in the teaching and delivery will provide its own challenges in that e-learning is being introduced along with apprentiships. This will mean training in the use to technology as well as new assessment methods.
Staff will have to adapt their delivery of lessons as well as developing a closer working partnership with assessors, which at the current time is fragmented. There will need to be changes in the current systems in place and this will no doubt cause frustration to some staff who find adapting to change difficult. On a more positive note the updating of skills for staff will only improve the range of teaching techniques available to them, hopefully providing better outcomes for students.