Instead of dwelling on reasons we can’t do things… let’s look at how we CAN!
We worked closely with the our Children’s Services Adviser (as it was known at the time) to ensure that we were meeting the regulations and when we were finished, we invited her out to have a look at the space and she was thoroughly impressed. We often had visitors to the service say “have you had accreditation or a licensing visit (as they were both known at the time) I can’t imagine they are happy with it” and we were delighted to say “yes to both and in fact – they love it!”
The reason for telling this story is not to toot our own horns, but to remind educators that things are possible and that it is important to check your facts with the regulatory authority. During training sessions, consultancy visits and even in discussions online, we often hear:
” Oh that’s great, but we wouldn’t be allowed to do that”
” The assessor told us we couldn’t do that”
” How did you get around the regulations?”
It’s actually not about getting around the regulations. It is about being prepared to ask questions. Not sure if something meets the regulations (which by the way are far more encouraging of risky play now than they were back then)… ASK! Hearing from another service that “it’s a requirement to do it this way”…. CHECK THE FACTS. Just because someone says it is so, doesn’t make it so. There are a lot of myths in early childhood! Have an assessor say “you can’t do that” … ask them CAN YOU SHOW ME WHERE IT SAYS THAT?
We need to be advocates for the child’s right to play and take risks and sometimes that means asking questions, challenging thinking, doing more research. Don’t just hear one answer and accept it as gospel!