Opportunities for development: the practice of supervision in early years provision in England

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This article examines how the practice of supervision has developed within a range of early childhood education and care (ECEC) provision in a county in Central England in the United Kingdom. Supervision has been recently introduced as a mandatory requirement for ECEC in England in 2012, and there is limited research looking at the impact of this. The research aimed to examine how supervision is being implemented by ECEC providers. It employed a mixed methods research design including a questionnaire (n = 38) and three subsequent telephone interviews, and draws out key themes on who is accessing supervision, the level of frequency, the purposes, challenges and enablers of supervision. It highlights the tendency of the managerial function of supervision including safeguarding of children to dominate, and the potential for supervision as a reflective space and as support for staff including managers and leaders to be overlooked.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-67
JournalInternational Journal of Early Years Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2018


  • Supervision
  • early childhood
  • early years
  • purposes of supervision


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