The Special Role of the Baby Room Leader in Early Years Settings, (12-12:45pm, London Time, Monday 14 March 2022, free, online)

There is a growing body of literature on leadership across the early years sector. However, early years leadership research so far has tended to focus on the role of the setting manager, or in some cases, the role of room leaders in preschool rooms (for 3-to-5 year old children). There is a notable gap in our understanding of the role of the Baby Room Leader (leading practice for birth-to-2 year olds) and how leadership can be developed in this specific context. Drawing perspectives and experiences from Baby Room Leaders involved in the project ‘Baby Rooms – Inspiring Leaders (BRIL)’, this paper offers an insight into the role of the Baby Room Leader and how it is special in the context of the early years sector.

Bio: Dr Mona Sakr is Senior Lecturer in Education and Early Childhood. As a researcher in Early Years (EY) provision, she has published extensively on creative, digital and playful pedagogies including the books ‘Digital Play in Early Childhood: What’s the Problem?’ (Sage) and ‘Creativity and Making in Early Childhood: Challenging Practitioner Perspectives’ (Bloomsbury) . Mona’s current research is an exploration of pedagogical, organisational and community leadership in EY and how leadership can be more effectively developed across EY. Current funded research includes a Nuffield Foundation project looking at online leadership development across the EY sector, a BELMAS project looking at leadership in the baby room of nurseries and a BERA project examining ethnicity in the early years workforce. Forthcoming books (include an introduction to Social Leadership in Early Childhood Education and Care (written with June O’Sullivan, CEO of London Early Years Foundation), and an edited volume on EY pedagogical leadership around the globe.