thoughts from an educational psychologist - 20 years of Peep

'Finally I am folding up my stretchy songband professionally after starting my first Peep Group in 2003. Apart from ageing a wee bit, and making sure my grandchildren love a song, I have loved every bit of my adventure with the Peeple organisation that is now all grown up.

As an educational psychologist for almost 40 years, my challenge was always to help people see how practical experience and insight into early learning builds trusting relationships, confidence and a hunger for education. When I started my journey, education and psychology were in a very different place.

Early years and disability were always my passion. Peep helped me forge a new relationship with families. I found my Peep groups helped parents - who might be feeling temporarily lost and overwhelmed by the enormity of parenting - find solutions, through our joint experience, not my ‘expert’ knowledge. It was a very important lesson for me to work collaboratively to find solutions, and made me a better psychologist.

Through it all I have met wonderful people committed to making every single persons’ lot the best experience possible. There have been many changes for Peep along the way, some I have liked and some I have questioned!  Training, materials, delivery, research, to name just a few, have been scrutinised and developed. This has always been done with the unswerving knowledge that making a difference to parents, carers and families - together with those working in Early Years in their communities - is the only way forward in developing a literate, numerate and socially resilient society.

At this point I could wax lyrical about the funny experiences I have had, and am reminded I frequently did just that on my training courses. Recently my experience has been over the internet, which breaks down regularly around me, but to my surprise it is possible to connect with group leaders and infuse them with my passion for all that is Peep. I am in awe of the continuing ingenuity of practitioners to engage with the families around them and help spread the word and learning around child development in such an accessible way.

There have been many moments that have shown me the excitement that comes from recognising that an opportunity offered and modelled in an interaction has helped a child and parent know or do something more often. That helps everyone feel good about themselves and their achievements.  That smile, that understanding, that job well done gives immeasurable pleasure even when the world seems to be hard to negotiate. I know I have been a ‘good enough’ advocate for Peep and sometimes just managed to be the best I can be.

Keep using the best educational resource of things to do with children from 0 - 5 ever put together, that is the Peep Learning Together Programme - and spread the word.  Good luck, have fun and know you are making a difference. It has been a privilege to be a small part of what has been achieved.'

by Anne Littlefair, (retired) Peep Practitioner, Peep Trainer and Educational Psychologist 

Many thanks to Anne from all of us at Peeple, for all your amazing work with Peep families, your passion, your invaluable role as a critical friend and advocate, and for helping to train and inspire the next generation of Peep practitioners!