skip to Main Content
Looking to read the latest articles? Please click here
Right Is Wrong: Readiness Is Right

Right is Wrong: Readiness is Right

Moving on from ‘the ‘right child at the right time in the right place’

It’s a commonplace phrase now, the ‘right child at the right time in the right place’, and there are often other ‘right’ things added after.

The words are not recent. NCERCC used them in a document 15 years ago. We may have coined the phrase, or purloined it from something or someone else.

It was a challenging statement then. It was as far as our thinking could take us at that time. Given the current situation of matching of need to provision, and availability being stressed by scarcity and rationing as a result of many diverse factors, it has not become less challenging now.

NCERCC has been party to getting the outlook prominent. We have argued and advocated ardently.

That was then, this is now. We now think it is vital we take another look.

In today’s world our view is now different. We were right, at the time. We were wrong, as it turns out, for now.

We acknowledge our responsibility (as we do acting with a few others concerning getting the unregulated issue recognised and acted upon, though not the subsequent way the government has chosen). We think we now have a responsibility to make explicit that our view has changed.

Today it is not challenging enough. To continue with it we now think is to be complicit with a dysfunctional situation. The goal of being ‘right’ is entirely away from meeting the needs of children.

Being right is not challenging enough. We will explain our new view here.

Right is wrong: Readiness is right. This is our new view.

Right comes with associated words, ‘must’, ‘should’. It comes with a demand to be met. This was the sentiment that was the foundation of our insistence over 15 years.

This is all good in its place. But whose place is it? We contend that it is a view by grown-ups and those external to the place where care is happening.

Readiness is child-focussed. Readiness is internal to the care relationship. Readiness matches needs to the relationship and environment, the child reaches out and finds what they need. Readiness is timeless. What is right today may very well be wrong tomorrow. Readiness is always right.

The ready child at the ready time in the ready place.

Readiness is receptive, accepting, prepared, feels easy, relaxed, recognised,

Right leads to pursuing numbers. Readiness leads to enabling needs to be met.

Right will always be wrong. It is a reaction to grown-ups’ anxiety. It is institutional, an instruction, an imperative, disciplinarian, authoritarian.

Right is deeply ‘unchildcentredness’.

Pursuing rightness is to pursue wrongness. We need to create readiness everywhere in everything.

We know this is not being articulated very well. It feels like emerging from a tunnel and we are blinking in new found light, that was always there. Can you feel our struggle? Can you help articulate it better? We hold no territorial claim.

Let’s not focus on the way it is – that is to keep us trapped. It is always present, and we have kept it trapped too long.

Let’s face on what it can be – always can be, that’s open to imagination.

We are way off task, as the list shows

Right   Ready
Rightness   Readiness
Compliance   Creativity
Product   Relationship
Standards   Values
Inspection   Support
Yes/No   Becoming
Compliance   Advice
Conformity   Improvement
Static   Momentum
Property   Common
Protection   Reflective
Defensive   Shared
Destination   Journey
Structure   Structured
Separate   Together
Singularity   Diversity
Head   Heart

Being right is hard, being faced with impending loss of downwards evaluation. It’s about me and mine.

Being ready is a necessary struggle, being supported, it comes to you from others. We are supported. We support each other.

We are not separate. We are together.

Together we face people and thinking and interests that want separateness. That is never in the interests of children.

NCERCC