Grant holder
Dr Valeria Scacchi, University of Roehampton
Project status

Early childhood educators' perspectives on professional identities in the UK and Italy

A critical investigation and reconceptualisation of in-service professional learning and development strategies and practices for early childhood educators in England. A PhD thesis by Dr Valeria Scacchi funded by the Froebel Trust 2016 - 2021.

Project summary

This research contributes to developing a reconceptualisation of professional learning and development (PLD) in two contexts of practice, in Tuscany, Italy, and London, UK through a Froebelian lens and concentrates on the way in which Early Childhood educators develop and conceptualise their professional identities.

This research produces new insights on what it means to be an Early Childhood educator today in London and San Miniato (Italy).

Many practitioners feel unable to cope and unable to protect themselves from the pressure of the work.

Dr Valeria Scacchi
In conversation with Dr Sacha Powell, Dec 2022


Detailed project summary. 2021 (PDF)

Q & A - meet the researcher. An interview with Dr Valeria Scacchi. December 2022 (PDF)

Final thesis - access via University of Roehampton (PDF)

About Dr Valeria Scacchi

Valeria Scacchi gained an MA in Early Childhood Studies at the University of Roehampton in 2014 and went on to complete her PhD in 2022. Her professional experience in the field includes three years as a Nursery Room Leader and one year as a private nanny. In 2015 she contributed an article to Nursery World about her experience of seeing Froebelian principles in action in a township in South Africa. In 2022 she worked with a team of researchers for UNESCO to produce a global report on selected systems of early childhood focusing on six countries with differing systems of ECEC.


A blog by Dr Valeria Scacchi for Birmingham City School of Education and Social Work

Article published by Early Years (International Research Journal) in May 2023.

A reconceptualised PLD offering must be flexible and feature the ability to request training when and if needed at any point of the year, supported by senior management who must have a mentoring role in guiding the educators’ choices.

Dr Valeria Scacchi