School:School of Education
Areas of Expertise: Education and teaching
Kay's expertise is in early childhood care and education, with particular interests in the professional identity of the early year's workforce, including home based childminders and professional development through action research.
Kay has extensive experience working in the early childhood sector, initially in a private day nursery, before starting her self-employed business as an Accredited Childminder. Rated Outstanding by Ofsted, Kay provided high quality childcare and education from a nurturing home-based setting, supporting children aged from birth to eight and their families.
Kay works closely with childminders and other professionals, providing continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities through workshops, action research and in developing communities of practice.
An alumni of ARU, Kay completed all of her higher education qualifications at ARU, developing a strong interest in raising the professional identity of the early childhood workforce with a core focus on homebased childcare.
Kay began working at ARU in 2011 as a tutor and assessor on the Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) programme followed by course leadership of the Early Childhood Studies degree.
Kay is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and moved into senior leadership as Deputy and now Head of the School of Education, through which she is passionate about team culture and the student and staff experience.
Childminders are key contributors to early childhood education and care, in England. They employ a distinct pedagogical approach and are required by the Early Years Foundation Stage framework to be accountable for their own professional development. Yet, their voices are scarce throughout research. Kay’s research offers inspiration for a contextualised and community-based approach to professional development and the exploration of childminder identity; one that is childminder-led, supportive and reflective, within an ever changing policy landscape.
Doctorate in Education (EdD), Anglia Ruskin University
PGCert in Higher Education, Anglia Ruskin University
MA Early Years Professional Practice, Anglia Ruskin University
Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT), Anglia Ruskin University
BA (Hons) combined Education Studies and Early Childhood Education, Anglia Ruskin University
Aaronricks, K, 2023. A Childminder Approach: Towards a distinctive home-based pedagogy. Norland Educare Research Journal, 1(1)
Aaronricks, K., 2020. Exploring a cyclical model of professional development: Insights from childminders. EdD. Anglia Ruskin University https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/706796/
Aaronricks, K., 2021. Developing an action learning model of continuous professional development through action research. 30th EECERA Conference: Democratic Early Childhood Pedagogies. Online Festival (hosted in Zagreb, Croatia), 6 – 10 September online.
Aaronricks. K., 2019. Exploring a cyclical model of professional development: Insights from childminders. 29th EECERA Annual Conference: Early Years: Making it Count. Thessaloniki, Greece, 20– 23 August 2019. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Aaronricks, K., 2018a. Interpreting the Voices of Childminders Through Crystallization. 28th EECERA Annual Conference: Early Childhood Education, Families and Communities. Budapest, Hungary, 28– 31 August 2018. Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
Aaronricks, K., 2018b. Developing Professional Practice with Childminders [Poster]. 28th EECERA Annual Conference: Early Childhood Education, Families and Communities. Budapest, Hungary, 28– 31 August 2018. Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
Aaronricks, K., 2018c. Developing Professional Practice with Childminders: An action research study [Poster]. 12th Annual Student Research Conference. Chelmsford, England, 26 July 2018. Anglia Ruskin University.
Aaronricks, K., 2018d. 3 Minute Thesis (ARU Winner). 12th Annual Student Research Conference. Chelmsford, England, 26 July 2018. Anglia Ruskin University.
Aaronricks, K., 2017a. Developing Professional Practice with Childminders: An action research study [Poster]. Faculty Research Conference. Cambridge, England, 15 September 2017. Anglia Ruskin University
Aaronricks, K., 2017b. Developing Professional Practice within the Childminding Sector: Identifying features of effective professional development [Poster]. 11th Annual Student Research Conference. Cambridge, England, 7 July 2017. Anglia Ruskin University
Luff, P. & Aaronricks, K., 2016. The value of learning through enquiry for professional development. 26th EECERA Annual Conference: Happiness, relationships, emotion and deep level learning. Dublin, Ireland, 31-3 September 2016. Stranmillis University College.