Looking at areas in where to invest training in
With the new integrated review coming into effect next month there will be a strong emphasis on ensuring practitioners have the necessary skills to for fill their role and responsibilities within this integrated review.
The integrated review will be rolled out from September, it brings together the EYFS progress check that is completed by early years practitioners and the health check review at two carried out by a health visitor.
The review includes the three prime areas from the EYFS, learning/cognitive development, the child’s physical health, and information from the child’s family life.
Sue Robb, head of early years at 4Children, says that the review pilot showed that ‘parents really welcomed the integrated review – in fact, they took it for granted that the different services were doing it already’.
Emma Wallace, National Children’s Bureau (NCB) research director and co-author of a report on the integrated review pilot study, says the review brings ‘the parties together to give a holistic picture of the child that is more than the sum of its parts. Parents bring detailed knowledge of the child, health brings knowledge of health considerations and home context, and early years brings expertise in early development’.
Information from the pilot study has shown that practitioners need to have an excellent understanding of child development as this is needed to complete the integrated review successfully.
The pilot report also highlighted gaps in practitioner’s skills; these will need to be addressed in order to successfully implement the integrated review. Areas for training highlighted were child development, information sharing, knowledge of the whole process of this review and communication with parents. The purpose of the integrated review is for early years and health teams to work together, by doing this it will bring together a range of skills and hopefully deliver the review effectively
Areas for early years practitioners to concentrate on
An excellent understanding of child development is essential, as practitioner will need to identify how children are developing and identify any areas for further support. However according to recent research practitioners are not fully understanding two year olds development and that initial training isn’t enough. By not having a clear understanding of child development could lead to practitioner wrongly identify children’s progress or lack of.
Working with families
By involving parents this will help improve children’s outcome, therefore knowing this information it is the early years sectors job to improve on engaging parents. The review pilot found that many practitioners would benefit in more training in engaging with parents.
It has been highlighted that this area of training for practitioners is by far the most important area, with child development being the next and working with other professional last
Sharing information is key to all involved; this will require building trust between all parties.
Dr Georgeson agrees. She says, ‘The evidence from our study was that early years staff were still finding it difficult to share what they know about the children they work with beyond the setting, and that this is an area where more training is required.’
During the pilot review managers expressed that their staff were just average at interprofessional working.
According to the NCB, it comes down to trust. ‘Where early years professionals have trusted relationships with health professionals, and a clear understanding of relative roles, information-sharing protocols, and how shared information will be used, they tend to be open to sharing information.
Dr Georgeson says that supervision is important. The current progress check is ‘not left to one person – there is a “team around the two-year-olds” – and more experienced colleagues are involved in supporting less experienced colleagues’.
‘By working closely together as a team to support one another this will help draw a more detailed picture of the child and help those practitioner less confident in completing the integrated review.
With the integrated review coming into effect very shortly, look closely at any gaps in practitioners skills and invest in training.