The importance of developing ongoing professional development for Early Years staff
Ongoing training and professional development for all early years staff is highly important; this is not only to enhance practitioner knowledge and skills, but it is also to ensure high-quality teaching and learning is being delivered to children.
During an Ofsted inspection, they will be looking very closely at the quality of teaching and learning, this also relates to practitioners training. Without regular CPD it can be argued that practitioners practice can be effected. Training does not always need to be in the form of attending an offsite course. It is good practice to identify practitioners strengths and weaknesses and build on this in what every form is best. Here are a few suggestions on how managers can develop ongoing training for their team.
- Identifying practitioners strengths and weaknesses- This is often done through peer to peer observations, supervisions, appraisals, discuss with practitioners what training they would like to do, or reflect on what training may be best for them, this may be highlighted from your observations. Identifying training in this way is a good starting point in addressing practitioners CPD.
- Using other practitioners strengths – Tune in on a practitioners strength and ask them to lead your next staff meeting, this will contribute to all individuals CPD. This form of training often goes unnoticed when in fact it is one of the easiest ways to get all practitioners up to speed on one area of training.
- Invite professionals in – If you have a good relationship with professionals, approach them and see if they can hold a whole team training course, this may be on a particular topic, e.g., managing children’s behaviour, speech and language, etc.
- Approach other settings – If you are on a school site or have a good relationship with nearby settings why not contact them to see if they are holding any training events that you could send some of your team on. Ofsted is very keen to see how links are created wth other settings that children may attend or will be attending, therefore why not see if you can link up with nearby settings to address training and development issues.
- Cascade training – As budgets for training courses have been reduced, external training courses are becoming increasingly expensive to send individuals on. However, why not look at sending one practitioner on each of these courses then cascade the training back to the setting. This is often an easy way of sharing best practice between the team
- Having regular conversations – Just spending 30 minutes talking to a practitioner about a particular subject can be seen as a form of training, this should be documented in their training plan.
- ongoing training slideshows – These can be purchased from many early years sites for a small one off cost and are a great way of sharing information with the whole team. They are also great for practitioner workshops and make them more engaging. There’s some great training materials available at Piggledots (our online shop) for as little as £5.00. These include British Values, Introduction to the EYFS which is a great refresher and also characteristics of effective learning.
The above suggestions are just some simple ideas managers can do to ensure practitioners regularly update their CPD. It is important that all these forms of training are documented on their individual training plans.