We know that learning and CPD for early years professionals can be a minefield in terms of what you need to know and how best to stay current. So we asked our Early Years Specialist, Rebecca Martland, to help clarify a few points and answer some frequently asked questions to support their own learning and development. We hope this information helps you provide best practice in your environment and prepare for an Ofsted inspection.
What is CPD?
CPD is short for "continuing (or continuing) professional development." This describes the activities you do to develop your skills and understanding in your professional role. It refers to everything you do to improve your skills, remember things you have forgotten, and update your current knowledge and understanding.
Effective CPD involves a process of identifying gaps in what you can do and what you know; find ways to fill those gaps; then reflect on the impact this has had on your practice and the children you care for. It is a cyclical process that never ends, since there is always something new to learn.
Why is CPD important? Why should I do this?
We live in a rapidly changing world, with new laws, theories, and technologies being introduced seemingly every day. Through regular CPD, you can stay up to date with these changes and learn the implications for you and the children in your care. Similarly, learning about the theories developed by early childhood pioneers such as Froebel, Piaget, and Vygotsky can help you understand how current practices came to be, and assess their benefits and shortcomings and their relevance to your practice.
CPD allows you to adapt your ideas and teaching in light of new information. Knowing why we do something and reflecting on it invariably helps us do it better. This will inevitably have a positive impact on the children in your care.
Regular CPD leads to greater self-confidence and better practice. It allows you to develop your competence in caring for young children and helps you demonstrate your commitment to this role. Taking accredited training can lead to higher grades and achieve your career goals. It is often a requirement for membership in quality assurance programs and professional bodies such as PACEY.
The Early Childhood Statutory Framework (EYFS) makes continuing CPD training a requirement and explains why this is important:
"Providers must help staff undertake appropriate training and professional development opportunities to ensure they provide quality learning and development experiences for children who are continually improving."
How do I complete the CPD? That says?
CPD can take many forms. It can be interactive, like taking a training course, or self-directed, like reading an article online. It can be planned, with specific learning intentions in mind, or ad hoc, such as when an article title catches your eye while browsing social media. The important thing is that you benefit from it and that you have a positive impact on the children in your care.
Examples of CPD include:
- Face-to-face courses and workshops
- Team training sessions
- Orientation and tutorial
- seeing others
- Professional discussions with colleagues.
- Articles in magazines, newspapers and online
- Books and magazines
- Webinars, such as those oflearn gently
- online learning aslearn gently, or distance learning
- Blogs (like this one)
At a minimum, my goal is to attend one conference per year, two to three face-to-face training sessions or webinars per quarter, and read three to four articles per week. I always have a book on the go and check the news and social media updates daily. I've also signed up to receive various newsletters and alerts, including from .gov.uk, Ofsted, PACEY, Early Years Alliance, NDNA, my Local Safeguarding Partnership and NSPCC.
What CPD is expected?
There are no specific rules about how long you should spend in CPD. However, section three of the EYFS sets out certain training requirements that first-year professionals must meet, including:
- Minimum skill levels for managers and employees in group settings
- A course that enables carers of children to understand and implement the EYFS
- The type and content are not specified by Ofsted and are notNorequires local authority approval
- Training in food hygiene for all professionals in collective environments
- Local environmental health departments may have their own requirements for babysitter training and may define how often food safety training is renewed.
- First Aid Training Requirements
- Babysitters must have a current 12-hour pediatric first aid certificate, which is renewed every three years.
- In group settings, all qualified L2 and L3 employees after June 30, 2016 must complete a full emergency or pediatric first aid certificate within 3 months of starting work to be counted toward at least one person with a current 12 hour Pediatric First Aid Certificate course Must be present at all times and on group outings.
- protection training
- Carers and carers should have attended child protection training and take into account advice from Local Protection Partners or Local Authority on suitable courses. The rest of the employees must receive training in safeguards and all professionals must keep their knowledge up to date. EYFS does not specify how this should be done.
- Additional guidance on protection training can be found in the Keeping Children Safe in Education document, which is mandatory for schools and good practice for early childhood settings.
- Induction Training: In addition to the above
- emergency evacuation
- Health and security
What will Ofsted want to see?
As part of the new Education Inspection Framework (EIF), Ofsted inspectors will want to discuss with you how you assess your environment and practice and how you use this to inform your professional development. While it is no longer necessary to produce a written self-assessment form, it is helpful to keep some basic notes to remind yourself of what training you completed, why you did it, what you changed or implemented as a result, and what impact it had. had about the children.
This ties closely to Ofsted's concept of the 3 I's of the curriculum, but instead of thinking of a curriculum for the child, you are thinking of your own self-directed curriculum:
- What did you identify that you would like to learn?
- What would help you?
- How are you going to achieve this?
- What are you doing to gain the new knowledge? For example. attend a course, read an article
- What effect has this had on your practice?
- What do you know that you didn't know before?
- What are you doing different now?
- How has this benefited the children in your care?
How can Kinderly Learn help me stay current?
learn gentlyit is an ideal way to track your CPD effectively. Kinderly Learn recognizes that time is often at a premium and therefore enables students to complete their CPD on time and at the appropriate pace.
Weekly webinars are recorded so you can rewatch them whenever you want. All of the learning "bites" are designed to be short and flexible so that you can take them at any time; Plus, it makes learning fun and engaging. Staying up to date, organized and informed has never been easier!
Rebecca has over 18 years of experience in the early childhood education industry as a registered nanny; early years coach, consultant and author. She is a qualified teacher and early childhood education professional and is Kinderly's resident 'expert' on thelearn gentlyplatform.
Rebecca is a strong advocate of child-centred, play-based early childhood education and care. This philosophy is at the core of her training and is a message she shares widely as an active member of the early years community. Learn more at:www.elcorazondelosniños.net