Working in early years and childcare
There's never been a better time to work in early years and childcare. It's a fast growing sector and there is an increasing demand for staff at all levels. There are plenty of opportunities to gain training and qualifications, whether part time, full time or through work based learning.
Early years and childcare is an expanding and dynamic sector. It's also an important career, as those who work in it play an incredibly valuable role in shaping the lives of future generations. It's a career you can be proud of.
If you have passion, enthusiasm, and of course love working with children, this could be the career for you.
What are the options?
Qualifications and training
There are many ways in which to increase the skills and knowledge of the workforce from formal accredited training to individual reading or research. Some of which are covered below.
What do the levels of qualifications mean?
In order to work with children 0-5 years old under the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, you must ensure your qualification is full and relevant to do so.
What is CPD?
Continued Professional Development or CPD is a critical part of any workforce development and ensures all staff are kept up to date with skills and knowledge expected of them to perform to their best. More commonly thought of as short courses, CPD is much wider than that and can be any of the following:
All CPD and it's relevance and impact should be recorded and kept as a record for staff. A sample CPD record is available in this site.
Managing staff training and development
It is crucial that managers keep a close eye on each member of staff and their development in role. As such it is useful to complete a training needs analysis with your team and follow a training and development plan, ensuring that their skills and knowledge are current and ongoing. The Early Years Foundation Stage expects providers to "support their staff in improving their qualification levels" and this is especially so for staff with no qualifications. Some training will be a specific legal requirement. Training can be accessed through the Learning Zone and SmartSolutions.
Providers must have an up to date understanding of safeguarding children issues and a basic awareness safeguarding children course can be accessed online at the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board website http://www.safeguardingchildren.co.uk/ The website also includes information about more in depth safeguarding children courses.