Training is by far one of the most important things to keep on top of within your setting. When you have an inspection, your inspector will want to check the details of the training that’s attended by you and your staff and also see the impact that this has had on the setting and the children. I know that sometimes staff training can be problematic, mainly due to a lack of time, money and finding the right course that meets the needs of your staff and the children.

You should have documented records about the needs of your staff through the supervisions and appraisals process that you do regularly. We can then look at that and find out what training the staff need; this is one of the purposes of these appraisals. They can help you find the right course for your team and how to upskill your staff.

You need to show the inspector that you value each team member and encourage new knowledge and skills in your setting. In the statutory framework,3.21 says that the daily experiences of children in earlier settings and the overall quality of revision depends on all practitioners having appropriate qualifications, training, skills, knowledge, and a clear understanding of their roles and responsibility. This all begins with the induction process. You need to make sure that you have induction training to ensure all staff understand their roles and responsibilities.

You need to know things on induction, such as your evacuation procedures, safeguarding child protection, health and safety. It is one of the most important pieces of training to ensure that we are continually improving. Part of the inspection process is assessing how the training you’re doing, delivering or accessing impacts your setting, your staff and your children. What I want to ask is when was the last time you did training? Where was it? Do you have a training matrix? Do you understand what your staff need to be doing in that training? And has it had an impact? When was the last time that you did any in your setting? What type of training was it? Was the training face-to-face, or was it online?

I currently deliver my safeguarding training via zoom and can actually foresee myself doing that for a very long time. But to me, it is still classed as face-to-face training because I am seeing people’s faces. One thing I do say when I do training on Zoom is that the camera and microphone have to be on. There’s no doubt about it; that’s what needs to happen. So, when you or a team member does training, do you fill in an evaluation sheet? Do you think about the impact the training has and monitor what the training has taught the staff? This could be shared with the inspector to show that you are being reflective and using the training to add impact. So, think back to the training that’s gone on in your setting. Okay, think back to what has happened. Why did you do that training? Where was that training? How long did it last?

Training is really, really important and you need to think about, you know, how you train your staff, and what training you can give them. So, if you are using an online platform, be very careful that it is not clicker happy. What I mean by clicker happy is whether or not the staff are engaging with the training or just clicking through slides to get to the end.

If it is clicker happy, then it’s not adding anything to those outcomes for children or staff’s personal and professional development. So, you do need to make sure that it’s not a tick box exercise; you need to ensure that the knowledge they get is enriching them in their CPD and improving them. There are other ways as well; training can come under so many different things, such as reading a book. I know that in our office, I’ve given the team a book to read; it’s something that I was always brought up to do when I was Group Manager. Now, we have the options of audiobooks which makes things even more accessible.

I absolutely love audiobooks, and I can listen to them while driving or doing so many other things. This is just one of the many things you can do for CPD along with attending any different settings if you’re able to do that at this present time, sharing best practices, and attending conferences, we do a festival every year and a conference every year, these can count as an entire day of CPD. Think about the training that you attended… Did it give you fire in the belly? This is something you’ll that you will hear from me a lot. When was the last time you had fire in your belly? We need to reflect on this training and ask ourselves if it was worth it or if we feel like we still need to learn more.

It’s really important that you have a training program in place to ensure that you and your staff have access to training. It isn’t just your mandatory training, such as first aid or safeguarding training, but also the fire in the belly training, the training you need to get to motivate yourself. What is it that your staff want to learn? What training do they want? If there is anything I want you to take away from this blog, it is to reflect on your training and ask your staff what they want to learn. Help them put the fire back into their bellies. You will be able to see the impacts of this training because the staff will be motivated, they’ll be excited to implement this new knowledge and in turn, this will benefit the children.