Offering professional development is a win-win

Library Home  >  Leadership & Service Management
  Published on Tuesday, 04 September 2018

Offering professional development is a win-win

Library Home  >  Leadership & Service Management
  Published on Tuesday, 04 September 2018

While the battle for a pay increase for the early childhood sector continues, many centre managers, directors and owners face daily concerns about attracting and retaining their staff.

A stable staff is great for business, it means the children in a service receive continuity of care and have the opportunity to build strong and stable relationships with their educators, it boosts staff morale, productivity and loyalty rates and can help a service develop a reputation as a great place to work.

Removing pay from the equation, one of the most effective ways to hold on to early childhood staff is by offering regular opportunities for professional development. Most people relish the chance to undertake professional development as it offers space for professional growth and learning as well as plenty of potential for inspiration.

Training organisation Practical Outcomes say professional development can also help a centre thrive by:

Improving staff retention

An investment in professional development is an investment into a team’s skills. This demonstrates that a manager cares about staff and values them. By offering professional development managers help their teams to improve their skills and knowledge within the workplace and educators who feel valued are more likely to feel satisfied in their role and less likely to seek employment elsewhere, saving time and money in the recruitment process. A great professional development program can also enable services to attract higher quality staff too.

Inspiring and motivating educators

New skills and know-how is exciting for anyone, and early childhood educators are no exception. Quality professional development training for child care professionals can reinvigorate their love of the job and can help a service develop new and better ways of operating.

Increasing the quality of a service's offering

A well-trained team performs at a high level, which can enhance the quality of your centre in every way. Motivated and knowledgeable educators will be proud of what they offer families and children, and this will be obvious to prospective families exploring a centre as well as to currently enrolled families.

A well trained and motivated staff will also make it easier for you to meet the National Quality Standards and/or Quality Improvement Plan and will ensure children benefit from increased knowledge, experience, understanding and technical skills.

With many professional development opportunities on offer it can be hard trying to work out which would be the most appealing to your team, and which would drive the best results for the children in your service and the overall operation of the business.

But it's important to ensure that the individual needs of your staff are identified and considered, otherwise the training may not translate into positive change.

Professional development opportunities should:

  • Be based on reflective practice
  • Be regular and ongoing
  • Reflect current legislative standards and priorities
  • Increase the transferability of skills and expertise across the sector
  • Enable educators to develop, practice and maintain skills within current and future roles
  • Translate into meaningful results for employers, educators and families within a service
  • Identify and accommodate an individual’s learning style.

Before writing a professional development plan for your service it may be helpful to conduct an audit of current challenges and opportunities to work out areas to focus on. Conducting a survey of staff to determine what they are interested in learning about is also an effective way to seek support and buy in for the plan.


References

Continuing Professional Development Principles
Professional development for child care centre success

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Thursday, 30 January 2020



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