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Early Years CPD: Keep learning during lockdown

date May 1, 2020Rebecca Martland

 

Lockdown is a great opportunity to get ahead with your own learning and development. On this blog post, we asked our childminder and safeguarding expert Rebecca Martland, to share with us her view on the importance of CPD right now, including relevant training updates and tips in the context of the current coronavirus situation.

What is CPD and why is it important?

CPD is short for ‘continuous professional development’. This describes the activities you undertake to develop your abilities and understanding in your professional role. It refers to everything you do to improve your skills, remind yourself of 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; finding ways to fill those gaps; then reflecting on the impact this has had on both your practice and the children you care for. It is a cyclical process that never ends as there is always something new to learn.

Regular CPD leads to enhanced self-confidence and improved practice. It enables you to develop your competence in caring for young children and helps you to demonstrate your commitment in this role. Doing accredited training can lead to higher qualifications and achieving your career goals. It is often a requirement of professional bodies and quality assurance programmes, for example, PACEY’s ‘My Professional Standards’.

Group of Children are in a Field Trips

 

What CPD can I do during the coronavirus pandemic?

If you have had to close your childminding setting, been furloughed from your early years job or are on reduced hours as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,  you may find you have extra time on your hands. This is an ideal opportunity to undertake some CPD that you might not otherwise have the time to do. 

Many organisations provide online CPD for free, and others are providing normally chargeable courses at reduced rates or free during the restrictions. For example, Kinderly is currently offering the Kinderly Learn platform free of charge to all Kinderly Together members.

woman reading with her laptop

How do I complete CPD during the Coronavirus restrictions; what counts?

CPD can take many forms. During the current pandemic situation, it is not possible to attend face to face sessions in person, but many training providers are offering alternatives such as virtual meetings, webinars and conferences through platforms such a Zoom. Some of these are ‘listen only’ but many are interactive. CPD can be self-directed, such as reading an article online, in a magazine or book. It can be planned, with specific learning intentions in mind or ad hoc, such as when the title of an article catches your eye whilst browsing Facebook. The important thing is that you benefit from it and that it has a positive impact on the children in your care.

Examples of CPD include:
  •   Online meetings, courses and workshops
  •   Online conferences
  •   ‘Virtual’ staff training sessions, coaching and mentoring using Zoom, MS Teams, Facetime or similar platform
  •   Professional discussions with colleagues: by phone, online chat or forums
  •   Articles in magazines, newspapers and online
  •   Newsletters
  •   Books and journals
  •   Webinars  (During lockdown, Kinderly is hosting FREE webinars every Wednesday at 11.30am)
  •   Distance learning, such as Learning ‘Bites’ on Kinderly Learn
  •   Podcasts
  •   Early years blogs (such as this one)

 

Some free early years CPD resources

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/body-mind/childhood-youth/early-years

https://www.pacey.org.uk/training-and-qualifications/training-from-pacey/ey-smart/

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses

https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/features/article/a-guide-to-free-and-low-cost-cpd-and-cpd-resources-free-for-all

To read more go to Rebecca’s pre Covid-19 blog on CPD which includes more detail about CPD in early years and what is expected.

 

Rebecca Martland Kinderly Specialist

Rebecca has over 18 years’ experience in the early years sector, as a registered childminder; early years trainer, consultant and author. She is a qualified teacher and Early Years Professional and is Kinderly’s resident ‘expert’ on the Kinderly Learn platform.

Rebecca is a staunch advocate of play-based, child-centred education and childcare. This philosophy is at the centre of her training and a message she shares widely as an active member of the early years community. Find out more at: www.childrenatheart.net