Back to news listing

Next article

EY smart – a step-change in CPD for early years practitioners


Today sees PACEY start work on an innovative new digital CPD resource, EY smart. Launching later this year, EY smart will be free to practitioners. PACEY is now calling on all early years practitioners who are interested in helping to develop this new form of support to apply to be one of its 100-strong Practitioner Insight Panel (PIP). The PIP will propose content ideas and user test the new modules as they are developed.

"With regulation and curriculum changes affecting everyone who works in early years over the next year or two, PACEY is investing in an online resource for the iPhone generation," explained Liz Bayram, PACEY's Chief Executive.

"Practitioners work long hours and have limited funds to invest in training and development. They tell us they can’t afford to attend face to face training, nor do they have time to read through large guidance documents. They need easily accessible, bite-sized, high quality CPD that quickly and effectively gives them the information, knowledge and skills that they are seeking. Our plan is for EY Smart to do just that.”

John Parry, Senior Lecturer, Early Years at the Open University (which will be advising PACEY on the development of EY Smart) explains how today’s learners' needs are changing:

"More and more people are using digital services to learn new skills or refresh existing ones. They are watching good practice on YouTube and asking Alexa or Siri about new requirements and regulations. EY smart will provide much-needed information and advice in innovative formats and with the reassurance that PACEY has ensured its relevance and quality. Many other professions are developing digital CPD solutions, the early years profession deserves this too."

EY smart is being made possible thanks to a grant from Ufi Trust’s VocTech Impact programme which focusses on larger scale piloting and demonstrating of ideas that are proven to change the way adults access vocational skills through the use of technology. Over the next two years, PACEY will receive £300,000 to invest in EY Smart ensuring the latest innovations in digital CPD are translated into must-view modules on regulations and curriculum in England and Wales.

 "This exciting project is starting just in time to ensure that every practitioner gets the support they need on proposed changes to regulation and curriculum for free," continues Liz Bayram. "It will be developed for practitioners by practitioners which is why we are asking anyone who is working in a nursery, pre-school or childminding setting to apply to be on our PIP and help shape the future of early years CPD. We have developed resources in this way before – most recently Business Smart - and know how vital it is to get practitioner input from the start."

Working with the Open University to develop the resources, PACEY will also gain input from a range of experts who will be on its project steering group. These include:

  • Wendy Ratcliff (Ofsted’s Senior Manager for Early Years)
  • Henna Jawaid (Team Leader: Early Years Standards, Assessment and Outcomes at the Department for Education)
  • Vicky Finn (Registered childminder and PACEY Trustee)
  • Dr Amy Page (Deputy Operations manager for the Salvation Army’s early years settings and PACEY Trustee)
  • Penny Tassoni (Early years author, training consultant and PACEY President)
  • John Parry (Senior Lecturer, Early Years at the Open University)
  • Chloe Webster (Registered childminder and PACEY member)
  • Gemma Halliday (Improvement and Development Manager, Social Care Wales)
  • Project Account Manager, Ufi Charitable Trust

PACEY Chair, Jane Comeau, commented: "I am delighted we have the support of such a varied and skilled community of individuals on our steering group. I know they will be much valued critical friends. I remember the last time regulations and the EYFS were changed and what an important part quality information and training played in ensuring I didn’t panic and took these changes in my stride. EY smart will play that important role again between now and 2020."

Our Practitioner Insight Panel 

Applications to be part of our practitioner insight panel (PIP) have now closed. Thank you to everyone who has applied, we have had an amazing response. We will be in touch soon to let you know whether you have been chosen to be part of the panel.