EY smart is an accredited CPD programme and is free training for all childcare practitioners – lone workers and in group settings. It’s a great way to update your knowledge about changes to regulations and the curriculum. If you’re just starting out on your career, you have access to bite-sized training about different relevant topics which will help you on your journey.
For lone workers (e.g. childminders, nannies) and group settings (e.g. nurseries, playgroups), CPD is an important part of the job but it can often be put on the “to do” list for later. In the time I’ve been working in childcare I’ve noticed that the early years field constantly changes. You just get to grips with one change to legislation or regulation and another is introduced. Research and new ideas on work practice are published, new children and families arrive in our settings, with a wide range of needs, so we all need to keep up to date.
When working in early years it's important that we keep up to date, reflect on practice and continue to develop as individuals in order to provide high quality care and education. This is where EY smart can help you.
I’m sure most of us keep a record of workshops we’ve attended (face to face or via webinar), online training courses such as the training PACEY offers but do you evaluate the training and think about the impact this will have on your setting and the benefit to the children? In the EY smart package there’s a CPD log you can use.
EY smart helps all practitioners to effectively use the information from your CPD logs – they need to be a useful tool, not just a document to show Ofsted at your next inspection.
There are two sections in EY smart – one for lone workers and one for settings which have helpful hints and tips on how to effectively use your CPD log. In both sections there are flip cards titled "Share", "Reflect", "Extend" and "Record" with great ideas on how you can use the knowledge gained from training and pass onto others as well as develop your good practice.
If you work in a group setting there’s great ideas on sharing ideas at staff meetings. You could all do the same short course from EY smart and then talk about what you’ve learnt. You can all then discuss how you might put it into practice to benefit the children. Managers – EY smart is a great resource to introduce to your staff and it’s free. You have the assurance that your staff will be getting quality training (accredited by CPD Certification Service) which is up to date and relevant to the setting while also saving money on the training budget.
Working on your own can be daunting but EY smart helps you use the knowledge gained from training to develop your setting. Although you might work on your own, there are other childminders (or nannies) you meet who you can share your experiences with and discuss ideas. Maybe arrange to do the same EY smart training and then meet up to talk about it. Social media is also a great platform, including the Facebook pages run by PACEY including First steps to childminding, Becoming a childminder in Wales and Ideas for creative childcare.
Childcare practitioners are usually keen to share ideas and pass on knowledge. It also often sparks discussions and opinions which helps you to feel you belong as well as learning something new.
In conclusion, EY smart is a useful tool for all childcare practitioners to effectively use the knowledge gained from training and get the best use of their CPD log in order to develop their practice in an effective way for the benefit of all (children and adults).
Join EY smart today for free!
About the author
I’ve worked in childcare for over thirty years in a variety of roles which include being involved in voluntary groups, Ofsted Outstanding Childminder, qualified trainer and assessor and I’ve been a PACEY Associate for the last twenty years. I have a husband, two daughters and two grandchildren (aged 17 and 2). It’s been a pleasure caring for my oldest grandson full time from a month old when I was a childminder and now love looking after my two-year-old granddaughter two days a week as a grandma or Gra as she calls me. This name is Gaelic for love so it’s perfect.