Whether you are a service provider or an educator, professional development is an important ongoing process that can help your business become the quality service that parents choose for their children. Quality Area 7 Governance and Leadership requires that training and continuous improvement plans and strategies are in place with an on-going cycle of self-reflection.
With providers and educators working remotely from each other, and educators responsible for the improvement of their own program and overall environment, you already know how hard it can be to ensure that everyone gets the training they need to stay informed and most importantly, motivated, right? And then there’s the problem of monitoring if the training is actually improving practice.
Here are five ways your family day care business can incorporate and embed training and professional development:
1) Monitoring and mentoring: This powerful strategy will help you identify and rectify gaps in either you or your team’s training and identify strengths and opportunities for your business to grow and flourish. Following training and professional development up with mentoring sessions is a great way to provide training and for the mentor and mentee to put together an ongoing professional development plan.
I’ve put together a pack you can use that includes tips and templates to get the most from your monitoring and mentoring sessions. You can grab it here.
2) Resources: As our industry grows, there are more and more resources available for us to use to help with our skill and knowledge development. It is important to choose relevant and quality resources that allow you to develop your own style. Before choosing resources, understand your goal for the training or professional development. I know one of my major goals for family day care is that practitioners have sound business practices to keep them safe, professional and on the continuous improvement path (by the by, I am currently developing an online business course for educators).
And that’s why I created a resource I am most proud of, the JPS Survival Guide for Australian Family Day Care Educators. It’s helped many family day care businesses put together their business and quality improvement plans, create policies and procedures, undertake risk assessments and implement professional practices, such as code of conduct, working with families, confidentiality and so much more; everything to get educators and services implementing sound business practices and of course ‘compliance‘.
3) Online delivery: Technology allows us many opportunities to connect and learn from each other. It means we can offer and receive training from wherever we are in the world. As a matter of fact, I’ve been asked a few times to attend training sessions as a guest speaker via Zoom. It’s worked really well, it can be a Q and A session, or pre-recorded training in areas your business needs and is currently working. It gets everyone experiencing a shared understanding, the core of a quality service.
If this is something you’d be interested in, then please don’t hesitate in sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
4) Industry experts: Have you noticed that staff and educators attend training sessions, but yet no real change is happening in your service? The benefits of collaborating with an industry expert to help with your professional development is that they bring comprehensive knowledge of the sector and are able to relate the learning to national quality standards, laws, and regulations and different contexts for the learners to grasp and relate to. With me, you will get the advice and skills that are required to follow-up training. Because you can’t just expect training without some kind of follow up – that’s in the leadership.
An industry expert, like me, is someone who has faced the barriers you come across in your business and knows how to get through them. If you need help, then don’t be afraid to reach out for guidance. That’s what I am here for.
5) Self-education: I’ve been in the childcare industry for over 30 years and have helped hundreds of child care businesses by offering advice and sharing my strategies and personal experiences. However, I know that in order to do my job efficiently, I have to take a proactive approach to my own learning so I am always working on my development. I read books, take courses, listen to podcasts, have mentors in the industry, and keep abreast of changes to legislation. It’s on ongoing process.
It’s important to stay up-to-date on industry changes through networking, subscriptions and simply remaining informed (both online and off), identifying gaps in your skills and knowledge, and taking steps to get the training, information and skills you need to run your business successfully. I’ve created a Facebook group to support service providers and educators. This group is designed to support you, share ideas and connect to others. I am present in the groups to guide thinking and answer your questions.
If you’d like to stay connected with me to get more information, tips, and free resources to help your family day care business thrive, then subscribe to my newsletter list so we can stay in touch.
P.S. Remember! I’m only a ZOOM away. Schedule here.