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Continuous Professional Development

Core Training and Continuous Professional Development


Research suggests that good quality childcare provision and a highly skilled workforce improves outcomes for children. As a practitioner you can ensure your skills are maintained and your practice is up to date by attending regular training. This will include core training and continuous professional development (CPD). Ofsted has an expectation that staff should access training to keep up to date, reflect upon the effectiveness of their practice and strive to improve.

According to the Early Years Quality Improvement Support Programme (p20, 2008) attendance at training should be on average more than one session in three months and have a sustained and continuous impact. However, Essex Early Years and Childcare recommend attending a minimum of 3 sessions of training each year as an achievable good practice guideline. This training should include core training as well as Continuous Professional Development courses. Settings applying for funding through Essex County Council will have their training/CPD record reviewed to ensure sufficient training has been attended. Settings with insufficient CPD may be required to access training before funding is released or as a clause of contract. Core Training and Continuous Professional Development should be embraced by all practitioners regardless of their level of qualification or years of experience. Subjects should also be revisited from time to time to ensure knowledge is kept up to date.


Core Training


Core training includes training that will support a practitioner to have the basic 'skills and experience suitable for the work’ in order to ensure they meet the welfare requirements. This should include the following training as a minimum for all staff:


• Paediatric First Aid

• Safeguarding Training

• Health and Safety training

• Equality & Diversity/Inclusion training


Please ensure that you check the date that your certificates run out, don’t leave it until the last minute to update your training, we have had to disappoint some people whose certificate has expired and they cannot get onto an Early Years & Childcare First Aid Course.


Core training will also include training which contributes to developing a practitioner’s common core of skills and knowledge:


• Effective communication and engagement with children, young people and families

• Child (and young person) development

• Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child or young person

• Supporting transitions

• Multi-agency and integrated working

• Information sharing


Some of these areas may be addressed through face to face courses or online training and some may be addressed whilst undertaking a qualification at level 2 or 3.


It is considered good practice that all staff members undertake all core training and refresh their knowledge by attending training every 3 years. The document ‘Working together to Safeguard Children – A Guide to Inter – Agency Working to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children’ (Department for Education 2010) clearly states your responsibilities that as part of the early years workforce you should refresh your safeguarding knowledge every three years, this is now highlighted on your Essex Safeguarding Childrens Board Certificate. Where this level of ‘refresher’ training is not possible for all core training a setting should ensure all staff members undertake safeguarding training every 3 years and as many staff members as possible attend first aid and health and safety training.


There are also core training courses for those who have a specific aspect to their role as detailed below:


• Designated Safeguarding Person – ESCB Designated Person’s Training (available from the Essex Safeguarding Children’s Board: www.escb.co.uk)

• SEN Coordinator (SENCo) – SEN Code of Practice available from Area Senco Team

• Equality Named Coordinator (ENCo) – Role of the ENCO

• Health & Safety Officer – Health & Safety: CIEH Level 3 


Continuous Professional Development


Continuous Professional Development (CPD) includes all training and development which goes beyond the basic ‘core’ training and should be considered essential in all settings. Continuous Professional Development (CPD) includes any training which improves the quality of your setting and its staff. Having trained practitioners in your setting will help to develop and maintain high standards of care and education for the benefit of the children and families whilst also creating a positive culture of continuous improvement.


There is a wide variety of CPD training available through Essex Early Years and Childcare including:


• Child Development courses

• Business Success for Childcare courses

• Getting to know the Early Years Foundation Stage

• All About Talk and Communication training

• Food Hygiene

• A range of Inclusion Training


We have tried to meet the needs of all Practitioners and have offered courses across the County and on Saturdays and evenings on some courses, but if you feel that you would like a particular course on a Saturday please advise us, we are not saying we could meet your demands but we can try, and if we do not know we cannot try to meet your needs.


We are also keen to gather your feedback about other subjects and themes you would like Essex Early Years & Childcare to offer. Please send any suggestions for future CPD sessions to: earlyyears.training@essex.gov.uk


We are introducing some exciting new topics in January including; Child and Mental Health Awareness [CAMHS], United Nations Rights of the Child [UNRC], Early Communication this is a 10 session Accredited Course. Please see our Training Brochure for dates and to book your dates.


When looking through the Training Brochure please take time to read the course content and the aims and objectives of the course, this will give you an idea if this is the course for you, and also how the course should help you in your work and providing the best outcomes for children & families. Look at the Settings Ragging Judgment, is there a course in the Training Brochure that could meet the gaps in knowledge of your setting.


Accessing training online


There are a number of good quality FREE training courses available online. These can be used to complement any face to face training you decide to attend. The following websites offer training courses which may be of interest:


From the Integrated Working, Children and Young People's Strategic Partnership e-Learning and Information Portal:




When registering please select ‘Early Years and Childcare’ as your work sector/area.


• Safeguarding module

• Common Assessment Framework (CAF) module

• Information Sharing module • Integrated Working module

• Lead Professional module


From the Children’s Workforce Development Council’s (CWDC) website:




• Safer Recruitment module


Settings may wish to use the ‘Important Information for Parents about Staff Qualifications…’ poster from your Quality Matters pack to record details of their core training to share with parents and other visitors.




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