Early Years Practitioner support

In 2017/18, the Education and Training Foundation ran a successful professional development programme, in partnership with the sector, to support teachers, trainers, assessors and programme managers delivering high quality level 2 and level 3 courses for learners preparing to work in the early years sector.

During the first phase of the programme, we commissioned a small-scale research project, looking at the training needs of the early years workforce. Training the Early Years Sector examines access to professional development opportunities across the early years sector with a particular focus on the professional development needs of early years tutors delivering initial training to early years learners, and the experience of learners currently enrolled on early years courses as well as the ongoing professional development needs of early years practitioners.

The second phase of the phase of the programme saw us commissioning three professional exchange networks running across the country: the north east and Cumbria, the midlands and the south east and south west. Each exchange worked with practitioners from the early years sector across a range of providers including colleges, independent training providers and awarding bodies. A final report was produced entitled Early Years Professional Exchanges: Final Report 2017/18.

The focus of the Early Years project was to support tutors, trainers and assessors, impacting on the quality of the delivery of Early Years courses leading to level 2 and level 3 qualifications by supporting a collaborative network approach. Early Years practitioners in the post-16 sector were brought together to share knowledge, experiences and expertise and together develop their practice. The networks engaged over 30 organisations with around 80 participants taking part in the regional meetings.