Committee Question: Why do Preschool staff go on so many courses?(7 Posts)
Moaning at committee meeting yesterday about it, the cost in particular. A larger charity is offering to take over our preschool but they don't want to fund non-compulsory courses.
Conflict with staff looms...
Is it necessary that staff attend so many courses? Why? (genuine Q).
Growth of the pre-sch
Development of staff
Keep abreast of changes in childcare
Offer children the best care and education available
Keep staff enthusiastic
Keep up with the services and care offered by local rivals
If staff don't feel they're developing they will leave
Staff won't feel valued and will leave
Local officials will not be impressed
You can get funding to cover staff absences on courses, speak to your early years partnership
There must be more.
I would like a more tangible argument... like "Ofsted expects it", if I'm going to try to support staff on this one.
Does Ofsted expect it?
If any1 else sees this, how many hours/courses do your staff go on each month? What would be typical, what would be excessive?
Why not look at Investors in People?
Developing your staff is something OFSTED like to see
I would be happy for my staff to go on a day's course a month each
More than that & I'd want to know they were going to stay with me
Is it worth tying it in to their job - ie if you leave you pay it back?
How much do the courses cost you ? Our courses are pretty cheap or free, but paying for the extra cover and the extra staff hours can mount up. We never really say no to the staff doing courses, but do keep an eye on the costs as it can mount up. We do have very good, loyal and happy staff.
What do you count as compulsory courses ? We say first aid and child protection are non negotiable - so the semi retired staff member does these and no others. The younger staff members do additional ones on curiculum development or other things that they feel would be useful/interesting. They share the info with the rest of the staff. Its the first aid ones we think are the least value for money TBH - the content is hopeless, they are all run over several weeks and the staff don't like them. But we need to keep certificates current and there are no alternatives, so we give poor feedback but have to send staff anyway.
For longer courses, such as NVQ or degrees, we only agree to funding if they agree to work for us for a set length of time after the course is completed. We know there is realistically no way we can enforce this, but it does put down expectations on paper up front so everyone is clear.
Our staff probably go on one 1-day course every couple of months on average. Sometimes more, sometimes less, depends what comes up.
It really depends on what training each staff member already has and what would be useful to them and the playgroup. You have to remember it's not always just that person who benefits, they come back and share with the others so the benefits can be much wider. And sometimes you only get certain resources by going on a course - for example there is a course for committee members and anyone going on it gets a huge folder full of useful stuff. If no-one goes, you don't get the folder.
Ofsted certainly looks at a lack of training in a very poor light.
Longer courses we look at on an individual basis, so for example we have taken on staff about to start or planning to start the DPP and have funded or partly funded that.
I think it counts towards good staff retention which leads to good reputation which leads to places being filled and funding.
Sometimes, if done outside opening hours together it can be a teambuilding exercise.
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