Continuous Professional Development at Childcare Expo
20th September 2016
Jo Baranek, Lead Early Years Advisor at NDNA has supported Childcare Expo from the beginning. Jo hosts both seminars and workshops at the event, providing an insight for the early years practitioners who attend and talks to us about Childcare Expo Midlands just around the corner…
Words from Jo
With just over a week to go until Childcare Expo Midlands comes around again I find myself reflecting on just how useful this is for continuous professional development and just how much expert knowledge there is under one roof! I am sure you feel the same if you have ever attended one of these events.
Having attended every Childcare Expo since their conception I look back at the speakers and workshops I have attended as a delegate and realise how much I have benefitted personally and professionally from each speaker in turn.
This of course is not the only professional development available and many companies, including NDNA, offer a variety of different training opportunities covering countless topics and themes across the early years. Not just face to face training, but also online courses / blogs / social media, publications and articles, conferences, briefings, seminars and webinars, the list is endless! I have attended numerous in my career and what a lot of knowledge there is out there accessible in so many ways!
However, within early years we often miss opportunities like this because we are so busy, or at least we think we are! We often become isolated and inward facing, just because of the pressures of the role and the speed at which each day disappears. The intention of booking a training event, reading a publication or accessing online training vanishes with the sunlight at the close of the day and another day has passed where we put ourselves and our needs at the bottom of the pile. We need to change this and realise just how vital these opportunities are and the benefits of investing a little of our time in our own continuous provision development.
Early years practice changes faster than any other profession and this is because we are still learning all about new approaches as well as legislation changing on a regular basis. We need to keep up. Accessing events like Childcare Expo and NDNA events will help you to keep updated with current practice, gather new ideas and more importantly network and talk with others in the same line of work. This is probably the most important part of conferences, expos and face to face training as this is not something you can get whilst in your setting. Sharing ideas and talking through issues you have enable others to bring their own expertise into play and help you with specific areas. It is like having a fresh pairs of eyes looking around your setting and giving you suggestions based on what they see, without them even being there!
Hopefully, I will have reminded you just how important you are in your own setting and how much you will benefit from investing just a little time and money in your own professional development for a change. Be selfish and grab that time you deserve to meet and talk with other like-minded professionals. The rewards will be evident when you return to your setting enthused and ready to go with a bucket full of new ideas and resources!
See you there!