Do higher qualifications mean better childcare?


In a childcare setting, the Common Inspection Framework focuses on the quality of teaching and how it impacts on the learning and development of children. At Tops Day Nurseries, a variety of training opportunities are offered to staff to develop their knowledge and gain more qualifications, ensuring a high quality of teaching and learning is demonstrated every day.

According to the Common Inspection Framework, in order to demonstrate outstanding quality, teaching practitioners must provide children with rich, varied and imaginative experiences. Children must also demonstrate the characteristics of effective learning, a topic that is regularly covered in training by the Tops Day Nurseries Operations Team.

There must also be a balance of child led and adult motivated play, which is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children need to be left alone to make their own discoveries and develop their own ideas rather than having an adult intervene.

Nurseries are inspected by Ofsted, who make judgements as to whether adults encourage children to become independent as well as encouraging children to answer open-ended questions that challenge thinking and problem solving; plus lots of other considerations.

In order for practitioners to demonstrate the high-quality of teaching that we strive for, it is important for them to have a clear understanding of how children learn. At Tops Day Nurseries, each child has a key person who focuses on maintaining a reflective approach to observation, assessment and planning. A system called eyLog is used across the family of nurseries so parents can access their child’s learning journey at a time convenient to them.

For Tops to maintain the flexible service we provide, all staff members are qualified, working towards a qualification or have taken part in training to expand their knowledge. Some internal courses we have previously provided for staff include:

  • Age Specific Training
  • Characteristics of effective learning
  • Behaviour management
  • Tops Forest School training

There are also conferences held annually for staff to meet others in a similar job role from other settings, giving them a chance to discuss different ideas and share best practice.

While this level of knowledge and training does come after some years of experience and gaining qualifications, here at Tops Day Nurseries everyone has the opportunity to learn from their mentors and managers, and to develop themselves through our training programme.  We regularly see first-hand the different opportunities training and qualifications can bring; recently, we have had a member of staff promoted to Room Manager at Tops Bournemouth after starting as an apprentice with no childcare qualification just 2 years ago. In March we had 6 members of staff promoted to advanced roles that all started with Tops as apprentices, in the past we have even had company Directors and senior staff that started at Tops Day Nurseries as apprentices.

If you would like to speak to someone about training opportunities at Tops Day Nurseries, please don’t hesitate to call 01202 551553 ex.2 or email To see our current job vacancies please click here.

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