In a recent article published by the BBC on the 8th May, they identified that having well-trained Nursery staff was key to good quality care. As the Operations Director of Tops Day Nurseries, this is something that I have known and promoted within our organisation for many years. I play a significant role in raising the quality and skills of our workforce and I do this in a number of different ways.
Over the last 5 years I have worked closely with the Training Manager and Aspire Training team, to introduce a new ‘Introduction to childcare course.’ This course is rolled out to any new employee that has little experience of working with children. We cover the key elements of childcare during this 5 day course to include safeguarding, equal opportunities, H&S, curriculum and quality interactions. Any unqualified colleague starting their career with Tops Day Nurseries is required to complete this course and gain a minimum 80% pass rate, prior to starting to provide care within our settings. This course has enabled apprentices or those new to the sector to achieve a good understanding of their role before they start their formal training, thus resulting in us maintain a minimum of good quality care at all times.
I recognise just how important investment in our staff team is and I focus a significant amount of my time ensuring that robust training and development plans are in place throughout the company. I have also developed and implemented a 4 day ‘Tops Induction’ programme that is delivered to any new staff that starts within the company. This course specifically delivers the ethos and values of Tops Day Nursery, to include, but not limited to:- Respectful care, risk benefit, conflict resolution, developing positive behaviours, curiosity approach, Observation, assessment and planning.
In 2018 Tops Day Nurseries purchased a small chain of 7 settings, of which one had recently been graded RI and then inadequate with Ofsted. Through implementing our robust training programmes, coaching and mentoring the teams, within 6 months the setting was re-inspected and achieved good outcomes in all areas.
Within my role I continuously advocate for staff welfare and training. I am passionate about raising the profile of the Early Years workforce and value each of our colleagues as Early Years Educators. I have devised a Tops Teacher status programme that all colleagues can work towards to help them gain the respect they deserve for working in sector.
At Tops we also run an annual conference where all colleagues across the group are invited to join us for a stimulating day, run by early years professional.
If you’re considering a new role in Early Years or are considering a change of career – we’d love to hear from you! Click here to view our current vacancies.