Why is it the early years sector is experiencing its worst ever staff retention and recruitment crisis? Whisper it loudly: a childcare career, while fulfilling, can be very stressful. You can’t work when you’re unhappy, and a traditional training course won’t fix it – because you can’t concentrate. The solution, says early years expert, Linda Baston-Pitt, is to make wellbeing a reality, not just in your people and at the workplace but in the content and format of the training.
A surprising number of people are intimidated by training and so do not reach their potential, while, in face-to-face training, 80 per cent of what is learnt is lost within six weeks unless it brings about change or improvement. The training Ms Baston-Pitt’s company, EduVT, has come up with has wellbeing at its core, focuses on strengths rather than weaknesses and empowers the learner to introduce positive change in the workplace. Result: reduced stress and increased commitment.
And this is online training. So much for the common view of it as a passive exercise. Breaking from the norm, these are tailored training programmes, constructed in bitesize “chunks”, each including an assignment – literally, a work based inquiry – where the learner takes specific questions back to the workplace and finds out from colleagues and management what the answers are. This is a key part of the learning process and also leads to an action plan for change in the workplace.
Goodbye to conveyer-belt training. Hello to the learning coach. EduVT’s ILM-accredited courses include support from a learning coach, who not only runs group sessions and one-to-ones, but is there to provide moral support. The learning coach handles questions and helps learners stay focused on what they are learning about their developing skills and how the workplace can be made a better place. Meanwhile, a consultant works with management to support any changes identified.
No one wants learning to be stressful. The ultimate aim of this training programme is to focus on strengths, develop skills and help make a career in early years an enjoyable experience for staff – and children. So, it is presented on the EduVT website as a menu, offering tasters, starters and (main) courses, the latter of which are ILM accredited. You can’t help but smile. The focus is on wellbeing, mentoring and positive leadership, the basis of learning and career development.
If your staff could benefit from a new approach to training which focuses on individuals’ needs, suggest they try one of the free tasters at www.eduvt.co.uk/courses/
NOTES TO EDITOR:
According to Labour Force Survey statistics posted by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on its website in March 2018, 12.5 million working days were lost in 2016 / 17 because of work-related stress, depression or anxiety. W: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress/
According to the NDNA’s Workforce Survey 2018, 86% of nurseries have lost staff this year and 80% of Level 3 staff who have left or are planning to leave have gone to jobs outside the sector. Two thirds of nursery managers say that they are unable to recruit suitable replacements for qualified staff. W: https://www.ndna.org.uk. See Policy and Reports in News.
Linda Baston-Pitt is CEO of EduVT Ltd based in Cambridge, which brings together early years experts, academics and trainers. She is also a published writer and speaker on early years.