Training for Nursery Staff

Staff training affects every aspect of a childcare business, and it should start on day one with the induction.

Induction training introduces staff to their workplace, their work team and the business ethos. It is essential that each member of staff receives the same induction training so you can be sure everyone receives the same information. This should also include health and safety training for each member of staff.

Once the induction process is complete, staff training can focus carefully on enhancing staff confidence, skill and expertise.

There are many ways to incorporate training into the setting. If you are passionate about staff being ‘home grown’, you may be interested in taking on an apprentice.

Apprentices can be any age and will receive funding from the Government to complete their training, with a small contribution expected from yourself as the employer. Apprentices are paid to work at the same time as they learn, but an apprentice is paid a fraction of the national minimum wage (please visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk/partners/policy/nationalminimumwage.aspx for more information).

An apprenticeship programme is ideal because it is designed to train the learner is all areas of employment, rather than just in one chosen qualification. This means a learner who achieves an apprenticeship will also achieve a qualification in English and maths (unless they have already achieved one recently), a qualification in Employment Rights and Responsibilities, and Paediatric First Aid.

Usually, learners who are training as an apprentice have less experience in the workplace than others, which is why they can be moulded to your specific business standards. In many cases, apprentices go on to be strong ambassadors for a business once they have achieved their qualifications and been accepted as a permanent member of staff, as they have been taught the workings of the business from the ground up.

Vocational qualifications are also available outside of the apprenticeship route. It is important that all staff in your setting are working towards the achievement of the required level 3 childcare qualification if they have not gained one already.

Depending on their skills and experience, some members of staff may need to achieve the level 2 qualification before they can begin the level 3 qualification, but others will be able to start training at level 3 immediately. These qualifications are vocational, and so each member of staff will need to be working or volunteering in the setting at the same time as completing their coursework.

Members of staff who have achieved the required level 3 qualification, but have taken on more managerial responsibilities, may want to complete a level 5 qualification. The level 5 qualification focuses on management skills within the childcare setting and is also a vocational qualification. No matter what level of qualification members of staff have achieved, it is still essential that they focus on their Continual Professional Development (CPD).

CPD qualifications are small courses in which learners study a vast variety of topics linked to both childcare and the work environment. Courses can vary from level 2 to level 4 or 5 and can be studied individually or as a group. It is important that each member of staff contributes to their CPD each year and keeps a record of their achievements. It is an opportunity for them to study an area which they may be uncomfortable with, or to increase their knowledge in areas they find interesting.

Finally, there are areas of CPD which must be kept up-to-date. These include health and safety, paediatric first aid and food hygiene. It is extremely important that you keep track of each member of staff’s training and achievement dates so that their training can be revisited whenever necessary. Some settings have a Training Manager who is responsible for exactly this and oversees the members of staff who are working towards qualifications. This may be something to consider when you have a large number of staff and lots of training to keep track of.

If you are looking for training solutions, The Childcare Company and Laser Learning can provide training to suit your every need.

Laser Learning provide the unique Nurture system, which is a staff induction programme incorporating the policies and procedures for your business. As well as this, Laser Learning also provide CPD short courses in partnership with Morton Michel, covering topics which include food hygiene, leadership and management and child development. Please visit Morton Michel for a list of CPD short courses available.

The Childcare Company also work in partnership with Laser Learning, and offer fully recognised qualifications in early years childcare, supporting teaching and learning, and playwork delivered online with full tutor support using the award-winning extended teaching and learning programme, the Laser®. Please visit for further information.