We all know that professional development is important for us individually and collectively as teams in our services.This article covers the basics and goes further to help you harness the benefits of professional development by answering some frequently asked questions:
Sometimes we have a preconception about professional development and assume that it is another term for a workshop or training course but it goes beyond that. Professional development is actually the continuing process by which early childhood services and early childhood professionals individuals improve their skills and knowledge. Often professional development also crosses over to personal development as well, they are closely related. The end goal of professional development is to improve the quality of education, care and programs that we provide for children and their families.
Professional development needs to suit the needs of each service and individual. Here are some activities and resources that you could consider:
Asides from the obvious need to continually improve the quality of our program and provide high quality education for children, the early childhood sector experiences constant change and growth. These changes mean that we need to be adaptable and to continually learn and improve. Importantly, professional development is not only the way we learn but the way we can gain the support we need professionally and personally.
It would be hard to list them all but here’s some of the benefits:
Leaders in services play an crucial role in developing their teams and making sure that they have the required skills and knowledge. Directors role model attitudes and cultures around professional development, they create professional development plans for themselves, individual practitioners and their service, they budget for professional development and they create rosters that allow time for professional development. Most importantly, directors plan so that the strategies and learning from professional development activities is actually implemented and informs and improves the service.
If you’d like more information about professional development or need help planning professional development for your service, contact us here at Excellence Matters.