Staff training and development should be a priority in the management of a childcare service. Standards of quality and best practice should be maintained through the quality of staff employed, their qualifications and on-going training and development.
When employing staff for a new service it is important to ensure that the staff will have the necessary skills, training and qualifications relative to their position.
Click here for information about the new qualification requirements in Early Childhood Care and Education from September 2015.
Other Training Requirements
Child Protection Training
According to Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011, 1.1.1 The key principles that should inform best practice in child protection and welfare, (ix) is “ The prevention, detection and treatment of child abuse or neglect requires a coordinated multidisciplinary approach, effective management, clarity of responsibility and training of personnel in organisations working with children.”
The National Standards for Pre-School Services 2010 identifies in Standard 11, Child Protection, Criteria 11.5, “a designated senior member of staff, together with a deputy, has received ‘Keeping Safe’ training in child protection, and is responsible for liaising with the relevant agencies in any child protection situation”.
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First Aid Training
The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 state that a person trained in First Aid for children is, at all times, immediately available to the children attending the pre-school service. Additional trained persons will be required, depending on the extent of the services. Good practice suggests that all staff should be trained in First Aid for children.
Occupational First Aid Training
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and Regulations requires employers to provide an occupational first aider as is necessary in taking account of the size or hazards (or both) of the workplace. Good practice suggests that there should always be at least one staff member on the premises trained in Occupational First Aid.
Manual Handling Training
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 places duty on the management to provide a safe place of work for employees. This includes making arrangements to protect Health, Safety and Welfare. Under this Act management is required to provide for Manual Handling Training for all employees.
Basic Food Hygiene (Level 1)
The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 and EC Hygiene of Food Stuffs EC 852/2004 advise all staff members who serve or handle food should complete a basic Food Hygiene course, which normally is 2.5-3 hours in duration.
Primary Food Hygiene (Level 2)
The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 and EC Hygiene of Food Stuffs EC 852/2004 advise that any high risk worker e.g. cook, manager, or all staff who prepare food, must complete a Primary Food Hygiene course that covers aspects of HACCP.
HACCP (Level 3) Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points
The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016and EC Hygiene of Food Stuffs EC 852/2004 advise that any high risk worker e.g. cook, manager, or all staff who prepare food, must complete a Primary Food Hygiene course that covers aspects of HACCP.
Fire Safety Training
The Fire Services Act 1981 requires that persons in control of childcare premises take all reasonable measures to guard against the outbreak of fire and ensure the safety of the children and staff on the premises, in the event of a fire occurring. This includes staff training for all employees.
As well as ensuring staff have the relevant formal training with recognised qualifications, it is also advisable to provide Induction Training and on-going opportunities for both external and in-house training which can be either accredited or non-accredited. The purpose of induction training is to ensure that the employee has the relevant information provided to allow them to perform their duties effectively and provide time to settle into the position in a comfortable manner. This training should take place at the start of employment or as soon as possible after the employee has commenced work. The following areas should be covered:
- Information on the service
- Health & safety requirements
- Child protection procedures
- Conditions of employment
- Policies & procedures
On-going Training and Professional Development
A training strategy and schedule should be implemented in the service and incorporated into the on-going development of the service as a key strategic tool. Training needs can be identified from regular supervision sessions and team meetings with employees. You may not be able to provide training for all staff at the same time due to staff time and cost issues. Therefore it will be necessary to prioritise which training needs are most needed at any one time. Consideration should be given to linking with other organisations to arrange joint training opportunities. Before undertaking any childcare training, ensure that the college, school, organisation or institution offers a recognised qualification which is accredited by the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). This will allow for the best use or resources and ensure best practice and high quality