I am currently working in a small privately run day nursery on a housing estate and have been there now for nearly six years. Within my setting I have two job roles both of which I am very clear as to what my roles and responsibilities are.
Common core (2010,2ek) First of which is Deputy officer in charge which has been my role now for nearly two years and holds many responsibilities and challenges on a daily basis, my main responsibilities relate to assisting my manger in the day to day running of the setting and working very closely with all the staff, assisting in interviews working with current and new parents and also working very closely with other agencies involved in the nursery including speech therapist, child physiologists, ofsted and the local authority.
My other job role is lead practitioner in the preschool room looking after children aged between two years to four years old. Here my role consists of working closely with my senior nursery practitioner in planning and observing the children in the preschool, helping to prepare them for their transition into primary school. CC (2010,4bs) implementing the daily routine, making sure health and safety towards the children and staff is maintained at all times and mentoring the other staff who work in the preschool room including nursery assistants and trainees.
I have many strengths within my job roles but also many weaknesses which I work every day towards improving through observing what others do, listening to what others say and also through teaching myself new things. Completing my training needs analysis made me more aware of strengths and weakness I was unaware of which I had which has brought to light different things in which I need to work on improving to help maintain my knowledge and to help improve my practice.
I have worked closely with my work-based mentor and the settings manager to put an action plan into place to improve my practice to the best it can be over the next twelve months, this action plan is based on what areas I have found I need to improve on using my training needs analysis.
By completing my Training needs analysis and recently returning to working within a room in my setting which has only been for two months now, I have realised according to the early years teachers standards I do not have such a secure knowledge of early childhood development and I do need to work on how this leads to the children learning successfully when they get to school Early years teachers standards(2013, S3:1) I am not as fully aware of all the new EYFS changes as I thought I was which if I do not change this will effect the learning and development of the children within my care.
I have found that when I am now completing the children’s learning journals I need a lot of support from the other staff members in my room to make sure I am observing each child correctly and that I am linking each observation to the correct area of the eyfs and not giving a false indication of where the children may be up to developmentally, before all the changes took place I was always very confident in this area.
I do realise I know enough on the new eyfs to be able to plan and track the next steps of development for the children as I am aware of how to observe and find I am very confident in this particular area, but I also know that If I took part in some more research related to the this through reading books provided by my work setting and researching the many options available to me online that I will be able to give the children a better chance of being ready and prepared for their transition to primary school.
I am also willing to search for possible training opportunities on the new EYFS through the national day nurseries association as we have took part in training through them in the past. I have put this on my action plan to complete by February of next year as I feel there is a lot of research that can be done to help me in this area and feel that I have given myself enough time to do this research. Also through reflection I have realised I need to update my safeguarding training.
In my setting we have a lead safeguarding officer who is the nursery manager, recently my manger has had some prolonged time off and therefore it has become my duty to step into this role as lead safeguarding officer. I am aware of safeguarding and have some knowledge in this area although through looking at my training needs analysis and stepping up into this role it has made me realise I lack confidence in this area and need support.
I am able to recognise when a child is at risk but need to build a lot of confidence around acting upon this through my own judgement rather than consistently needed advice and support EYTS (2013, S7:3) although I do understand when it comes to safeguarding issues advice and support from others is essential providing it is within reason and kept confidential.
During my time at my setting I have dealt with some safeguarding instances as a support for my manager and parents. I am aware that my safeguarding training certificate Is now out of date and it is f great importance that I take part in a new training course to refresh my knowledge so I am able to act upon legal requirements regarding safeguarding and am more aware and confident in promoting the welfare of the children in my care EYTS (2013, S7:1).
Also as I am now deputy officer in charge and lead practitioner within my setting I am aware that I will need to take part in a higher level safeguarding course as I have only took part in level one, I am now looking into doing my safeguarding level two for room leaders and management. By taking part in this training I will be more confident in employing practices which will help to promote the children’s health and safety within my setting EYTS (2013,S7:2).
I have put this on my action plan to complete by April of next year which I feel gives me time to find the correct course suited to my needs and the needs of the children that I look after. When it comes to observing the children and writing the observations next steps I am quite confident in doing this where I start to lack the confidence is using these next steps to support the planning for each individual Childs needs, I always state a next step in my observation but don’t always add this to my planning to show progression and development in particular areas for the children EYTS (2013,S4:1).
I am currently planning to take part in a staff-planning meeting CC(2010,1cs) this meeting will be regarding our settings planning to air my concerns about my knowledge and confidence and hope this will help by hearing other staff member’s views and advise as well as any concerns that they may have.
I a hoping by doing this it will bring to light changes I need to make and possibly the whole setting need to make to be more able to plan balanced activities for the children based on the age and developmental stage and help myself be more confident in recognising other circumstances that may effect the children learning and development EYTS (2013,S4:2).
I have added this as part of my action plan and hope to have this completed by December as I feel it is an important part of the day to day running of the setting to be able to have full understanding of the planning we do as if we do not understand it properly it can effect the children’s learning in the future and effect their transition into primary school.
My job role as deputy officer in charge comes with a lot of responsibility I have never undergone any management training and have taught myself how to be efficient as deputy manager along the way over the past twenty two months. In many situations as part of my job role I am very confident and do believe I am a good positive leader, I listen to and take in everything that is said to me by other staff members and am very understanding towards all situations CC(2010,1as).
I have took part in interviews, meetings with other professionals and staff meetings during my time as deputy but I have not taken lead role in any of these situations and believe I lack confidence in this area EYTS (2013, S8:3) I am aiming to take lead in my first staff meeting and have targeted this for January of next year so that I have sufficient amount of points to discuss during this meeting. I am hoping by doing this it will help to build my confidence as a deputy officer I charge in group situations where the focus is solely on myself EYTS (2013,S8:5).
I am more confident in my job role as lead practitioner in preschool as I have more experience within this area although through recent reflection I have noticed I need to be more assertive to other staff around me and to delegate more tasks to the staff in my room to help them to develop their abilities in all areas, I need to be more aware that as lead practitioner other staff member will be looking up to me and what I do in my role as support for themselves EYTS(2013,S8:4).
Therefore if I teach my knowledge and understanding towards everything work related to the other staff members they will hopefully see me as a good role model for themselves as they work towards furthering their own careers in childcare CC(2010,4as) I will look at holding room meetings in the near future to help to build on this confidence I have in myself and my team will have in me we can use these meetings as a learning experience for all team members to work more efficiently together and help myself within my lead practitioner role.
I will plan to place this alongside leading the whole settings staff meeting. In my setting or any setting previous to this one I have not completed a personal development profile before, I have recently started to gather information to start creating my personal development profile since starting my course.
I have set myself a target to have this completed as much as it can be up to now to help me with my development EYTS (2013,S8:6) By starting this file I have realised more of my strengths, weaknesses and achievements during my career so far. Over the next few months I am going to work with my work based mentor and nursery manager to organise my personal development profile efficiently and through the duration of this course and my future job roles and prospects I am going to work hard towards contributing to and improving my file to help benefit myself in anything I do in the future.
The target I have set myself for having my file started is October as I feel it is an important part of the progress I have made so far in my career. I have realised since completing my training needs analysis that I have strengths and weakness in many areas of my job roles.
I have not previously reflected upon my practices as a nursery nurse lead practitioner or deputy officer in charge and have realised how important self reflection is to help with gaining a more efficient knowledge of my own work and how I need to improve, in my main job role as deputy officer in charge not only is it important for myself to gain higher knowledge and keep up to date with changes that take place but it is also important to all other staff members as they look to me as their leader and my achievements and knowledge can have an effect on others and what they do in the future of their own careers.
Self reflection has made me realise how much work I actually need to under go to make myself become the best I can possibly be for myself and for my whole team now and in the furute. EYTS (2013,S8:6,S8:7) Bibliography Children’s workforce development council (2010) common core of skills and knowledge for the children’s workforce National college for teaching and leadership (2013) teachers standards (early years).