Northern Health and Social Care Trust
Partnership approach in training for early years providers
The Northern Health & Social Care Trust Early Years’ Service (EYS) registers and inspects early years providers such as Day Nurseries, Playgroups and Out of School Clubs and Crèches. Early Years the organisation for young children (EYO) is a membership organisation set up to support, advise and train early years providers to ensure high quality care and play is available to all children in a setting.
A large proportion of providers are small community-based voluntary organisations run by committees with charitable status. When EYS and EYO were planning training sessions for committees it became clear committees really needed advice on the role of the employer, as well as support on meeting the DHSS Minimum Standards 2012 and how to support high quality play and care. We contacted the Labour Relations Agency as the experts in this field to see if they could offer officers to present on our courses designed to support and inform the employing body. The Northern Childcare Partnership (NCP) covered the costs and provided admin and IT support.
EYS, EYO and LRA are now into the third year of offering courses to early years committees. The information the LRA brings - updates in the law, performance management and the processes an employer needs to follow with their employees to manage change - has been very well received by the committees who can see clearly their role as employers and how to handle this, even though they are doing all this in a voluntary capacity.
The input from LRA officers has been vital in ensuring these governance courses have met the needs of small, voluntary employers in the Child Care sector.