Staff Development Handbook for Childcare Providers

Barry, C. (2005). Staff Development Handbook for Childcare Providers.
The purpose of this handbook is to provide childcare providers with an overview of the purpose, process and value of staff development. Staff development is the process by which staff members and teams develop their capacity to undertake their roles, thus contributing to the development of the service. It is achieved through a combination of supervision, appraisals, team meetings, training and mentoring/coaching. The handbook should be viewed as a set of guidelines within which childcare providers in the private, community and statutory sectors can best contribute to the development of individual staff members and the staff team. While staff development programmes will enhance the ability and competencies of team members and contribute to the development of the organisation, the ultimate benefit will be to children and families who will avail of enhanced services. It is this principle of improved service to children and their families that forms the basis for the handbook. Organisations and management have a duty to ensure that there is a constant development within the organisation to meet the current and evolving needs of children and their families. Individual staff members have a responsibility to participate in, and contribute to, their own professional development. This handbook is set in the context of ongoing developments within the Irish childcare sector, both legislative and best practice. Such developments place greater demands on organisations and staff to meet specific standards in a wide variety of areas. A greater degree of accountability is required of childcare services, thus increasing individual accountability.