Recruit. Retrain. Retain.

Recruit. Retrain. Retain.

Sian Marsh, the EY Director, Headshot

Content for this article was provided by Sian Marsh, the Early Years Director at Best Practice Network


Sian has specialised in early years education for the last 19 years and is experienced in developing blended programmes. Her expertise covers national training programmes in early years at all levels from apprenticeships through to initial teacher training.



It is a well-known fact that those choosing a career in the early years sector have a great passion for education. The role of the practitioner is diverse in nature, complex and often challenging. Entering the early years sector is a great commitment aiming to improve the life chances of children and the early years provision. But is there anything that employers can do to increase the wellbeing of their practitioners and give them a higher sense of professional achievement?

The NATCEN report in 2020 found that practitioners were committed to their career development and demonstrated a desire to progress within the sector. 

One of the three reasons practitioners gave for engaging in professional development was the desire to make their job more satisfying by exploring new ways to support learning and education. Good quality professional development opportunities could inspire and motivate practitioners to develop their practice and in turn, raise the quality of education delivered to children.


Gill Mason, the Head of Training and Development at Kids Planet shared her experience running 132 nurseries:

If we want to attract and retain staff in Early Years we need to give them the opportunities to gain excellent training and chance to progress. When staff are motivated and enjoy their role, they are more likely to see the impact the job has on their own wellbeing.

When developing the professional development strategy leaders should consider staff wellbeing and reassess how each member of staff can be supported to develop professionally.

An important element for us has been the wellbeing check that takes place during each training day”, Gill Mason said.


Early Years teacher in a classroom playing with children

If we want to attract and retain staff in Early Years we need to give them the opportunities to gain excellent training and chance to progress.
Gill Mason,  Kids Planet


Nursery teacher playing with children


Is just “some” training enough?

The Fostering Effective Early Learning (FEEL) study suggests that in order to be effective, professional development opportunities should be long term and be evidence-based, have a specific goal, link theory with practical elements.

As a leading national provider Early Years training, we are able to offer you a range of curriculum-led and fully-structured courses aimed to support your employees’ career path and help you retain your practitioners.