Supervisions are a mandatory part of the EYFS, but they function as a support mechanism, too.
The practitioners working in your setting are your most valuable resource. Effective supervision supports your staff team to deliver high-quality care and helps to create a positive working environment.
In this blog, we review how you can embrace supervisions for the good of your staff, your business and the children in your care.
What Do We Mean By Supervisions?
Supervisions in Early years is a process that involves a supervisor meeting with practitioners to see how they’re doing and provide support and coaching where needed.
Supervision should happen regularly for maximum performance and well-being benefits. That way, any issues can be resolved quickly before snowballing, and staff members also have the opportunity to voice any concerns. A supervision session could include a review of the practitioner’s workload, monitoring and benchmarking their performance and identifying opportunities for learning and development.
Why Are Supervisions Important?
Working in early years presents many challenges.
Anyone who works with young children will know that they often express their needs intensely and urgently, and this can be tricky to absorb day after day. Combine this with other stressors such as paperwork, feeling there isn’t enough time in the day, difficulties in communicating with parents and the recruitment problems the sector is facing, and you can see why support is needed.
Supervision leads to better outcomes for the children and raises confidence and capability within your staff team. The process creates a much-needed space for practitioners and leaders alike to step away from the whirlwind of the everyday and ask questions, raise concerns and access support.
By reviewing the work that is happening in the setting, managers and leaders can ascertain how the work is affecting the practitioners, highlight any performance issues and put forward ideas for training opportunities.
What Does The EYFS Say About Supervision?
The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a mandatory piece of legal literature that governs all early years providers in England. It sets the standards for learning, development and safety levels of children from birth to five years.
The EYFS says that providers must put appropriate arrangements in place for the supervision of staff who have contact with children and their families. By providing regular supervisions for all practitioners, managers foster a culture of trust, support, teamwork, professional development and personal effectiveness.
How Can Early Years Settings Conduct Supervisions Effectively?
Fitting in super supervisions for your practitioners can feel like a huge, time-consuming job and might fall to the bottom of the to-do list. But we cannot stress the importance of supervision enough.
Here’s how you can ensure that your supervisions don’t fall by the wayside.
Policy And Procedure
First off, you’re going to need a robust supervision policy with detailed processes sitting underneath it. Who will perform the supervisions? How often will they occur? Supervisions should always be about the supervisee.
Supervisors need to be honest, accountable, empathetic and diplomatic. It may not always be the same person carrying out supervisions. Most importantly, supervisees should be made to feel comfortable in expressing themselves and sharing concerns. It may not always be the same individual which means staff have more than one person to go to.
Talk About It
Making supervision a key part of workplace language will help you maintain momentum in conducting supervisions regularly. It will also aid in the fostering of a supportive, open and positive company culture with a strong focus on the well-being and personal development of your team.
Supervisions are a ‘must’, not a ‘should’. By reframing supervision from something at the bottom of your to-do list to a critical, positive tool that engages and inspires your team, you can fully embrace their effectiveness.
They take time, but not utilising supervision will eventually cost you more time in poor performance, staff retention and complaints.
Tailor The Session
Whilst supervision should provide opportunities for staff to discuss any issues, identify solutions to address problems and receive training and coaching, there is more than one way to deliver super supervision.
Supervision can look like long talks or shorter conversations, whether they are about something in particular, like a coaching opportunity, or simply spending time listening to sensitive issues, providing support and signposting if necessary.
It all counts.
What Should Be In A Supervision Policy?
Your supervision policy needs to set out how you will future-proof your setting and align your team through being super at supervisions. Effective supervision promotes continuous development and improvement for everyone involved.
Supervision requirements are set out in paragraphs 3.22 and 3.23 of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework. Thinking about your setting, who are the right people to be supervisors?
What training, skills and knowledge do these individuals require to be a supervisor? How can you provide them with these tools?
Your policy needs to be positive but realistic when it comes to scheduling; otherwise, it will fall to the wayside. But remember, it all counts, and it will drastically enhance your setting’s care offering.
Super Supervisions Make Your Nursery Shine
A comprehensive supervision process works towards real improvement throughout your setting and a more nurturing, proficient offering for the children in your care.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got your back. Click here to find MBK’s complete package of all things supervision; from strategy to chronology to sign-off sheets, we’ve got your supervision process sorted.