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The Importance of Child Care Program Assessment

August 17, 2009 19:42 by Barbara Shelby

Why is it beneficial to conduct training need assessments?
Four reasons are:

1. To decide what specific training each employee needs.
2. To evaluate what will improve job performance.
3. To ascertain if training will make a difference.
4. To ensure quality programming.

According to Janeal Roberts, in the October, 2006 issue of School-Age Notes, there are four primary steps to training instruction. The steps that lead to quality training and ongoing staff development are:

  • Assessment of needs, which is the analysis of a program and care-giving staff.
  • Design and development of established training needs.
  • Delivery of the training.
  • Evaluation of the training outcomes, and reassessment if needed.

Roberts further states, The importance of assessment in training, should account for 40% of targeted planned development. In the remaining 60% of efforts in training, 30% should account for design and delivery, and 30% for the evaluation of training outcome.

For meaningful evaluation, more than one assessment tool should be used. This will give you a more complete picture. In the field of child care, the methods below could provide in being useful.

• Questionnaires and surveys:
This is the quickest method to address the needs of a group. A substantial amount of information can be gathered in a short amount of time. Also, using this method many caregivers will be more at ease in examining their needs on paper, than in sharing how they feel in a face- to- face interview.

Direct program and staff observation:
This could be conducted by a trained consultant or an administrator.

Consulting with staff that has specific first-hand knowledge:
For individuals in an assistant caregiver or assistant teacher position, lead caregivers or site directors would be the key people with whom to consult.

Interviews and Conversations:
Meet individually with the caregiver. Discuss what needs there are on a day- to- day basis. Establish the difference between what the staff needs and what they would like. Explore on-site challenges.

Develop focus group meetings with staff members.

Review and stay current with research and literature devoted to the age groups of the childrem with whom you work.

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