On Tuesday 1st April 2014 Portland Nurseries brought over 80 of their employees together from their four sites, Harlequin, Holly Bank, Oakwood House and Portland House to enhance and develop their childcare practice at their Annual Training Day. As a company we have always put a strong emphasis on continual training and development, holding the Investors in People award for 13 years and ensuring that the staff are trained above and beyond the legal and Ofsted recommendations. Our nursery teams work hard throughout the year to improve the care and resources we provide for the children. This is done in a variety of ways; through internal and external training courses; conferences; personal development plans and appraisals; coaching and mentoring; networking; professional qualifications and the sharing of high quality practice. Alongside these methods we close the nurseries twice a year to come together as a company to improve and develop our skills. We do appreciate that this is often an inconvenience for parents; however we strongly believe that the training and development of our staff team not only helps them reach their own full career potential, but also continually improves the quality of our service by developing the skills, knowledge and individual capabilities of our Childcare Practitioners. Each Annual Training Day takes on a different focus covering key areas that are highlighted through the development needs of the children. Over the years we have concentrated on a wide variety of areas such as on Communication, Outdoor Play and Planning. On this occasion the day began with a Personality identification exercise to help with Teamwork and Communication, followed by a range of presentations and interactive workshops focusing on Safeguarding, Behaviour Management, Observations, Progress Report Training and how to improve the Transition process in to nursery, between rooms and in to school. The day ended with a visit from Sarah Gordon from the Early Excellence Centre to bring us some fresh and fun ideas for story and song time through “Let’s sing – Early Phonics through Music, Rhyme and Songs” The Training Days help us to continually expanding on and improve all aspects of their childcare skills and keep everyone up to date with current legislation and childcare practice. The staff team had a highly interactive and informative day and have been putting everything they learnt into practice. Portland Nurseries always set the highest standards to create an environment where children can reach their individual potential and are encouraged to grow, develop and safely experience the world around with the guidance of our highly qualified and dedicated team.