Launched this month, the Avail Learning Academy claims it will provide quality, flexible and affordable e-learning to help upskill the early years workforce at a time when settings face tight budgets and growing funding pressures.
The Academy offers more than 30 courses covering inspection, administration of medicine and food allergy awareness. Course content is in line with Ofsted’s new framework.
Behind the Academy is Fay Gibbin, who left her role as chief executive of Busy Bees Training in March. While in the position, Ms Gibbin also chaired the trailblazer group responsible for developing the Level 3 Early Years Educator Apprenticeships Standard.
She said, ‘Training is often one of the first things to be cut or last on the list of priorities when a setting is faced with difficult financial decisions. Children’s care and education must be the top priority but without a skilled workforce, it undermines everything nurseries set out to deliver.
‘We know the financial, staffing and regulatory challenges nurseries face, which is why we have made it low-cost and flexible for practitioners to learn at a time and place that fits around their daily responsibilities.
'The National Day Nurseries Association found that only 52 per cent of the workforce is now qualified to a Level 3. We have to change this, and training is a key way to help reduce staff turnover and improve quality of provision.’