What is Self-Evaluation & Action Planning?

Michelle Dyson, Early Years director at the DfE, says “quality of workforce is linked to quality of provision” (02.2018).

How can we evidence our quality? In my view – the way I think about it to help me justify spending time doing it - self-evaluation is a way of saying … thinking … contemplating … reviewing … the things I am doing well.

I use the Early Years Inspection handbook (which contains the inspection outcomes) to do my self-evaluation. It makes things a lot easier for me because it is set out in the same order as the Ofsted inspection – and it is easier to show my inspector when Ofsted come next –

My self-evaluation is a bit like my boasting book: I jot down (no lengthy essays – bullet points are enough to remind me) the things I have been doing to benefit the children and their families and I ask myself, ‘Did that work?’ and ‘Was it worthwhile?’ …

If it went well – absolutely great! I sometimes add a photo – a lot of providers use photos in their self-evaluation to remind them what they have achieved and to share with parents – to say, ‘This is me and this is how I run my business and this is how amazing it will be for your child when s/he comes here.’

My self-evaluation has an introduction – all about me – and then there are 3 main sections. I add things to a Word document on the computer but I know a lot of childminders use a loose leaf file and add notes as they go along…

  • In section 1 I add notes about the quality of my leadership and management, jotting down when I have updated paperwork, done some CPD or safeguarding training etc…
  • In section 2 I think about my interactions with children and how well they are getting on, focusing on the wonderful learning opportunities I offer them…
  • In section 3 I reflect on how well I support children’s personal, social and emotional development. For example, I plan (very loosely) a PSED focus with the children every week and might note down some reflections on how it’s going.

Then I plan for the future – this is my action planning. It’s important to know what is going well but it’s equally important to drive my own progress – I never want to lose sight of my goal to achieve more for my personal development and to make by business better and better!

I aim to look closely at one area of my practice a month – it works for me and keeps me focused. You can see my ‘Action Planning for 2018’ which gives you lots of ideas of how I set out my monthly action plans. This Information Guide is free for gold Childcare.co.uk members.

Self Evaluation and Action Planning Toolkit

In this Self-evaluation and Action Planning Toolkit you will find guides to cover:

Sarah Neville, Three-times Ofsted Outstanding Rated Childminder

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