Whilst tracking a child’s progress and achievements is part of every practitioner’s professional responsibility, the nature of working in early years means that staff are busy carrying out a wide range of activities from the moment doors open to the moment children go home. Non-contact time during the day is rarely guaranteed, so keeping paper-based journals updated can be tricky.

Even when there is time to update these journals, using a paper-based approach means practitioners must spend precious minutes away from the children to print, stick and annotate photos as well as transferring information to assessment and tracking grids.

So, how can e-learning journals make running your nursery a little easier?

1. They provide evidence of progress for external bodies

When Ofsted come to visit, e-learning journals provide an easy way to evidence the progress of an individual or group of children throughout their time at your setting. E-learning journals can split records so you can see the progress of different groups –for instance by age band, key person, gender or room.

2. They enable successful partnership working with parents

E-learning journals help settings build a profile of progress for each child which can be printed off or emailed to parents as often as desired throughout the year. Parents can also be encouraged to add their own observations and photos to make this record even more detailed, enabling successful partnership working between the setting and home.

3. They build staff confidence and morale

E-learning journals alleviate the stress caused by not having enough time to assess and record children’s starting points, learning styles and achievements.  They enable staff to quickly identify and address any barriers to the progress of particular groups or an individual, so appropriate support can be provided.

4. They help managers showcase leadership

With the introduction of the Common Inspection Framework, there has been an increased focus on how effective early years managers are at leading a high quality provision. E- learning journals enable you to have an online overview of the progress and achievements of individuals and groups, as well as produce reports for internal use in order to help drive improvement.

5. They encourage good practice

E-learning journals enable managers to monitor staff performance in a time-efficient way, by accessing the observations and assessments of practitioners and identifying any areas of weakness. If staff are able to have access to each other’s records, this also promotes the sharing of good practice within the team.

Early years practitioners spend a considerable amount of time reflecting on their practice in order to make improvements, so software which makes this process easier and more efficient should be welcomed. E-learning journals are an effective way of collating information without practitioners having to leave the room, and as a result, more quality time can be spent providing great care to children.

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