Information

Early learning and childcare: national induction resource

The early learning and childcare (ELC) national induction resource has been developed to support individuals in their induction to delivering ELC – whether that is funded ELC or ELC that families purchase themselves - setting out how individuals can expect employers to support them in their new role


Reflective Questions To Consider With Your Mentor

Suggested Timescale: Within the first month

(To be considered in alignment with ‘Key Question 5'.)

Reflective Questions:

Have you read, and are you able to operate within, the latest COVID-19 guidance?

How do you make children feel welcomed into our setting?

What have you observed about how staff welcome children and support them to settle into our setting? (see Key Question 5 Quality Indicator 5.1)

How do the children respond to this? (see Key Question 5 Quality Indicator 5.3)

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Awareness of the environment of interactions, experiences and spaces

Reflective Questions:

What do you notice about how staff keep children safe when indoors and outdoors. Within the setting and on outings?

How do staff keep track of children across the day? Pay special attention to pick up and drop off times.

Where children have care routines, how do staff ensure they are safely managed?

Consider nappy changing, meal or snack times, sleep and rest.

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Safety discussion around the use of the environment and potential risks for children linked to their age and stage of development.
  • Consider the environment from the child’s perspective, get down to their level, what can you see?
  • What might pose a risk?
  • What can you do to support a safe environment for children?

Reflective Questions:

What do you notice about how the staff create a warm, loving environment through the interactions, experiences and spaces provided for children?

Can you describe how you think you can add to this?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Awareness of the environment of interactions, experiences and spaces
  • Putting child-centred pedagogy into practice – observations and following the interests of the child

Reflective Questions:

Who do you work directly with and what are their roles?

How do you think you can support your colleagues in their work? How does this team work help support children ?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Team structure, team working, responsibilities

Reflective Questions:

When you are responsible for young children it has been said you have to have “eyes in the back of your head”.

What do you notice about how staff position themselves in the learning spaces both outdoors and inside to ensure they are aware of what is going on?

What do you think are the benefits to working in this way and what challenges do you notice?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Awareness of the environment of interactions, experiences and spaces

Reflective Questions:

When working with young children you have to learn when to become involved in their play and when to stand back.

You could arrange with your mentor to identify an area of the setting to observe how children play when not directly involving an adult.

What do you notice about children’s play experiences when the staff become involved?

Find Out More:

  • Realising the Ambition Section 4: Child’s Work: the importance of play page 44 And Section 5: Early childhood curriculum and pedagogical leadership page 54 And diagram on page 64 ‘child-centred pedagogy in practice’
  • Health & Social Care Standard 1

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Awareness of the environment of interactions, experiences and spaces
  • Putting child centred pedagogy into practice – observations and following the interests of the child

Reflective Questions:

How confident are you at following the procedures and routines of the day? (see Key Question 5 Quality Indicator 5.2)

Think about what you have learnt so far. Discuss with your mentor any routines you may be struggling with or you require more guidance with.

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Various policies and procedures relating to the setting

Reflective Questions:

You will now have been introduced to the Getting It Right For Every Child (known as GIRFEC) approach.

Where do you see this being applied within our setting?

Can you list the well-being indicators?

Can you see how these indicators link to your practice?

Are there any that you find more difficult to recognise?

If so, discuss this with your mentor.

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • GIRFEC
  • Putting child-centred pedagogy into practice – planning, observations and documentation child protection

Reflective Questions:

Keeping children safe is the responsibility of everyone, regardless of their role.

In our setting there is a child protection procedure.

Do you know which staff have specific child protection responsibilities?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Child protection/ safeguarding policy ELC COVID-19
  • guidance

End of month reflection

How are you feeling about your role?

Is there any other knowledge, support or advice which you would find useful just now? Share your experiences and learning for this month.

Suggested Timescale: Within the second month

Reflective Questions:

How do you feel you are interacting with the children?

What are you noticing about how children are responding to you now?

Is this different than when you first started? What do you think has made this difference?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Adult role
  • ‘listening with your eyes and ears’ – being responsive and intentional

Reflective Questions:

Are you aware of the range of resources available and how they may be used by children?

How does the range available to the children affect their play?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • The learning environment in terms of experiences and outdoor/indoor spaces
  • Loose parts
  • Open-ended possibilities

Reflective Questions:

How do you think your own moods and feelings could affect the care you provide?

Have you picked up any tips or techniques to ensure children are not affected by the different emotions of staff.

Who are the leadership role models within your service and what do you observe about their positive attributes?

What leadership capability do they demonstrate?

How might you plan to develop those positive attributes you admire in the leaders in your setting?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Self-awareness, reflective practice, peer support/feedback, self-care

Reflective Questions:

What do you understand about children’s rights?

What information can you find to help support you in your work?

What information and resources are appropriate for the age group of children you work with.

How might you use this learning to support respectful relationships with children?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Children’s voice - engagement and involvement, planning procedures

Reflective Questions:

How do you contribute to our team?

How do your contributions help support children?

What do you find most helpful about the approach leaders take to support all staff to be involved in the process of evaluation and improvement within the setting?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Team work, team structure

Reflective Questions:

Making links between their home and our setting is very important for young children. Working with parents as partners is key.

What do you think parents would like to know about their child’s day?

How do you find out what they are actually looking for?

What opportunities are there for sharing this information with parents and carers within our setting?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Parental engagement and involvement policy, reporting procedures, sharing information

Reflective Questions:

Knowing how and when to share information is an essential part of delivering better services for children and young people.

What are you learning about how colleagues use information to support children’s wellbeing?

What would you do if you were worried about a child?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • GIRFEC
  • Child Protection Confidentiality and information sharing

Reflective Questions:

Last month we asked you to identify any aspects of GIRFEC or SHANARRI that you were finding more difficult to recognise in the setting.

How confident are you now with this approach? How have you used this approach to support the children you work with?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • GIRFEC, planning, childwell being

End of month reflection

How are you feeling about your role?

Is there any other knowledge, support or advice which you would find useful just now? Share your experiences and learning for this month.

Suggested Timescale: Within the third month

Reflective Questions:

When looking after young children and babies it is important that you understand how to safely and sensitively deliver personal care.

What have you learned about the approach in our setting?

How might children be affected if you don’t follow best practice when supporting personal care routines?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Infection Control, nappy changing/disposal, toileting, hand washing etc.

Reflective Questions:

Snack and meal times are so important when caring for babies and young children.

Are you confident you know the routine within our setting for supporting children’s mealtime experiences?

This may also include working with babies who receive formula or are breast fed. Observe children at meal or snack time. What do you notice about how staff interact when they are supporting children?

Find Out More:

Reflective Questions:

Children’s sleep routines within our setting vary across the different age groups.

How confident are you at settling children to sleep or rest safely?

What do you notice about children when they are becoming over tired?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Sleep routines, health and safety,

Reflective Questions:

Can you give any examples of any child-centred practice you have seen or experienced?

Why do you think it is important for

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Planning, observations, documentation self-awareness, communication

Reflective Questions:

children to be actively involved in the planning process?

Find Out More:

Reflective Questions:

Sometimes we notice things that are “not quite right”

Who would you go to for support if you were worried about a child?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Child protection, reporting concerns

Reflective Questions:

Are you aware of the regulatory bodies and what their roles are?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Care Inspectorate
  • SSSC
  • Education Scotland
  • Settings Policies and procedures

Reflective Questions:

How are you developing your relationships with parents and carers?

Are you finding any of these relationships difficult or challenging? Why do you think this is?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Parental involvement and engagement, dealing with conflict

End of month reflection

How are you feeling about your role?

Is there any other knowledge, support or advice which you would find useful just now? Share your experiences and learning for this month.

Suggested Timescale: Within the fourth month

Reflective Questions:

Effective team working is crucial in our work with children, but sometimes we can experience difficulties with this.

Have you had any difficulties interacting or communicating with any of the team?

If not, what would you do if you felt the team was not working effectively?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Team working, roles and responsibilities, communication methods, self-awareness, confidentiality

Reflective Questions:

Early relationships between children and parents/carers are extremely important for the developing child.

What do you understand by the term “attachment”?

How does this understanding help inform your practice?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Key worker system, communication with parents, child development

Reflective Questions:

What is your understanding of the role of the key worker in our setting?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Key worker system, communication with parents, child development

Reflective Questions:

Part of your role within our setting will be to support children’s learning and development.

What have you observed about how we assess and record children’s learning and development?

Arrange with your mentor opportunities to observe and meaningfully document children’s learning and development and discuss what you have observed and learned about the child.

Understanding the importance of promoting high aspirations for the children in your setting is key to ensuring successful outcomes. In what way do leaders

promote and sustain a shared vision for the setting that reflects the aspirations of children, families, partners and the wider community?

How does the staff team engage and encourage leadership at all levels when promoting play and learning in your setting?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Observation and assessment procedures, documentation consent from parents/carers, confidentiality, child development

Reflective Questions:

You will now have met the parents and carers of the children you regularly work with. What strengths do you think you have when communicating with parents? What can you do to build your skills in communicating with parents and carers?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • communication with parents,

Reflective Questions:

Have you experienced any difficulties with parents or carers?

Can you describe what happened, how you felt and if you could have done anything differently?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • communication with parents,

Reflective Questions:

Sometimes children may need additional help or support.

What is your understanding of the other professionals who work with our setting and their roles?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Additional Support Needs, other professionals, confidentiality

Reflective Questions:

What do you think are the benefits of learning outdoors for children and for staff?

How do you feel about being outdoors with the children?

What did you notice about children’s play?

What learning did you observe?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Outdoor play, health and wellbeing teamwork

End of month reflection

How are you feeling about your role?

Is there any other knowledge, support or advice which you would find useful just now? Share your experiences and learning for this month.

Suggested Timescale: Within the fifth month

Reflective Questions:

Reflecting on your time with us so far, what skills and qualities do you bring to our team? Would you say you have any skills which are currently not being used?

At this point in your career what are your current goals for developing your leadership approach?

Who might be able to support you with your leadership journey?

Strong leadership helps practitioners to develop high aspirations and confidence in supporting staff. This in turn supports those staff to enhance their capabilities and aspire to be leaders themselves.

What works best for you in terms of your learning style to support your confidence and what further constructive actions could you take that would help you to achieve your leadership goals?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Team working, roles and responsibilities, self-awareness,

Reflective Questions:

What transitions do the children you work with go through?

How can you help support children through these transitions?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Key worker system, communication with parents, child development
  • Vertical and horizontal transitions

Reflective Questions:

Children need to and want to take risks when they play. How do you feel about enabling and encouraging children to take risks?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Risk and Challenge
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk/benefit analysis
  • Parents views

Reflective Questions:

Are you confident you know what information you need to share about a child (and who with) and what must be kept confidential?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Confidentiality, data protection, child protection

Reflective Questions:

How do you think the needs of children will be influenced by their environment, background and circumstances?

How might you need to adapt your behaviour and actions as a result of this?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Child development, confidentiality, self-awareness, social awareness
  • Conscious and unconscious bias
  • Adversity and trauma
  • Impact of poverty

Reflective Questions:

You should now have had an opportunity to undertake some observations of children’s learning and development.

How confident are you undertaking observations of children and documenting this in a meaningful way?

What other information do you think you need?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Child development, recording of assessments, documentation information sharing

End of month reflection

How are you feeling about your role?

Is there any other knowledge, support or advice which you would find useful just now? share your experiences and learning for this month.

Suggested Timescale: Within the sixth month

Reflective Questions:

Do you notice any differences in the way you treat individual children? Why do you think this is? How do you ensure you are treating them fairly whilst responding to their individual needs?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Individual needs of children
  • Additional Support Needs
  • Equality legislation
  • Personal Plans

Reflective Questions:

Can you identify any children or families with whom you don’t yet feel confident interacting with?

Why do you think this is, and what do you think you need to change or adapt to enable a more positive relationship?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Working with parents/carers
  • Equality
  • Reflective practice

Reflective Questions:

In your first month we talked about how you create a warm, loving environment through the interactions, experiences and spaces we provide for children.

What do you do that shows children that you love and care for them?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Reflective practice
  • Professional conduct

Reflective Questions:

In the early years, children begin to learn about gender roles and expectations, and will pick up messages about what is perceived as ‘normal’ for boys and girls. They are influenced by their environment and the adults around them. Avoiding gender stereotypes will help to ensure that children do not feel limited and restricted in what they can do as they grow into adults. (Stereotypes are based on an assumption that all boys will be the same and like the same things, and all girls will be the same and like the same things.)

What are you own values and belief systems in relation to gender? How might these influence the way you interact with boys and girls? How can you promote and strengthen gender equality in your practice?

Find Out More:

Conversations with your mentor may include:

  • Resources, staff attitudes,

Reflective Questions:

What do you think are the key elements of high quality early learning and childcare?

How do leaders use their skills and experience to benefit the children and staff within your service?

Find Out More:

Reflective Questions:

What conduct and behaviour can children and their families expect of you?

Find Out More:

End of month reflection

How are you feeling about your role?

Is there any other knowledge, support or advice which you would find useful just now? Share your experiences and learning for this month.

Contact

Email: Haylay.Forbes@gov.scot

Back to top