We heard your voices! Results from the Professional Development Survey

 by Erin Gager, Professional Development Manager

Erin Gager

If your inbox is anything like mine, it is often swamped with companies and organizations wanting your feedback. Even just perusing the internet, we get bombarded with pop-ups about user experience surveys. For me, the first question that pops into my head is, why bother? What do organizations do with this information anyway, that I should take time out of my busy day to do their surveys?

I guess I just wanted to establish that I know surveys are no one’s favorite thing, and that you probably get asked to fill out about a dozen each day. That is why I am extremely grateful to everyone who took the time and effort to fill out our Professional Development (PD) survey we sent out in May (all 600 of you!!!). We were happy we could offer massages or movie tickets to thank you for your help, but we want to offer you even more than that! We want our PD program to be here to support you, where you are, and get you where you want to be.

So if you were wondering what we did with all your carefully considered responses, wonder no more! We pored over spreadsheets of data, grouped and ungrouped, graphed and charted, color-coded and filtered to find out what you, as the early childhood professional community, needed from us to succeed. While there is still a lot of room for analysis, I wanted to give you some of the highlights so far! The table below shows what you told us, and what we are doing about it!

Key Result Action Step
Most frequently requested topics include:

Play, outdoor spaces, dealing with

challenging behavior, talking to parents, children with special learning needs, science in the classroom, etc.

Created 4 themes that will run throughout the school year:
  • Developmental Differences
  • PLAY!
  • Supportive Environments
  • STEAM and literacy
Vast majority of Spanish-speakers indicated they are only available on Saturdays. Planned monthly “Temas en Español” training to meet every second Saturday.
Most requested resource was scholarships Currently designing a scholarship program aimed at those entering the field and those looking to pursue a new role (trainer, coach, director, etc.)
Training close to home/work was a priority for many, but zip codes were all over Denver Plan to diversify locations where training is held
About 50% of respondents said they offer some amount of in-house training Currently creating a “Training Directory” document to help Directors find quality training for their staff team PD.
Other highly-rated supports included a career pathways guide/event and access to a mentor Currently developing both of these projects-look for the first edition of the guide and a career pathways event in Fall 2016 and opportunity to join the mentorship program in the next school year!
Directors and family child care providers often had very different responses than classroom professionals Created a Directors topic theme, as well as a Director’s Professional Learning Community to meet the unique needs of program directors. We will also have a Family Child Care Learning Community for those who provide care in the home. We are currently developing several business and admin-focused cohorts for directors and family child care as well!
41% of respondents said “I see early childhood as my professional career, and I am committed to growing within this field” Continue to create professional-level supports, such as higher-ed cohorts, recognition events for achievements, and high quality training. Continue to advocate for professional treatment (and pay!) of child care providers through social media and at the state level.

If you want to see one of the products of your feedback, you can check out our 2016 Training Preview and, beginning August 15th, check out our new and improved Course Catalog!

As we continue building our professional development offerings to better support the great professionals we work with, the best way to stay updated about new and exciting programs (like scholarships, mentorship, career pathway guides, and special events) is to subscribe to our Professional Development Newsletter!

Even if you missed the survey, we are always looking for new ideas, feedback, and questions that need answers! You can submit any of these to the helpdesk, or contact our team directly. We hope you get a chance to take advantage of some of our upcoming opportunities, and don’t be shy about reaching out to us!

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