Continuing professional development resources for practitioners

[As Gaeilge]

Professional development for practitioners

A key objective of First 5 is to improve Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for all those who work in early learning and care and school-age childcare settings.

During the Covid -19 emergency period many practitioners will have an opportunity to undertake online training or development activities to help them meet the demands of their professional roles.

Health and well-being

Below are a number of resources designed to support your connection to your job and to meet the obligations of the continued funding of staff by the DCEDIY but we understand that consideration must be given, during this time, to your own health and well-being. It is understood that many people have caring responsibilities that need attending at this time so we would urge you to review the HSE’s advice on minding your mental health and supporting well-being which can be found here

Choosing a course

You can choose any number of free online courses and resources from the list below that may suit your particular professional development needs. We will also add new content in the coming days and weeks so please come back regularly to find new resources.


We encourage you to keep a record of the online resources you use and your learning from them. Keeping a record will help you keep track of your professional development, and may be a tool your manager can use to support you. To help this process we have provided a template form which you can download here.

Service Managers

Engaging with Continuing Professional Development is an opportunity for you and your staff team to add to everyone’s knowledge and skills while not working directly with children during the Covid crisis. It also demonstrates your ongoing commitment to training and professional development within your setting. To help plan and record your team’s CPD activities, please download and use our Service Manager’s Continuing Professional Development Service Record. You should keep the completed record on file as you may need it for compliance checks. You can download the document here.

Choose from an area of interest:

Sensory processing e-learning programme (SPEL)

This e-learning programme will help develop your knowledge of sensory processing in order to enhance the participation and engagement of all children in the pre-school learning environment. 

You can register for SPEL by clicking here.

A SPEL webinar featuring Fiona O' Farrell who designed the programme is now available if you would like some further learning. To view click here.

Inspiring Interactions with Children Under 2

The aim of this short CPD series from Early Childhood Ireland is to support the development of the learner’s professional knowledge, understanding and skills which underpin nurturing relationships in an Early Learning and Care setting. Through the introduction of the Marte Meo Method, these videos will deepen the learner’s knowledge of supportive interactions and the important role that they play in the lives of babies and young children. By using video analysis, which is a distinct component of the Marte Meo Method, this series of videos will provide an opportunity for learners to explore how supportive interactions contribute to babies and young children’s wellbeing and the development of their communication skills. Early Childhood Ireland has a cohort of Early Years Specialists who are trained Marte Meo Colleague trainers and are qualified to deliver a programme that teaches practitioners about additional communication and learning strategies for children, as well as the ways in which adults can further support children’s development. ‘Inspiring Interactions with Under 2s’ was written and developed by Early Childhood Ireland in consultation with Colette O' Donovan, Licenced Marte Meo Supervisor and National Coordinator of the Marte Meo Service within Tusla.

Link to Inspiring Interactions with Under 2s

Inspiring Leadership in Early Learning and Care

The aim of this short CPD series is to highlight the importance of leadership and its impact on quality in Early Learning and Care and that leadership can come from anywhere within the setting, not just be defined by role or title. These videos explore new approaches to leadership and the skills and competencies required to lead in complex environments like Early Learning and Care settings. They encourage the learner to reflect on the content of and critique their own understanding and knowledge of leadership, with a focus on pedagogical leadership and its implications for practice. ‘Inspiring Leadership’ CPD was written and developed by Early Childhood Ireland.

Link to Inspiring Leadership in ELC

Quality Regulatory Framework (QRF) 

The QRF supports registered early learning and care services to comply with the 2016 Regulations. It does so by setting out the core regulatory requirements in a transparent way, bringing together evidence-based, national and international research and best practice in early learning and care. This course will help you understand the QRF and its processes.

more information can be found here, Early Years Quality and Regulatory Framework.

For more information on the Early Years Inspectorate  click here,  EYI Pre-school QRF.