Supervision in Early Years Settings

The review into events at a Plymouth nursery noted:

This review has identified the urgent need to develop effective staff supervision within Early Years Settings. With no formal structures allowing staff to reflect on their own work and practice within the nursery there was no opportunity for any discomfort with K’s increasing sexualised behaviour to be aired. Lack of supervision also meant there was no effective means to manage performance and challenge inappropriate behaviour such as use of mobile phones within the nursery.

(Plymouth Safeguarding Children Board: Serious Case Review Executive Summary in respect of Nursery Z. Para 6.5)

From September 2012, the EYFS framework required early years settings to have in place arrangements for staff supervision.  However there is little guidance as to what this may look like and how it could be delivered.

As authors of two serious case review overview reports into abuse in nurseries, (one of which was Nursery Z in Plymouth) In-Trac believes strongly in the difference that good supervision can make. Good supervision can give staff an opportunity to reflect on their practice, explore any worries or concerns about the welfare of children in the setting and contribute towards developing confident and competent staff groups. All of these are known to be important in establishing safe organisations where children are safeguarded from harm.

We have developed a one day course aimed at introducing the key elements of effective supervision to anyone in the early years sector responsible for developing supervision arrangements. Using our extensive experience of supervision training across the social care sector, we can assist managers in considering what supervision arrangements in their setting might look like and introduce a model of supervision that has been shown to work in a variety of health and social care organisations.


This one day course introduces the concept of staff supervision as an important tool in safeguarding children within early years environments. It aims to give managers an understanding of the key elements of effective supervision and a model that they can use to develop their practice.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will have been given an opportunity to:

  • Explore a definition of staff supervision and how this may be applied within an early years environment.
  • Consider the difference that staff supervision can make to outcomes for children.
  • Understand emotional impact of child protection situations on staff and how supervision can work with these emotions to maintain safe environments for children.
  • Use a model for delivering supervision.