In response to the current policy drive to improve the skills level of the Early Years (EY) workforce, raise the quality of EY provision, and reduce the educational disadvantage gap for young children, this systematic review considered professional development and learning (PDL) approaches in Early Years Education (EYE. In particular the research team examined PDL practices that report positive impact on children’s outcomes. Twenty-six studies met the criteria for inclusion. Our findings suggest that approaches that combine coaching, the introduction of research evidence and opportunities to reflect on practice can impact positively on children’s outcomes in EYE settings. At the same time, the degree of effectiveness of interventions was difficult to evaluate with certainty due to variation in study quality and methodology. Evidence on the significance of duration, frequency and intensity on outcomes for children, though likely to be an important factor in the degree of effectiveness is inconclusive and requires further research.
- early years education
- professional development and learning
- systematic review