Early Years Professional Development Programme

The Early Years Professional Development Programme offers a set of training modules and resources for those working in various early years settings for children up to 5 years. 

On this page you can explore our Training Modules and free Resources, and find out how Autism Education Trust forms an essential part of your Continued Professional Development.

Why is our Professional Development Programme Needed?

Review the latest statistics and figures from the UK Government to discover why the AET Professional Development Programme is needed.

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How we Teach

The AET Professional Development Programme, supported by the Department for Education, offers nationally delivered face-to-face or virtual training for professionals working with Autistic children and young people up to the age of 25. 

The training uses a range of teaching methods to form an essential part of your continued professional development:

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Case studies
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Practical materials
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Discussion points
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Delegate Packs
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Auditing Tools

Training for Early Years

Early Years Making sense of autism

This is a raising awareness module for anyone working in early years settings. This includes teaching and support staff, office and ancillary staff, caterers, caretakers, transport staff and governors.

Early Years Good Autism Practice

This is a module for practitioners who work directly with autistic children in early years settings, and it provides guidance on processes and tools that can help practitioners to implement good autism practice.

Progression Framework

This is a module that introduces the Progression Framework interactive tool. This training module is designed to be used flexibly, with trainers using the time available in the way that best suits their audience.

Suite of Resources for Leaders

This suite of resources will support leaders or leadership teams to create culture change across their provision. The resources will support leaders to fully embed the 8 principles of good autism practice as outlined in the Good Autism Practice Report.

Topic-Based Modules

The AET have developed a number of topic-based modules...

Resources for Early Years

The  Early Years Framework Documents

Early Years Standards Framework  

These are created for leaders or leadership groups within early years settings to enhance and embed inclusive practice in their settings. 

Early Years Competency Framework  

These are created for individual staff within early years settings to rate their knowledge, skills and personal qualities against a set of descriptors which outline good autism practice.   

Progression Framework 

The progression framework is a comprehensive interactive assessment tool that supports practitioners to identify learning priorities, set key learning intentions, and track progress for autistic children and young people in both mainstream and specialist educational provisions. 

Use of the Progression Framework is intended to be flexible. It can be used: 

  • as a reference document to support existing systems e.g. Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) 
  • within or alongside other progress measures or tools (e.g. online progress tracking software) 
  • as an interactive tool within the EXCEL spreadsheet format
  • adapted to individual needs 
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