Five Kinds Of Early Learning Training Deserts

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I’m defining an Early Learning Training Desert as an area with inadequate training opportunities for at least some of the professionals working in that region. Over the last 30 years, I’ve noticed five types of early learning Training Deserts. In future posts here at Playvolution HQ, I hope to dig into reasons for these deserts and possible solutions. For now, I’ll just describe them.

Types Of Training Deserts

Here, in no particular order, are the early learning Training Deserts I’ve come across over the last 30 years in the profession:

Quantity Deserts

These are areas where there are simply not enough local training options. These areas lack enough local training options to meet the regulatory needs of early learning professionals. This tends to occur in very rural areas with low population density. Professionals in these areas often have to travel great distances to obtain training.

Accessibility Deserts

In these areas, trainings may be available, but they are difficult to access. There are a number of ways access can be difficult. For example, trainings may take place at times, or in locations, that make them difficult for segments of the local learning professionals to attend.

A few other ways some professionals are stranded in training Accessibility Deserts:

  • Cost. Some trainings are too costly for segments of the early learning workforce to attend.
  • Language. There may be plenty of training opportunities offered in an area, but the language they are offered in may not meet the needs of a segment of the workforce.
  • Internet Access. Limited or slow internet speeds make accessing online trainings nearly impossible for segments of the people working in early learning.

Variety Deserts

In some cases, there are plenty of trainings scheduled and they are simple to access, but they lack in variety–the same sessions are offered over and over again. This can be a problem for caregivers who have been in the field for many years. Fresh training options are a rarity.

Interest Deserts

Interest Deserts are closely related to Variety Deserts. In this case, the available trainings fail to meet personal professional development interests/needs. For example, someone may be very interested in learning more about supporting risky play and find that there is limited or no local training available on the topic.

Quality Deserts

Finally, Quality Deserts are areas where there may be an abundance of easy to access training on a variety of interesting topics–but what’s available is of poor quality. It’s downfall may be content based (outdated information, for example) or it may be in the presentation (the presenter lacks skill/experience).


I’m very interested in learning about people’s experiences with, and thoughts about, Training Deserts. You can message me or share in the comments section below.

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Jeff is an early learning speaker, toymaker, podcaster, content creator, author, and founder of Playvolution HQ who is really bad at getting his picture taken.