The beginning of a new year brings many changes for us as Early Childhood Educators. You may be starting at a new centre, moving to a new room or just welcoming new children into your group!

This is an excellent opportunity for us to reflect on our practice and set new goals for the upcoming year. It’s a time to take stock of what has worked well in the past and what areas need improvement. One effective way to do this is by using the SCORE CARD method.


  • Successes
  • Challenges
  • Opportunities
  • Risks
  • Excited About

The SCORE CARD method is a simple but effective tool for reflecting on the past year and identifying areas for improvement in the upcoming year. It stands for Successes, Challenges, Opportunities, Risks, and Excited About. By reflecting on these five areas, we can clearly understand our practice and identify areas for growth.


This is a chance to celebrate and acknowledge the accomplishments of the past year. Reflecting on successes can help us to recognise what we are doing well and what strategies are working. 


Reflecting on challenges can help to identify areas that need improvement. This can include issues with room dynamics, planning, or child engagement.


This is a chance to identify new opportunities for growth and development. This can include new teaching strategies, resources, or professional development opportunities.


Reflecting on potential risks can help to identify and address potential issues before they become problems.

Excited about

This is a chance to think about what makes you excited for the coming year! What is getting you up each morning? 


Once you have reflected on these areas, it is important to set SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This ensures that your goals are clear and actionable (that you have a plan for achieving them!). 

SMART Goals 

  • Specific 
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant 
  • Time-bound 

I’d also recommend using a framework like Why/What/How, to help you to focus on the purpose and impact of your goals. Starting with considering the ‘why’ of your goals helps to clarify them. 

Starting a new year is a great time for us as educators to reflect on practice, set goals, and be intentional about our actions. By using tools like the SCORE CARD method, SMART goals, and WWH goals, we can gain a clear understanding of our practice and identify areas for growth, which will help us to achieve success in the upcoming year.