This article explores the perceptions of professional development that are held by a selection of early years educators who have experience of working in statutory and private early years settings in the north of England. The research participants (n=20) reflected on their experiences of professional development in early years. The research process is based on a qualitative inductive methodology. The interview transcripts from these participants were processed using NVivo 10 software and thematic analysis helped generate the key findings. The participants perceive the business-facing agenda of private settings (the need to make money) results in professional development becoming a ‘low priority’. All the participants expressed reservations about completing professional development in early years. The research findings have been developed via a theoretical background of literacy as social practice. The ‘texts’ informing professional development (policy documents and their recommendations) result in CPD (Continuing Professional Development) ‘events’ and ‘activities’. The research explores the personal subjective experiences (or ‘practices’) of CPD experienced by the participants and considers the implications for professional development in this area.