Signs of a great Early Years Manager
An early years manager plays a crucial role in an early years setting, and they are one of the most influential people in any early years setting. They create policies, procedures, manage practitioners, deal with parents, manage accounts and ensure everyone is doing their best for the children. Ofsted realises the importance of the management team and the section Leadership and Management is graded during an inspection. Managers have the power to build a team and make it great and just as equally they can drag a team down and cause a massive negative impact on the setting. It is, therefore, important that managers are working together with the team and are constantly evaluating their own practice as well as the practice of their own staff. It may be useful to use an improvement plan to log an any areas for improvement that have come through these evaluations. There are many great managers of early year settings who deliver the best practice day after day and are outstanding in their management and leadership skills. Here are some signs of a great Early Years Manager:
What makes a great early year’s manager?
There are some very noticeable signs that you have or that you are a great manager.
1. The children know who the manager is – If the children enjoy talking to the manager, know who they are and feel confident enough to play and address the manager then it is a good sign that you are involved in the setting and play an active role in how the rooms run and are checking on rooms, practitioners and children
2. Parents know who the manager is – Do all the parents greet the manager, have friendly but professional conversation and feel confident enough to share any concerns in person. A great manager works hard to build strong parent partnerships even though some managers do not directly work in the rooms
3. Nice atmosphere – If there is no tension and good vibes as you walk around the setting this is a good sign thing are going well and are all in hand. This reflects well on the skills of the manager
4. Secure job roles – Everyone is aware of their job roles and feel fully supported in this. A manager who sends mixed signals, doesn’t offer guidance and support and confuses job roles is not helping to ensure practitioners are achieving their best. It is important practitioners are happy and confident in their positions because the children often end up suffering because of this.
5. Approachable – Practitioners should always feel they can approach the manager with any issue or concern and know that they will be taken seriously and given all the support they need to manage the situation
6. High morale – If practitioner morale is low it is usually because of a management issue that hasn’t be addressed and dealt with effectively. A good manager will pick up on signs of morale slipping and quickly put steps in place to ensure morale stays high.
7. Time – A manager should always make time to observe practitioners, check everyone is happy, complete supervisions and appraisals and to discuss any new ideas with the team. They should also take the time to consider how practitioners feel and how this can be supported or changed.
8. Organised – Organisation is a sign that a manager has all of their tasks in hand as is fully aware of what needs to be done.
9. Gratitude – All practitioners feel valued, confident, and equal and appreciated for their efforts in the setting for the children and the parents.
10. Keeping CPD up to date – Manager should keep their own knowledge up to date and cascade any new changes to the team.
There are many other factors which define a great manager. What do you feel makes a great manager?