Effective leadership and management in the EYFS looks at the varied aspects of the role of the manager in early years settings and offers practical tips on how to achieve excellent provision.
It's hard to find a management book that is accessible and relevant to the world of early years. The diverse range of issues that managers need to be 'on top of' can feel quite overwhelming. The added pressure of impending Ofsted inspections and the constant battle to make the books balance make the job of an early years manager extremely challenging at the best of times. and nigh on impossible at others. What Jenny Barber does, quite brilliantly, is break down the issues that managers face into small enough pieces to make them seem less daunting and more manageable. Taking her lead from the grade descriptors in Ofsted's Inspection Handbook Barber deconstructs each aspect giving managers food for thought as they apply the requirements to their own setting. Chapters on leadership style, communication, team development, prformance management, monitoring children's progress, partnership working and safeguarding help managers navigate through their work load. Barber's style is clear, direct and very engaging. The inclusion of case studies not only serves to illustrate the points Barber wants to make, but they also demonstrate that whilst early years management can feel very lonely, the issues that arise are not unique - and there are solutions. Throughout the book there are document templates to assist managers when planning self-evaluations, staff appraisals and staff meetings. There are also useful templates to help managers focus on priorities in their work such as safeguarding and reviewing and updating policies and procedures. I would have liked to have seen these templates accessible electonically, such as by the inclusion of clickable links within the book. This would mean that the template documents could be adapted to suit the individual manager's requirements and could have been a more useful addition to the setting's development file - perhaps this could happen in the future!?
Overall I thought this book was excellent. It was clearly written and would be an extremely useful tool for any manager. I would certainly recommend buying one as part of a 'management pack'. It is easy to follow and consistently grounds itself in the requirements of Ofsted which is, in my experience, what managers worry about most of the time!
Edited by Rebecca