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Advice Re. Working In A Day Care Setting


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Hello again.

 

Does anyone work in a day care setting and work full time. The reason I'm asking is that I've been offered a job working 9 hours a week xD as a room leader. I'm not entirely sure if this is for me. The responsibility sounds a bit scary, as do the hours. I suppose it's because its out of my 'comfort zone'. I work as a deputy supervisor in a pre-school that offers sessional care to 3 - 5 year olds and I've been working there for 3 1/2 years.

 

I love working with children, and will miss the children that I'm currently with dearly. But I've got to be honost as the main reason for changing jobs is the money (have you seen the prices of houses out there, we haven't got onto the property ladder yet :o ) So, any advice please. All would be welcome.

 

Many thanks

 

Angie

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Hello angie, :D

 

I feel extremely well equipped to respond, as I have been in your position. For something like 12 years I worked in a local pre-school,10 of which I was Supervisor. Mine is a fairly small, close-knit community so it was easy to soon be in a somewhat pivotal position and to know just about all the local families, having seen most of the children through almost their entire pre and school experience, and been there with local parents through some important times. (sounds a bit melodramatic, but I think you get my drift :) )

Through some highly unexpected and unpalatable turns of events I was forced to face the reality of FT work I had previously only been flirting with, and ended up in a full Day Care setting in the city centre, thankfully with my beloved pre-school Age group. I have to be honest, and say that initially I was totally shell-shocked and wanted to 'run away home', but I was not in a position to be able to do so. I found the long hours - 40 per week- and the shifts - varying from 7-15 to 4-15 to 9-45 to 6-30 - plus 2 buses each way, a 45 minute to 1 hour journey, sometimes longer depending on traffic- very difficult to adjust to. Previously I was 5 minutes walking distance from home, 8-30 to 3-30 per day, half day Friday! :(

I found it hard adjusting to having to take ideas to a Room Leader then Manager, and the numbers of children, 26 everyday, most of the day, difficult, and all those stops for meals, snacks, timetabled outdoor times and the rest of the, to me, rigid routines were a shock to the system!!

I was also apprehensive because, at 48 I was definitely a 'mother' figure - almost granny!! :(

I know that looks awful, and, as I said, for a while it was, but the rest of the staff proved to be lovely, caring girls who went out of their way to help me to settle - It happened to be my birthday during my 3rd week, and I was treated to the full song, lights out cake and candles do, with lots of 'huggles' from my 'new' children. xD . The new parents, although busy and naturally suspicious of a new face, were quick to befriend me and the children were just wonderful! One or two of the older ones became my 'mentors', showing me where everything was and helping me with routines, bless them.

The Management team were well aware of the adjustments necessary for me, looking out for me during my induction period and beyond. In particular, the Director was very kind and monitored the background circumstance which had led to my having to return to FT work in the first place. I don't know if I was very lucky, but by 5 or 6 weeks, I was happy in my new job, which by then was Room Leader in the Oldest Unit, those in their last 2 terms before school. I was even happier later in the year when I was asked to apply for and obtained the Deputy Manager's position!

What a long story!!

The main point being, don't allow your comfort in your position and unsureness about the future put you off unnecessarily. You say you aren't yet on the property ladder - this suggests to me that you are considerably younger than me, so you shouldn't have problems relating to your colleagues. As a new Room Leader, you will not be expected to walk in and just know everything immediately, although you will be expected to make the effort to learn routines and such quite quickly. Don't be afraid to ask questions - better to get things right from the start, than develop incorrect working practices which could cause embarrassment in the future! :o

You will be expected to be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of children and childcare issues and to have ideas of how you would like to take your new room forward, but not necessarily to 'sweep clean' without thoroughly reviewing the existing situation.

And if money is an issue - and when isn't it- you will be in a good position to take your career forward, which would probably not have been too easy in your current position.

 

I'm not telling you what to do, only you can make that sort of decision, but you'll find lots of support and advice here, they're a great bunch, and if you want more direct discussion, you can always PM or email me direct using the buttons.

 

Good luck to you, whatever! :D

 

Sue :D

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hi

 

I worked as a deputy in a day care setting, before becoming supervisor at the pre school im at now.

as Sue says i got huge amounts of support and help when i started and really enjoyed myu time there.

if you like the setting and the staff feel freindly then go for it. :D

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My life i think is running parallel to Sue's!! I too worked for ten years in a sesional pre school and was well in my 'comfort Zone' and I too needed a full time job. I applied for a job as pre school co-ordinator at a new Day Nursery but after interviewed was offered the post of Deputy Manager, which was great as it meant i was still pre school co-ordinator as well. I loved my job, and put it many hours, Then I was promoted to manager and had to leave the pre school and concentrate on the whole nursery, I found myself dealing with staffing, budgets, maintainance, marketing, managers meetings half way across the country!! and typically a 10 to 12 hour day!! I had been manager for a year when i thought I have to get out!! i just got so tired of trying to do everything and head office with only pound signs in thier eyes,the last straw was cooking for the 102 children for three weeks because our cook was in hospital and head office would not find a replacement!! six staff off sick and no cover!and i was still expected to get all reports and figures in on time!! I applied for the post of early years training advisor at a local training centre and got the job! now I have my own sessional pre school and couldn't be happier!

Yes go for it, if you think it's right for you, hopefully you will find somewhere that is well run from the top, which makes a managers job so much easier and therefore easier for all staff.

I would say be prepared to work more hours than you expect!! But I wish you good luck in whatever you decide to do.

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Thank you Sue and Hali,

 

I love this site SO MUCH :D. The advice that I've recieved from everybody since I've been a member has been absolutely fab, as you are all in an early years sector and understand the predicaments, trials, funny times etc that we all go through at some point or another.

 

I've had all of today to think about all of the changes that this new full time job will imply. And have decided that it is not for me...yet. The primary reason being that my my son is only fifteen, old enough to look after himself yes, but I remember when I was fifteen and I wanted my mum around, you know, just to be with. The new setting can only afford to give me 1 week of during the holidays and as my husband has just called me to tell me he will be on various courses over the summer. It would mean working most of the summer 8.00 o'clock to 5.00 o'clock. This might not be an issue if I were living close to home (family support) but my husband is in the RAF and I am usually the sole carer for him. Going to work all day to look after other peoples children so they can go to work while I'm working and he is at home seems rather ironic!

 

I'ts been an interesting experience going for interviews in various settings as I've come to realise that as much as there are great ones out there, there are also some pretty awful ones too. The full time one I was considering is lovely :) and close by, but not just yet.

 

Sue I'm glad your experience in changing from p/time to f/time turned out so well for you it's given me a more positive perspecitive to when I do go back f/time.

 

Many many thanks Hali and Sue. (I'm 36, but sometimes feel a lot older!)

 

Heraclitis said:

You can put you hand in the river once.

You cannot put you hand in the same river twice.

 

How true.

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Angie, :D

 

You sound so lovely. Your son is lucky to have you! Yes, they do REALLY need Mum, even at that age, mine is 21 and still sometimes comes to find me when he gets in from work (11-30 or later!) to mull over his day.

 

I'm glad you've made a decision, it feels better, doesn't it? Don't forget, we're all here, just one great big happy family.....Guess that makes Steve Poppa Bear, hey? :(xD What does that make Helen? :o

 

Talk again soon,

 

Sue :D

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Thank you all so much for the advice.

 

Our supervisor is leaving in July so I'm going to go for the position. One of the reasons for leaving the pre-school was due to an extremely 'troublesome member of staff' and the supervisor's inability to take this other member to task. That's in another post, and I received excellent advice then as I have now. I've never come across anyone like her and I hope I never will.

 

Lots of things happening at the moment. Lifes like that I guess. Feel relieved now that I've come to a decision.

 

It's really good to talk. This forum is like a form of therapy :)

 

Angie

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I should have written;

 

Heraclitis said:

 

You can put your hand in the river once.

You cannot put your hand in the same river twice.

 

Brains adled. Going to walk my thug of a dog, he's staring at me and will not stop until I comply with his wishes! :o

 

Angie

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