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Words Of Wisdom/support Needed Please


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hi all

 

a little background:

 

I am manager of a nursery. we have two owners. one of whom is in nursery almost everyday, the other is a silent partner, who we only really see once a month for management meeting. both have children at nursery so are in each day to drop their children in.

i have managed the nursery 2 years 4 months, (one year 4 months under the ownership of the new owners).

 

at first everything was great under the new ownership. the owners valued my opinions, indeed they needed me to help show them the ropes in some aspects for running a nursery. i was very much the manager and focal figure for the nursery. even when the owners took over they assured me, the parents and the staff that nothing in the management struture would change and that i would be the manager.

 

i am still the manager, in name only it seems but yes i still occupy the role of manager. the relationship between myself and the more active director was initially very good, now it seems to have changed.

 

The owner now has been a bit more off hand with me over the last month or two, with comments such as 'i trust you can read that' as she hands me an important document that she knows i will read. it seems she has no faith in me (sorry hard to think of examples!)

 

my role has changed slightly in the last four months or so i have had to do fee chases each week, which involve me writing letters, ringing parentas and transfering information into a spreadsheet, this takes time and means that i am pulled away from nursery stuff. the owner then tells me that she feels my work at nursery has changed and is suffering.... blimey i can not do everything all at once.

today i was doing newsletters for the rooms when the silent owner e-mailed me asking me to print and post some letters urgently. when i told her i was doing newsletters she told me that the letters were urgent and she needed them dealing with. so i had to stop the newsletters to deal with the task from her....

 

anything i do is rarely appreciated. i did four lovely videos for the parents to watch at parents evening, this took lots of time. i had some fab comments from parents, but absoloutly nothing from the owner. it only seems the negative is picked up upon.

 

i am not saying i am the greatest manager ever, but i am skilled, nearly have my EYP and am committed to the nursery. none of this is recognised.... and i am left feeling de-motivated, stressed and like 'what is the point'. i love the nursery (maybe too much???) i care for the staff team and the children and have always wanted the best for the nursery, right now it seems all the owners want is the money the nursery brings :o i know the nursery has thrown a few things at the owners that they did not expect, ie leaking roof etc.... and there has been one large staff related issue that was my fault and the owners equally, despite my apologises i feel the owners maybe hold a bit of anger about the stafff issue.

 

i feel stressed and know if this continues i will make myself very poorly. i was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndromme about three months ago, and the stress is not helping. xD

 

a collegue asked me if i felt valued in my job, the answer is no i don't.... i even began applying for another job, but only filled in half the application form because in my heart i don't want to leave the nursery. i however, feel that right now the owner that is in nursery most often does not really want a manager, because she wants everything to go her (and the other owners) way, which means that my opinions don't really matter because most of the time i am 'outvoted' for want of a better word.

 

the owner came in this morning and said she wanted a meeting with me tommorow, i had however booked tommorow off, so she was frosty with me. the meeting is now wednesday. recently she has been frosty with me, and me with her (basically rubbing each other up the wrong way).... i have upmost respect for both of them as the owners of the nursery, as my boss and indeed as people. it seems that they do not respect me for the role i occupy.

 

i do not know where to go from here.

 

weather to just leave, im not sure..... i do not really know how to broach the subject or me being unhappy, or of how i feel my role is not needed any longer....

 

guess i just needed to write some of it down...

 

Dawn

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Dawn, I'm so sorry to hear you are so 'stressed' 'tired' but can I say this fact may influence how you are seeing things lately.

 

What I would ask of you is that you have the 'bravery', 'strength' to print off this post and hand it to your bosses. ( and my response if you like) Within this post I can see that you have immense respect for your bosses, you have a deep passion for your profession, and within your current setting. You acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, and you are not ashamed to admit you make mistakes but more importantly you learn from them.

You don't say whether you know or not what the meeting is about on Wednesday. Please don't make any rash decisions about your job, follow the advice of your doctor regarding your chronic fatigue syndromme, look after your health.

 

I may be wrong but this current feeling about your 'worth' may be just a case of a lack of 'quality' communication. I think your bosses do value you, but they have different agenda's which maybe you can't see, and they don't know you are feeling the way you do, and maybe their own 'agenda's are 'clouding' some issues that they, and you, are misunderstanding, equally.

 

On Wednesday, be totally truthful and honest with them about how you feel ( print of your post), ask them for a clearer picture of what your role is now and how they see it developing in the future. Maybe it is your future role that you cannot see clearly now which is disorientating you.

 

Thinking back on all your posts, you have grown so much as an early years professional, within your current management role, this is down to you and also partly down to the 'freedoms' and 'trust' your current employers have given you.

 

I don't personally think this is a time for you to consider leaving, I think it is a time for you and your bosses to 'fully' communicate, to take stock and to talk through feelings, to then put this aside and consider what best ways you can work together in the future for the best of the setting and each others goals, both personally and professionaly.

 

Best wishes that you are all able to 'ride through' this current 'storming' to 'norming' process. I do believe if you can all do this, you will all come through stronger and closer in the end. Which will benefit everyone including the business in the long run.

 

Peggy

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Peggy,

 

Thank you so much for your lovely reply. I think i will print the post and show it to them, you made some really good points and maybe it is because i am not seeing my future role in the nursery that i am feeling a bit unsettled.

I like to be settled, i like to know what is coming (as much as possible obviously) i also like to feel like i can make a difference.

once again thanks for your words. they are really appreciated as always.

 

Dawn

 

Dawn, I'm so sorry to hear you are so 'stressed' 'tired' but can I say this fact may influence how you are seeing things lately.

 

What I would ask of you is that you have the 'bravery', 'strength' to print off this post and hand it to your bosses. ( and my response if you like) Within this post I can see that you have immense respect for your bosses, you have a deep passion for your profession, and within your current setting. You acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, and you are not ashamed to admit you make mistakes but more importantly you learn from them.

You don't say whether you know or not what the meeting is about on Wednesday. Please don't make any rash decisions about your job, follow the advice of your doctor regarding your chronic fatigue syndromme, look after your health.

 

I may be wrong but this current feeling about your 'worth' may be just a case of a lack of 'quality' communication. I think your bosses do value you, but they have different agenda's which maybe you can't see, and they don't know you are feeling the way you do, and maybe their own 'agenda's are 'clouding' some issues that they, and you, are misunderstanding, equally.

 

On Wednesday, be totally truthful and honest with them about how you feel ( print of your post), ask them for a clearer picture of what your role is now and how they see it developing in the future. Maybe it is your future role that you cannot see clearly now which is disorientating you.

 

Thinking back on all your posts, you have grown so much as an early years professional, within your current management role, this is down to you and also partly down to the 'freedoms' and 'trust' your current employers have given you.

 

I don't personally think this is a time for you to consider leaving, I think it is a time for you and your bosses to 'fully' communicate, to take stock and to talk through feelings, to then put this aside and consider what best ways you can work together in the future for the best of the setting and each others goals, both personally and professionaly.

 

Best wishes that you are all able to 'ride through' this current 'storming' to 'norming' process. I do believe if you can all do this, you will all come through stronger and closer in the end. Which will benefit everyone including the business in the long run.

 

Peggy

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Glad to help Dawn.

 

I really hope you get this sorted out and put behind you, otherwise the term 'mountains out of molehills' springs to mind. I'm not underestimating the 'importance' of this all means to you, just trying to help you keep what is really important into perspective. Don't let the little things get you down, (ie: such as your bosses, I am sure don't mean to make you feel undervalued). But do get the important issues discussed. Keep open and honest is my policy, as soon as possible, don't let these things build up.

 

peggy

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It will be interesting to hear what they say at your meeting. I hope they are not trying to push you out by making your job so intolerable that you leave. Are either of them qualified at all and maybe are thinking of moving into your position.

 

Don't be forced out, be constructive in your interview but say how you feel you are feeling unvalued. Write down all the positive contributions you make to running their business, but listen and be realistic about what they are telling you as well.

 

It maybe they are struggling financially, as nurseries don't make a bit profit and for two of them to get anything out of it may be not meeting their expectations anymore.

 

I will be interested to hear what they say.

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Hi Sorry to hear about your situation have been in a very similar situation myself - I did however leave! I would suggest that if possible you have someone with you at the meeting tomorrow, just in case!!

Good luck and do let us know how you get on!

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Dawn My heart goes out to you. Your e mail was such an honest evaluation of the situation as you see it. You now need an equally honest and frank evaluation from the owners and then you can all resolve issues together recognising the others stand point.

 

Lots of good points made by others;

 

Chin up and have a very meaningful meeting.

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hi,

 

yes one of them is qualified, and worked as a childminder for two years. it has crossed my mind she may want my position, it would clearly save them a wage. she said when they first looked into taking over that their initial intention was for her to be the manager and she proposed that to the previous owners but they appointed me instead so she could not be the manager.

 

if i look on it in a cynical light it would be easy for them to try and make my life hard so that i leave, however i think that is a really terrible thing to do.

 

Dawn

 

It will be interesting to hear what they say at your meeting. I hope they are not trying to push you out by making your job so intolerable that you leave. Are either of them qualified at all and maybe are thinking of moving into your position.

 

Don't be forced out, be constructive in your interview but say how you feel you are feeling unvalued. Write down all the positive contributions you make to running their business, but listen and be realistic about what they are telling you as well.

 

It maybe they are struggling financially, as nurseries don't make a bit profit and for two of them to get anything out of it may be not meeting their expectations anymore.

 

I will be interested to hear what they say.

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If they do push you out, especially in light of one of the owners wanting to be manager you could go for constructive dismissal - though this is hard to prove. I suggest you document everything, keep a diary and always have a witness present when you speak to them, I know it's not nice and very uncomfortable and probably not a route you want to go down, but for your own sake I feel its probably necessary. If necessary seek proper advice from ACAS or CAB. Good luck x

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I'm looking at this from another perspective. I am the owner of a nursery ... i am a qualified early years teacher and i gained EYPS last year. I am in my nursery probably 60% of the week, my child also attends the nursery. I have a manager who works full time at the nursery for me. My manager is the most fantastic asset to my nursery, the parents love her, the children love her and my staff love and respect her. As the owner I know that i couldn't manage without her. We work very much as a team - we talk all the time (this is sooooo important), we are really good sounding boards for each other - she will tell me whether an idea i have is impractical from a staffing point of view and i will help her work out strategies for managing difficulties. We laugh together about things we can't share with other members of staff, we sound off at each other knowing that things remain confidential, we get frustrated together about problems we face.

I think that the advice i would give in your situation would be to list out all the roles, i'd keep a days diary to show the many and various tasks you cover on a daily basis, i'd talk about all the different things that your role involves and i would have a 'free and frank' discussion about which tasks your owner considers to be top priority (i.e. newsletters or sudden secretarial tasks?)

I would aim to come out of your meeting with an action plan ... what's to be done?, by whom? and by when? you might find that some of the roles sit clearly separately and then they can be shared out between you and your owners.

In terms of the owners being only money orientated ... in my experience, there isn't very much money unless you are full, working at the limits of the ratios and in a building that doesn't need any work done on it. Maybe your owners are scared? maybe they didn't realise what it entailed (I've spoken to lots of people who say ' a children's nursery ... how lovely ... i thought about doing that...') as a business the reality is very different to the theory! You have to do it for the love of it not the money - perhaps they've just started to realise that!

Anyway, good luck with your meeting. Remember you are a super-valuable asset to your nursery but spare a thought for your owners ... maybe they just don't know how it is on a day to day basis. Explain it to them ... try and make them see what your role involves ... it sounds to me as tho they just don't realise!

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Thank you very very much for some lovely advice. so useful to hear it from an owners perspective.

 

Dawn

I'm looking at this from another perspective. I am the owner of a nursery ... i am a qualified early years teacher and i gained EYPS last year. I am in my nursery probably 60% of the week, my child also attends the nursery. I have a manager who works full time at the nursery for me. My manager is the most fantastic asset to my nursery, the parents love her, the children love her and my staff love and respect her. As the owner I know that i couldn't manage without her. We work very much as a team - we talk all the time (this is sooooo important), we are really good sounding boards for each other - she will tell me whether an idea i have is impractical from a staffing point of view and i will help her work out strategies for managing difficulties. We laugh together about things we can't share with other members of staff, we sound off at each other knowing that things remain confidential, we get frustrated together about problems we face.

I think that the advice i would give in your situation would be to list out all the roles, i'd keep a days diary to show the many and various tasks you cover on a daily basis, i'd talk about all the different things that your role involves and i would have a 'free and frank' discussion about which tasks your owner considers to be top priority (i.e. newsletters or sudden secretarial tasks?)

I would aim to come out of your meeting with an action plan ... what's to be done?, by whom? and by when? you might find that some of the roles sit clearly separately and then they can be shared out between you and your owners.

In terms of the owners being only money orientated ... in my experience, there isn't very much money unless you are full, working at the limits of the ratios and in a building that doesn't need any work done on it. Maybe your owners are scared? maybe they didn't realise what it entailed (I've spoken to lots of people who say ' a children's nursery ... how lovely ... i thought about doing that...') as a business the reality is very different to the theory! You have to do it for the love of it not the money - perhaps they've just started to realise that!

Anyway, good luck with your meeting. Remember you are a super-valuable asset to your nursery but spare a thought for your owners ... maybe they just don't know how it is on a day to day basis. Explain it to them ... try and make them see what your role involves ... it sounds to me as tho they just don't realise!

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