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Hi,

 

It appears that some topics get hijacked by disgruntled staff ( with good reason)

 

As my new year resolution is to be positive I wandered if anyone would like to contribute some management tips which promote "motivated, happy staff" or could employees give us managers some ideas of how you wish we could improve ( constructively, of course) :D always willing to learn.

 

Does anyone know of any GOOD management courses out there, you know ones that relate to our particular profession. I've attended some, even did a management module on my ADCE a few years ago. However, they are like "behaviour Management" training, quite broad and non specific. So maybe as a forum we could exchange some good insights to what demotivates staff and ideas of what really works. I will start with one method I use to show gratitude to my staff who come in at short notice to cover for staff sickness etc ( often phoned at an unearthly early hour on their day off). I always have a supply of "White wine" or "chocs" as a thank you.

 

Peggy

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We have a "fuzzygram" board in the staffroom where we can post special public thank you's to people - can be to anybody in school (from teachers to caretaker)and can be for anything (eg from being particuarly supportive to having created a lovely display) - not as exciting as wine and chocs, though!!! :D

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Your idea is cheaper and I am sure just as effective, if not moreso because it encourages "Nice thoughts" and shares them.

 

Thanks

Peggy

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Gosh Peggy!!

 

I work part time but on many occasions have been called on my days off to cover for staff sickness or whatever and I would be sooooooo embarrassed if I was given anything for going in! A simple 'Thanks' is more than enough for me, I just see it as working as part of a team and I know that my colleagues would do the same for me if the need arose.

 

At the end of term our employer takes us all for a meal/night out and it's a great end to each term and much appreciated by us all.

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Don't know if this is the sort of thing you are looking for Peggy

 

Description

 

The programme is a straightforward, user friendly, introduction to management theory and is designed for anyone working in a childcare environment, especially team leaders and supervisors.

 

This intermediate level programme consists of eight concise modules of information and provides some of the underpinning knowledge for NVQ level 3 in Play Work and NVQ level 4 in Early Years Care & Education. The programme comes complete in a sturdy ring binder.

 

Each module has its own questionnaire to test understanding and an activity sheet that enables participants to implement their new skills in the workplace. The programme concludes with an overall proficiency test.

 

Upon successful completion of the programme, participants will receive feedback

of their questionnaire results along with a personalised certificate.

 

Pass criteria: Return of all questionnaires and 80% or more on the proficiency test.

 

 

Module List

1. Teamwork and Managing Relationships

2. Managing Yourself

3. Managing People

4. Managing Activities

5. Project Management

6. Managing Resources

7. Quality and Energy Efficiency

8. Managing Information

 

 

It costs £75 and is presented by Educare.

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Peggy

 

I'm sure you realise this but being positive as a manager / leader 'costs' nothing (financially) but 'buys' the earth in terms of loyalty, job satisfaction and self esteem.

 

I had a case just last week when I began our weekly team meeting and I know some are feeling less than positive. I had just shown a parent round our setting and they had been so grateful and positive about what they saw I personally felt good about what I was a part of, despite a tough week! So, I began the meeting by relaying what I had encountered during the afternoon in the belief that my staff need to hear such things as they are ultimately the ones who make the place what it is. I think it was good for staff (and children!) to hear such comments and be 'thanked' in such a way. I always try and comment positively on some aspect of a teacher's classroom when I have been in too (displays, what the children were doing, atmosphere of the place etc...).

 

Forgive me if this sounds obvious but sometimes we all need reminding about what is right in front of our noses!

 

Best wishes!

 

Philip :o

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Dear Peggy,

I am currently doing a BA Hons Nursery Management - and boy how right your are, managing a nursery is an extremely difficult and highly responsible job. There are not many jobs where there is so much responsibility placed upon one person. I thought I was a good manager until I started the course. I have been studying now for two years and love every minute of it - only another 2 1/2 to go!! However, there is also a Foundation Degree course too and whatsmore you needn't go out to do it. I do it all through e-learning with support from tutors, a residential, university chat rooms and forums. I have met a really good bunch of people who work in a a variety of nurseries - just like here we share our experiences. it is specifically geared to nursery management although the management side of it would be transferable.

 

Liverpool Hope College University run it and I can let you have details of who to contact if you want. We cover everything from marketing to human resources to legislation etc all geared around nurseries. It's great because we use the work we do in a very practical way - we have just undertaken a Health and Safety Audit which I used for my Accreditation. I am not sure of the cost of the courses as luckily enough all my fees are paid as I am a single parent. Let me know if you want further info - I can highly recommend it. It has taught me so much and I apply my knowledge not only to my nursery but also to my personal life as well. We do loads on communication and conflict management - very useful with my teenagers.

Nikki

 

 

Nikki

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Yes, it is - I think the Honours means that it is a full 360 credit degree but am not really sure - haven't got really stuck into all the Uni jargon. The foundation degree is worth 240 credits and I don't think it is classified as an Hons. degree. I am really a bit thick about it all - haven't really got the time or inclination to understand all the jargon - just know that I will have a full degree, if and when, I finish in 2007! Seems light years away from now but it really is quite addictive.

Nikki

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Please don't lose sight of the fact that many early years workers, who have "drifted" into the role (me, for one), may have general management training/experience. In my past life, I supervised a professional team (three graduates, two admin staff). We were a happy, bonded team.

 

What I learned then would be very useful now, if I had to use it.

 

Diane.

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Thanks Nikki you sound like you are really having fun and motivated to learn. :D

 

Just an example of what us owner/managers need to deal with. Recently a member of staff, I'll call her Ann, had some personal problems, split from partner. First we had to deal with an aggressive ex coming to or contacting preschool, then Ann needed time off due to depression. I encouraged her to return when her absence seemed to be easier for her then "making the effort". At the end of the day she thanked me saying it was good to get into work again and it had helped her feel better.

Ann's been with me for a year, just about to complete her level 3 NVQ, she appeared to be getting over her split-up (her decision) and I saw her on Sunday out with her friend.

Monday she phoned in sick ( tummy bug), Wednesday she just didn't turn up, rang her Wednesday night. "How are you" she said, I replied well how are you? Hang on a minute she said ( I thought she had to see to her daughter for a minute as she went off the phone) Her Mum picked up the phone xD:( and said " Sorry Peggy, Ann was just about to leave the house when you rang, she's gone out the door now, I'll get her to ring you back in an hour"

I haven't heard from her since xD .

 

Ann has potential to be a good early years worker, she's studied well, has good ideas, gets on with the children, is confident to try new things etc etc but where does this leave me now??? With regret I shall have to send her a disciplinary letter. There is a balance required between supporting staff and having expectations of professional behaviour. What upsets me is that yet again it appears that I can't keep staff and I am yet again struggling to keep my staffing levels at 50% qualified. (In 3 yrs 6 staff have trained whilst with me then left- normally out of the profession :o )

I think hopefully she will stay, but what is the point if she can "Take it or leave it" when it comes to her attendance responsibilities. In the past I have "walked on eggshells" trying to keep staff but now realise that it takes a very dedicated type of person to keep me sane :(:( , thank god it's half term!!!

 

Nikki, I would love some more info on your Hons Degree, one question though, I'll be 50 years old when I complete, are there many others at my age :wacko:

I'll become a GRANNY GRADUATE :D:D

 

pEGGY

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Geraldine,

One more post and you'll meet another milestone...2000. Congrats on both. If you live to a hundred, can you cope with your life all over again :( I look forward to my retirement years.

I can see the new OU logo, GET A DEGREE AND RETIRE :oxD:(

 

Peggy

 

p.s. Can the government lower the age of retirement for all childcare workers to age 50 please.

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As from Monday, I'll be officially closer to 60 than 40! So, snap! Geraldine.

 

I'm a quarter of the way through my OU EYFD (and have the interim level 4 qualification to prove it). If I eventually get to the end, I gather that I will be elligible for a complimentary zimmer frame with the degree certificate!

 

Who's too old?

 

Diane.

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I try everyday to praise the staff team for a job well done, displays, settling children, being happy and hearing laughter!!!!!!!.

I know it's not always easy, sometimes they have had a really bad day, children are hurt, nappies not changed, and I do have to speak to them, but hey, I was like them not so long ago!!

I always greet each member of staff as they arrive, say goodbye as they leave and in the case of the chef and maintenance man if I don't see them personally, I always leave a note for them, whether it's a simple thanks or a request for something to be done - it ALWAYS has a smiley face drawn on it, once I forgot and the chef was "very upset" :oxD:(

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50 and retire,you will be far too young!! At 57 working a few mornings still and loving every minute,honest! Wonder what age I could be made to retire ?

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Dear Peggy,

 

Well I will be 49 when I hopefully get the degree - hey who knows what I will do it and I love the new logo Get a Degree and retire - would love to retire and become a permanent student - but no chance with three kids to support and a massive mortgage.

 

Yes there are lots of people studying at our age many of them here in this forum. You're never too old - well tell me that again when I am crawling around the floor - its ok crawling - it's the getting up again! Seriously though, it is designed for us more mature people. You could contact Petra Luck at Liverpool Hope University, her email address is LUCKP@hope.ac.uk. for more details on the courses, you can mention that I gave you her email address.

 

You do sound as though you have got your work cut out with that member of staff, there is no doubt that she is being unfair and from what you have said you have treated her with the greatest respect and offered her lots of opportunities. The one thing however still remains is the fact that money within our environment is not a motivator. As you have said we all have problems with keeping qualified staff - when they leave, most of them leave the industry too.

 

You have recognised that potentially she is a good worker and you feel that it would be better to keep her but not under the current conditions whereby she is letting the team down. If you are keen to keep her and work with her, before sending her a disciplinary letter why not send her a letter outlining your concerns and ask her to come in for a chat. You may still have to issue a letter after this (or even if she does not reply) but you can then explain and document why because if you have to take this the whole way you will need to have everything really well documented and to comply with curent employment legislation. It's amazing how some people seem to be able to produce doctors signing off notes out of nothing and you could leave yourself open! Try and find out what her problems are - of course these may not necessarily be true and explain what the implications are for you and the rest of the group. She will of course know this but you have said that you would like her to stay. It maybe that she is already thinking of leaving the group/industry (do you know this?) in which case you will have to guage how much energy you want to expend in trying to resolve this problem. It's a tough one especially when we know that there are not loads of other people waiting to step in and take their place. Wish you luck with this one - let us know how it goes. Be interested to find out what route you take and what worked and what didn't

Nikki

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Peggy,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your problems with "ann" and retaining other members of staff but there are lots of reasons why people leave this type of job. As has already been mentioned, the wages are very poor. Many of us say we do it because we love the children etc. but when things get difficult, for example, if there are lots of children with "challenging behaviour" you can sometimes think "why am I doing this? I could earn more on the checkout at Tescos and have a lot less stress.

 

Then there is all the paperwork that we have to do now. I know that I spend many hours updating childrens' records of achievement which is in my own time and unpaid. I know that my supervisor does her best to make me feel appreciated, but it is sometimes difficult - and that's without any personal problems!

I am one of the many who, having just qualified with a level 3, are considering leaving early years. In my case it is because of the last six months of having to deal with lots of "challenging behaviour" and just feeling like I don't enjoy the work any more.

 

Sorry, I know that this thread was supposed to be about being positive! but I think that what I'm trying to say is that there are many factors outside your control, even as a good manager.

 

Good luck with your member of staff, and with finding a replacement, if that's what eventually becomes necessary.

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Dear Beryl

Well said - and I think that is how so many of us can feel at times. I feel like this on many occassions too and not too sure why I keep plodding away with it at times. I really think that the Government should wake up to the realities of what is really going on at ground level. They as always talk about it a lot but actually appear to be doing nothing constructive. I am hoping that things will change although not as quickly as they should I think there will be a bigger crisis before it gets better.

I am sorry to hear that you are thinking of leaving, but not surprised. You have to give up a lot of personal time to achieve your Level 3 and yet your reward for that is minimal. You may come off a unqualified's wage to a qualified;s wage but that's not too much to write home about or much of an incentive when as you say Tesco's can match it and offer more.

 

One thing I hope is that in the Government's effort to try and address the staffing issues/pay that when they start looking at a "level playing" field of adult/child ratios between the maintained and private sectors, that they seriously do not consider incresaing ours to say 1:13/1:15. I like being able to work with a smaller group of children. However, they may well look to Europe to justify this. France I don't think have any adult/child ratios - watch this space!!

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

Nikki

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When you mentioning pay rate been low, can anyone tell me how low is that! I never worked in England, only in Germany, but we are coming back this summer (British forces)! I toughed that we are on same money, but I wouldn't call it small over here. I am paid just over 11 euros per hour, that is about £8 . That is not so bad,or is it???????

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Nicola

Your right about the lack of ratios in France. I used to work in a Maternelle (Nursery) I had nine children under the age of three. My rooms was at the top of an old house and the only time I saw anyone was when the cook bought up lunch!

All I can say it was an experience!

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