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Regional Managers without an early years background


Alabaloo
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What are your thoughts.........

 

Can a regional manager effectively supervise and support early years nursery managers without any experience or qualifications in early years or early childhood education?

 

Can management experience be transfered across sectors?

 

If you have managed people in retail can you also manage people in early years?

 

If so how can they make informed decisions without prior knowledge or experience?

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I would have thought that a 'regional manager' needs to have experience at a lower level and to have worked their way up in terms of knowledge and experience before becoming a manager let alone regional manager. I don't see how any regional manager can transfer from totally different sectors but maybe it's just me. I have worked in early years for 40 years so maybe I could be a regional manager of a group of early years settings but I wouldn't have a clue about working in a shop, don't know how to operate a till let alone anything else so couldn't possibly manage a shop let alone be a regional manager for a group of shops!!!

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Thankyou for the reply Gezabel, I knwo exactly what you mean in terms of skill set and if a regional manager has never been in the 'trenches' so to speak then how can they effectively support? For somebody like you Gezabel, would be ideal for such a role because you would know the ins and outs of early years settings and how they tick. Then again arent management skills transferable though? Herein lies the dilemma or not?........ wonder what others think?

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personally I think it is possible to transfer managerial/leadership skills etc across different sectors but like all jobs you need to understand your client base, product etc often many 'managers' do not have defined knowledge of the area in which they work but depends on what their job description is - possibly in this case are they managing profit/losses , sustainability ,effective staff etc and taking specialist advice from line managers within settings ??

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I agree with Lashes that the 'skills' can be transferred and if they are employed specifically to increase capacity, train and develop staff or make the business more financially sustainable then a background in those specialisms would be more effective than a background in childcare. If they are expected to support and influence the managers on childcare related issues then they would be far more useful with a childcare background, but really in some ways there is a crossover here with the EYPS non-related degree graduates working and studying for a year and being expected to have an extensive knowledge of childcare and child development and be able to lead childcare teams ( or is that a whole new discussion ? )

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I would have thought that a 'regional manager' needs to have experience at a lower level and to have worked their way up in terms of knowledge and experience before becoming a manager let alone regional manager. I don't see how any regional manager can transfer from totally different sectors but maybe it's just me. I have worked in early years for 40 years so maybe I could be a regional manager of a group of early years settings but I wouldn't have a clue about working in a shop, don't know how to operate a till let alone anything else so couldn't possibly manage a shop let alone be a regional manager for a group of shops!!!

 

Couldn't have put it better myself! :D

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NO

lol

 

to a certain degree yes managerial skills can be transferred but as said you need the experience. How on earth can you go in and support and challenge if you have not been in that situtaion yourself :blink: ;):D

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OK had a bit of a re-think! Although I stand by my earlier post I can see that some 'managerial skills' may be generic and therefore applicable to different sectors of the workforce but I don't see how you can 'manage' without knowledge and experience of the 'area of work'

 

I think of teachers, they get their PGCE and then their first teaching job - I don't know of any that go straight into a headship role as an NQT!

Likewise with doctors, after extensive medical training they work their way up in their chosen field, not straight out of med school into a job as brain surgeron! - sorry slightly off topic!

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I don't see how you can 'manage' without knowledge and experience of the 'area of work'

 

I think of teachers, they get their PGCE and then their first teaching job - I don't know of any that go straight into a headship role as an NQT!

Likewise with doctors, after extensive medical training they work their way up in their chosen field, not straight out of med school into a job as brain surgeron! - sorry slightly off topic!

 

If the regional manager has a business background, the early years managers will be managed to increase profits/ improve staff retention/ business operations etc. Where the regional manager has an early years background, they are more inclined to improving the quality of practice. No?

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playing devils advocate here....

My backgroungd is in hotel and catering management and adult training....does that mean i cannot do a job in early years????

and to be honest we are all running businessess increasing profit/staff retention etc are all part of that. You can have really good early years providers who are useless at business and so the business cannot operate....is that not equally detrimental?

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playing devils advocate here....

My backgroungd is in hotel and catering management and adult training....does that mean i cannot do a job in early years????

and to be honest we are all running businessess increasing profit/staff retention etc are all part of that. You can have really good early years providers who are useless at business and so the business cannot operate....is that not equally detrimental?

 

Of course not finleysmaid! :D

 

The way that I read the original post was........'without any experience or qualifications in EY'.........that would then make me say, as Suer did NO! :o:D

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Transferance from one business sector to another is something that happens all the time. My husband has been in lots of situations where a new manager has been brought in above him with little or no knowledge of his sector. Bursars run large schools with no knowledge of education. As long as the manager is not running the curriculum is the crunch point i think?!

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Transferance from one business sector to another is something that happens all the time. My husband has been in lots of situations where a new manager has been brought in above him with little or no knowledge of his sector. Bursars run large schools with no knowledge of education. As long as the manager is not running the curriculum is the crunch point i think?!

 

Well - you could be right - what do I know about it! ;) :1b

 

I still wonder what knowledge and understanding such an inexperienced person could have - I wouldn't want to be 'led' by someone without an EY background :o :blink: :ph34r::D

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Its the management of the business in terms of who is best suited in post....the one that leads quality practice ' or the profit margin driver? :(

 

Regional managers do in most cases offer supervision to their early years managers as they stand as their line managers, in such cases how would you effectively support somebody who in effect may have had more experience, knowledge, skill and understanding about the sector that as a regional manager may know little about...... then again, leadership skills can be transfered, no? :unsure:

 

Surely leadership is leadership...no matter where you work. MBA's can be applied in any sector :huh: ....

 

Aren't the early years too 'sensitive' (couldnt think of an appropriate word) a sector to have a generalised view of leadership when so much emphasis is placed on the delicate intricacies of brain development...........

Edited by Alabaloo
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But in a multi faceted business you have differently skilled people. It is not unusual to be put in positions where you are managing people who have a specialism in an area you do not.

 

(ooh i like a juicy discussion on a sunday morning xD )

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But in a multi faceted business you have differently skilled people. It is not unusual to be put in positions where you are managing people who have a specialism in an area you do not.

 

(ooh i like a juicy discussion on a sunday morning xD )

 

xD :lol: xD Me too - should be engaged in far more useful pursuits really :blink:

 

Is the word you were looking for 'precious' Alabaloo? :1b

 

Think that I could definitely be considered 'precious' when it comes to early years......hey I think that's a positive quality! :D

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A very interesting debate with a range of views.

Alabaloo, if you are studying for a leadership module, I would highly recommend "Reconceptualizing Leadership in the Early Years" by Rory McDowell Clark and Janet Murray (you may have come across already?). They talk of the need to see a different model of leadership for the early years, and provide a strong argument that traditional styles of leadership just aren't appropriate in the early years. Whilst you may agree or not, its very good reading for clarifying your own viewpoint, and gives food for thought. Just as an additional point, you might want to think about 'management' and 'leadership' in a slightly different way, perhaps one can be more easily transferred than the other?

 

For me, it would be about the actual person doing the job rather than whether or not the skills from another sector can be transferred. Yes I'm sure they can be, but can just anyone transfer them? Just as not all brilliant dedicated early years practitioners can transfer their skills into management, then not all managers from other backgrounds could transfer their skills into early years. Any manager worth their salt would want to learn more about what it's like on the ground by spending some time in the nurseries and talking to the staff. This would be the case whether or not the manager had an early years background. But yes, of course, there is the business side, which many people working in early years neither have nor want (or it's been thrust upon them in a changing world), and so someone with these skills would actually benefit a group or chain of settings.

 

Finally I think its hard for people coming into management with no experience to actually have any credibility with the workforce. This would happen in any industry too. My brother is an electronics engineer working for a huge multi national company and he still moans at the regional and divisional directors who just don't 'get' what its like on the ground, because they've never actually worked there. In his eyes they have no credibility.

 

Id be interested also to hear more views.

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Well maybe without the job description of the regional manager an accurate decision can't be given in answer to the original question. A bursar does work in a school with no knowledge of education but his/her area of expertise is surely just finance and therefore doesn't need knowledge of curriculum etc ?

 

For me an early years regional manager would be responsible for the finance/sustainability of the settings etc but wouldn't the job role include endeavouring to ensure quality of provision - yes they would delegate to individual managers but for example if one of the settings got an inadequate OFSTED wouldn't the regional manager be in there (with the manager) devising action plans etc etc? of course without the EY knowledge this would not be possible.

sorry probably me just rambling!!

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But in a multi faceted business you have differently skilled people. It is not unusual to be put in positions where you are managing people who have a specialism in an area you do not.

 

 

In fact in many sectors this is usual, my husband works for a company that employ Project mangers, who have not an inkling of what the product is they are managing... they rely on those who do have the knowledge working in support and alongside them to ensure they can do the job correctly, but if things do go wrong or there is a problem it is for them to sort out, not those doing the support...

 

My background and training had nothing to do with this sector but I managed to transfer all the skills I had attained to enable me to to the managing of a setting very successfully, learning the on hands side as I went... I managed a setting with no early years experience at all apart from my own child..but things have moved on since hen and this would not be possible now, however, if there is a minimum experience for the running of a setting , it would give more credence to any advice or help if the person giving it had the same experience as a minimum...

 

who follows advice from someone without any experience in what they are trying to advise? It works in many sectors because those being advised have even less knowledge than the advisor.. that is how my husbands company manage it, by project managers working with customers who have no knowledge of the product .. ... but these days those on the ground in Early years are very well trained and have knowledge .. so does not work too well to have advisor with no little experience.

 

Hope you get the gist of my ramblings..

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You are precious Sunnyday! Thats the word! :1b

 

I am on it Mundia, thankyou for sharing - Reconceptualizing Leadership in the Early Years" by Rory McDowell Clark and Janet Murray.

 

 

Is there a theme emerging here... hands on experience, 'being in the trenches', spending time on the 'floor' etc, etc ...could it be that knowing your 'product is essential' Having prior knowledge is crucial?

 

Gaining credibility - because of ones underpinning knowledge? I think to be a credible leader you need prior knowledge and experience of the sector you are leading in but as a manager, all you need are management skills.....?

 

Can you manage in any sector but not be a leader any any sector? <_<
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Just musing! If there is a 'pure' regional manager of a group of early years settings who has proven, fantastic managerial skills but no EY knowledge or experience how could he/she hold a conversation with any of the staff or managers in one of the settings she is overall manager for? I visualise the manager of a setting seeking support from the area manager about SEF, SENCO, ENCO, aseessment procedures etc B)

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As a manager i would not expect staff to do anything that i am not competant in myself as a manager, without EY background you cant possibly have empathy or know where as an EY practitioner is coming from because at the end of the day it is not only about profit, business plans etc without a sound Early years setting you wont have children to fill your setting or happy staff

 

I feel very strongly about this

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i guess if we were to follow this premise through then everyone who works for the education department should be early years trained......Hummm <_<

although in small settings it is possible to lead from the front and be able to do all the jobs this becomes much more unlikely as the size of the organisation grows.

I have a good grasp of finance but i am not an accountant, i cannot audit the accounts or do excel calculations to save my life...i employ someone to do that. I am an ok gardener but i don't have a ladder to get up to the gutters...i employ someone to do that because they have the tools for the job. As an area Manager you are often in the position that you are managing people who have specialisms in other areas. Just because they are a specialist does not mean that i am unable to supervise them, appraise them or set targets for them. I would need to read up on their roles and responsiblities and i may need to access help to do this but it does not mean i cannot do it.

By saying that others cannot do this job are we then saying that we are incapeable of doing someone else's job?

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without EY background you cant possibly have empathy or know where as an EY practitioner is coming from because at the end of the day it is not only about profit, business plans etc without a sound Early years setting you wont have children to fill your setting or happy staff

I don't think I can agree that empathy only comes wrapped up in the qualifications and experiences gained by an early years practitioner, Suer. A really good manager will be able to grasp what is important to a business and provide the infrastructure to promote the company's ability to achieve its commercial aims. You're making an assumption that all managers are in it solely for the profit margin - I think these are personality traits and a matter of ethics and ethos rather than the kind of background the person has come from.

 

I certainly wish I had more managerial experience and acumen than empathy when I was running my nursery: sometimes decisions need to be made without being encumbered by sentimentality but with a hard headed eye for what is right for the business. :(

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i dont disagree happmaz, its about a bit of everything making a successful setting. I wouldnt expect to manage a hairdressers or an office when i know nothing about t these things....... i do know though that my best assets are my staff and having a knowledge of what they do and have to face makes the difference

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